Barclays and Catalyst Inc set to spark innovation in Northern Ireland

Barclays has announced a major sponsorship deal with Catalyst Inc, Northern Ireland's biggest burgeoning tech hub.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 19th September 2016, 10:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:31 pm
Claire McCombe, private banker, left, with John Mathers of Barclays and Elaine Smyth, Connect at Catalyst Inc.
Claire McCombe, private banker, left, with John Mathers of Barclays and Elaine Smyth, Connect at Catalyst Inc.

The announcement highlights the bank’s commitment to supporting the ambitions of local high growth businesses and entrepreneurs.

Catalyst Inc (previously Northern Ireland Science Park) was established in April 2002 and is now widely recognised as the key local driver and hub for entrepreneurial activity within Northern Ireland’s knowledge economy through Connect.

As part of the new partnership, Barclays will provide domain experts and host events to support Connect’s various programmes and the organisation’s aim to develop a peer-driven community to support startup businesses and scale them. In addition,

Connect’s network of entrepreneurs will now have access to Barclays High Growth and ( ) offering, which includes tailored funding on both the business and personal side.

“At Barclays, we share Catalyst Inc’s ambition to support our innovative entrepreneurs and we’ve been impressed with the impact Connect has had, particularly in recent years,” said corporate development director for Barclays in the province, John Mathers.

“Running any fast-moving, high-growth company takes substantial investment, from both an emotional and financial perspective. It’s an investment we at Barclays want to support.”

High-growth businesses, he added, have a hugely positive impact, creating new jobs, new opportunities for investors and helping to galvanise economic growth as a whole.

“That’s without even exploring the difference these companies can make to our day-to-day lives, through innovations in technology, medicine, communications and so much more.

Welcoming the sponsorship Steve Orr, director of Connect at Catalyst Inc, said “We believe that the talent and ambition of entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland has the power to change the world. We’re here to make that happen and through Connect we provide the way for our most experienced people to effectively and efficiently volunteer their time to share their experiences, contacts and collective intelligence to give our entrepreneurs an advantage. We are delighted to have Barclays as a partner working with us to support our entrepreneurs and helping us to achieve our vision for Northern Ireland to have one of the most entrepreneurial economies in Europe by 2030.”