The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden Frequently Asked Questions

The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden team is here to answer any questions you may have regarding our program and ecosystem. Find our frequently asked questions below, and if you have additional questions, contact us.
The Catalyst Accelerator empowers nontraditional technology companies to accelerate their involvement in the national defense ecosystem by providing connections, mentorship, and business development in a collaborative setting for a lasting national impact. The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden is powered by the United States Air Force and its Digital Transformation Office (DTO). The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden had its debut in the Spring of 2022 and is based on the proven model of the Catalyst Accelerator in Colorado Springs. It is a semi-residential, three-month program for small businesses that provides business development training, connections with users and DoD liaisons, and fosters mentorship with industry and DoD subject matter experts. The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden does not assume an equity stake in the Accelerator cohort companies, and instead relies upon sponsorship funds to support the companies’ travel costs and to enhance the Accelerator program. The Catalyst Accelerator program has launched eleven successful Accelerators to date with 86 participating companies. By the end of 2021, the Catalyst Accelerator had launched eight cohorts with 62 participating companies, 284 contracts won, over $290M in contract follow-on funding, 933 jobs created, and over $650k in sponsorship funds. The economic impact associated with the three Accelerator cohorts hosted in 2022—including the inaugural Catalyst Accelerator in Ogden—will be available in 2023. You can learn more about the Catalyst Accelerator Ogden–including its impact and who it supports–in the Catalyst Accelerator Ogden Prospectus and by contacting us.

“We joined the Catalyst Accelerator to get a crash course on dual-technology (commercial and government) business development strategies and learn as much as possible about Air Force customer needs. We were not disappointed! The accelerator content and discussions with the other cohort companies created a fantastic synergy and environment for our growth.” – Gareth Block, CEO and Founder, Third Insight, Inc., Austin, TX

“We recognized that access to the defense market would complement our commercial activities and substantially accelerate development, but had struggled to make in-roads. The insight and connections into this space that Catalyst Accelerator has provided have been invaluable!” – Markus Novak, President and Founder, Novaa, Columbus, OH

“I’ve had trouble getting attention from the Government prior to the Catalyst Accelerator and my expectation going in was that this might get my toe in the door, and I would still struggle. The reality was that the door was kicked wide open. I still have work to do and follow up, but I leave convinced that the government, certainly the Air Force, knows who we are and will support us.” –John Beane, CEO, MemComputing, Inc., San Diego, CA

The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden is a defense and national security industry accelerator headquartered in Ogden, Utah and facilitated by Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation (CCTI). Each Catalyst Accelerator Ogden cohort has a unique and specific focus area determined by the United States Air Force and its Digital Transformation Office. Startups and small businesses that match the focus area for that specific cohort should apply to the Accelerator.

Regardless to whether you have funding or not, the key component is your ability to provide a solution for the designated problem statement for the specific Accelerator cohort. The selection process is focused around determining the best strategic and technological fit between the applicant, the Air Force, and our industry partners.

We welcome and encourage companies from all industries to apply! Historically, some of the companies chosen to participate in the Accelerator cohort were non-Aerospace and Defense focused companies. If you have a technology that can solve the Air Force’s problem statement for that Accelerator cohort, we hope you will explore the Aerospace and Defense industry and apply to participate in the Catalyst Accelerator Ogden.

Applicants should apply through our website or directly on the SurveyMonkey Apply platform.

Each startup or small business will submit an application through SurveyMonkey’s Apply platform. Applicants who pass the initial screening will be invited to participate in a pitch event. After the pitch event, CCTI (with advisement from DoD, Allied Partner organizations, and industry experts) will select the applicants that have the best strategic and technological fit for our program and invite those teams to join the Catalyst Accelerator Ogden program.

Collaborate with both Government and Commercial Stakeholders: Work in a collaborative environment where participants have access to Government and Commercial Stakeholders in the Aerospace and Defense ecosystem.

Downtown Ogden Ecosystem: Participants of the Catalyst Accelerator Ogden can take advantage of office space in downtown Ogden at Catalyst Campus.

No Equity Requirements: The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden does not take equity from startups and small businesses. The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden uses grant funding from Corporate Sponsors (when available) to support the small businesses in the program.

  • Startup or small business focused on technology relevant to the problem statement 

  • Startup or small business with under 50 employees (ideally)

  • Ability to attend in-person (same individual each week) programming 

The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden is a tailored 3-month accelerator program where participating companies have access to: 

  • potential users, stakeholders, and decision makers from the U.S. DoD, Government entities of Allied Partners and Industry

  • training workshops that serve to accelerate a company’s business development

  • networking opportunities

  • mentorship from U.S. DoD, experts from Allied Partners and industry

At the culmination of the program, we will facilitate a Demo Day and invite Government and Commercial investors, Aerospace and Defense champions, industry experts, venture capitalists, and others.

Yes, the Catalyst Accelerator Ogden is a program where participants travel to Ogden, Utah every-other-week for workshops, mentoring, and customer engagement. The program will kick-off with continental breakfast each morning at 8:00 AM followed by programming at 8:30 AM on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and will end each Friday at 12:00pm. On the “off weeks”, participants continue to conduct customer engagement and attend virtual meetings and workshops when necessary.

This program is an intense time commitment and a worthwhile investment into the future of your company. Two employees with decision authority for the company must be present and actively participating in the entire Accelerator. This program accelerates your business development process from a traditional two-years to three months. This is an exciting opportunity for your technology solution to be adopted into the Aerospace and Defense Industry, but that acceleration comes with a commitment to this program.

Participation in the Catalyst Accelerator Ogden is free to companies selected for the cohort. Participating companies, however, must cover their own travel and lodging costs. To offset these costs, the Catalyst Accelerator Ogden team works diligently to secure grant funding for up to $15k from a Corporate Sponsor; however, this funding is not a guarantee for the cohort.

Each participating company receives up to $5K per month of the Accelerator. The final check will be sent out once Accelerator program deliverables have been submitted. Deliverables include, but are not limited to, customer discovery logs, business development documentation, Demo Day pitch deck, and dutiful participation in cohort sessions for the 3-month duration. The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden works diligently to secure grant funding in the form of a Corporate Sponsor for each cohort; however, this is not guaranteed.

The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden accepts eight companies into each cohort. There is a spring and fall cohort.
The Accelerator team recommends all companies keep what they share during the Accelerator at a public level. With that said, NDAs are signed between cohort companies and individuals in the program with which they have to share sensitive information in order to participate in the program (e.g. the Accelerator management team and the Accelerator’s primary subject matter experts). Government employees are automatically under an NDA with all commercial companies they speak with, but industry participants are not. Companies will most likely feel the necessity to enter into an NDA with their Commercial Sherpas; however, it is up to each individual cohort company to decide with whom they wish to enter into an NDA.

Catalyst Accelerator Ogden uses SurveyMonkey’s Apply platform to manage our application, evaluation, and feedback processes. To view the SurveyMonkey Apply Data and Privacy information, please visit click HERE

The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden has many ways for you to become involved that will broaden your company’s brand awareness, create opportunities for partnerships, and contribute to our nation’s global position. The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden relies on a variety of sponsors to enrich its curriculum through social events and collision opportunities. Find more information about involvement opportunities here, and submit an Engagement Inquiry to discuss opportunities with the Catalyst Accelerator Ogden team. You can learn additional information in the prospectus.

Sherpas assist participating companies in navigating the complex Aerospace and Defense market by offering sound advice, helping with customer discovery, and assisting participating companies to make the connections they need to be successful. Participating companies will receive support from Air Force Sherpas, Commercial Sherpas, and Allied experts. Air Force and Allied Sherpas provide feedback from a military and Government perspective and guidance on how to approach individuals within these sectors. Commercial Sherpas offer the same from an industry perspective.

If you would like to become involved with the Accelerator Sherpa Program, contact us.

If you are a member of our Catalyst Accelerator Ogden cohort, the cost to use our facilities is covered by the Accelerator program. For our partners and those interested in using our facilities, they are available under reservation. Please contact operations to reserve a space, operations@catalystcampus.org. If you want to host an event on our campus, please contact the events team, events@catalystcampus.org.

The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden is partnered with the City of Ogden to lower the barrier of entry for technology adoption into the Department of Defense and drive modern capabilities to the warfighter. The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden supports Ogden’s focus on growing a robust and regenerative ecosystem that produces the innovation, workforce training, talent growth, and economic opportunities that the Utah Aerospace and Defense cluster needs to thrive. This collaborative ecosystem enables industry, small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, and venture capitalists to intersect with the Aerospace and Defense industry to create a community cluster, spark innovation, and stimulate business growth.

Catalyst Campus Ogden actively engages with community members, local government, chambers, and maintains strong partnerships with academic institutions. Catalyst Campus Ogden is a frequent member on panels and is a leading player in the Aerospace and Defense sector. The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden invites subject matter experts, Sherpas, and connections from the local Utah Aerospace and Defense cluster.

You can learn more about the Accelerator’s impact on the community and who it supports in the prospectus.

Catalyst Campus is not an educational institution; however, we are partnered with educational institutions. The Catalyst Accelerator Ogden includes a curriculum designed to accelerate the cohort companies’ business development and is taught by experts within the local community. Catalyst Campus is a non-profit, trusted, agnostic partner that facilitates connections to initiate, cultivate, and enhance public-private partnerships to accelerate solutions for the execution of the National Defense Strategy.