Catalyst is a long-format accelerator, providing early-stage startups in central Virginia with nine months of program support, including: $20,000 in grant funding, dedicated workspace, experienced founders-in-residence, monthly programming, dedicated staff, a large network of industry experts, and access to nearly $50,000 in additional resources.



Our particular focus is upon high potential teams whose core members are already living within commuting distance of our workspace: Third & Main, located on Charlottesville’s downtown mall. Essentially, we are somewhat of a “hometown” accelerator, best-suited to support regional, organically-grown teams.


scalable & FUNDABLE

Qualified teams will have developed a scalable product or service of some kind, made possible through a novel approach, design, method, or invention. Our program is best suited for those startups at a particular moment in their lifecycle: either headed toward their first round of funding—whether through outside capital, crowdfunding, or bootstrapping—or headed toward a next round of funding after an initial angel or seed round.


MARKET-READY with Traction

Teams should be at or in the market at the time of their application. Meaning, your product or service should already have its initial batch of customers even if that batch is a small as customer number one. The most qualified teams will be able to provide evidence of meaningful, yet perhaps early demand in the market—with the exception of biomed/biotech, which often face lengthy and regulated paths to market.


The Catalyst accelerator program is a multi-stakeholder initiative, thanks to funding from and a collaboration among a range of public and private organizations in Central Virginia. This broad collaboration leverages the resources of the wider ecosystem to not only support the select set of high-potential startups selected for the accelerator, but also trigger positive impacts upon the community-at-large.


While Catalyst is funded, in part, by the Batten Institute at the UVA Darden School of Business, the program is open by application to the community-at-large—we support teams regardless of their affiliation with the University.

We have been running programs to support early-stage entrepreneurs and innovators for nearly 20 years. Since 2000, the Batten Institute has provided a total of nearly $1.5 million in grant support to over 275 for-profit and non-profit startups, across a range of industries. These teams have gone on to raise upwards of $150,000,000 in outside capital.


Founders at Work.



Find Us.

HQ for Catalyst is located at “Third & Main,” a shared workspace on Charlottesville’s downtown mall at 225 E. Main St—the corner of Third Street and Main St.