Catapult Chicago

It’s no secret that entrepreneurs who work together, thrive together. The founders of Catapult wanted to build more than just an incubator for tech companies. They wanted to build a peer-selected community where startups would have the opportunity to leverage experience from not only their peers, but also Chicago’s incredible business network. And that’s exactly what they did. Through mentors, service providers, investor referrals, and fellow founders, the connections at Catapult open doors that help startups grow their business.

About

In 2012, Ryan Leavitt and Vishal Shah (Co-Founders of LearnCore) were looking for something that didn’t exist to take their startup to the next level. Their business had already begun generating revenue and they were ready to seriously scale their company but at the time, Chicago only offered support for early concept companies and later stage ventures seeking big funding. The idea for a new type of coworking emerged: Get the best people in Chicago with the best companies in the same place, and amazing things will happen. With that in mind, Leavitt and Shah teamed up with colleagues Chris Cain and Galen Mason of Foley & Lardner LLP and opened Catapult Chicago.


Over the last 8 years, Catapult has run with the same peer-selected model to foster a community that focuses on collaboration. Catapult looks for digital tech startups with proven traction - which often means they've gone through a round or funding, and are generating users and/or revenue. Catapult is industry agnostic, but all startups are at similar stages of growth and therefore experiencing the same growing pains that come with scaling. Upon meeting these requirements, companies then pitch to all current founders, some alumni and members of the Catapult board. Once accepted, companies are able to stay for up to two years, and Catapult provides a variety of events, programming and mentorship to help companies scale. 

 

Catapult’s success can be contributed to the community cultivated through founder empowerment and experience sharing. Today, 86% of Catapult’s startups are operational or have been acquired. Catapult’s peer selection process can be described as the “secret-sauce” in Catapult’s success. On average, companies who incubate in Catapult scale their company 187% and have an average annual revenue of $2.9 Million. Since 2012, Catapult has incubated over 52 companies with 90+ founders who have raised over $309 Million. Each year, Catapult’s community grows with successful alumni, mentors and sponsors who give back to the next wave of Chicago tech startups. 


Services

Accelerators and Incubators

  • Accelerator
  • Incubator

Business Planning

  • Business Plan Consulting
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Demographic and Census Data
  • Diversification
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Forming a Business
  • Identification and Research of Foreign Markets
  • Market Plan Development
  • Market Research

Buying or Selling a Business

  • Buying or Selling a Franchise
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
  • Purchasing or Selling an Existing Business
  • Tax Services
  • Valuation

Economic and Site Development

  • Economic Forecast
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Lease Review
  • Revitalization
  • Site Location Assistance
  • Tax Credits
  • Watershed Planning

Events and Community Building

  • Hackathon / Startup Week or Weekends
  • Neighborhood Fairs and Festivals
  • Pitch Events
  • Startup Drinks

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Angel Investment
  • Bonding
  • Budget, Financial Statement and Cash Flow Training
  • Crowdfunding
  • Debt Funding
  • Equity Funding
  • Government Funding
  • Grant Funding
  • Insurance Requirements
  • Loans
  • Matching Funds
  • Microloans
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Revenue Based Financing (i.e. factoring)
  • Tax Credits
  • Technology Grants
  • Trade Show Financial Assistance
  • Venture Capital

Human Resources, Workforce and Talent

  • Apprenticeship
  • Employee Development
  • Hiring and Firing
  • Insurance
  • Policies and Templates
  • Recruiting
  • Retention
  • Workforce Incentives
  • Workforce Training

Import and Export Assistance

  • Certification and Licensing
  • Financial Assistance for Exporting Activities
  • Identification/Research of Foreign Markets
  • Locating Foreign Distributors
  • Networking/Exploring Exporting
  • Trade Education and Training

Legal Services

  • Contract Review
  • Employee Relations
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Forming a Business
  • Labor Relations
  • Lease Review
  • Patent Seminars
  • Patent, Trademark & Copyright Information

Libraries and Research

  • Business Research Resources
  • Demographic/Census Data

Management Issues

  • Human Resources
  • Insurance Requirements
  • Leadership/Professional Development
  • Recruiting Assistance

Manufacturing, High Tech, Life Sciences Development

  • Augmented / Virtual Reality and Holographics
  • Commercialization
  • Hazardous Waste Generation Avoidance Training
  • Health and Safety Training
  • High Tech Development
  • Industrial Technology Research
  • Life Sciences Development
  • Manufacturing Development
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Quality Improvement (Supply Chain, Six Sigma)
  • Science/Bioscience Seminars
  • Technology Transfer

Marketing and Sales

  • Advertising/Brochure Design
  • Award Recognition
  • Call Center Services
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Demographics/Census Data
  • E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Identification/Research of Foreign Markets
  • Market Plan Development and Training
  • Market Research
  • Student Marketing Projects
  • Website Development

Mentoring

  • Formal Mentoring Programs
  • One-on-One Counseling
  • Peer Mentoring

Networking and Associations

  • Demographically Based
  • Geographically Based
  • Home Based
  • Industry Specific
  • International Trade
  • Small Business/General

Nonprofit and Social Enterprise

  • Accounting
  • Board Development
  • Funds Development
  • Human Resources
  • Organizational Audits
  • Strategic Planning
  • Technical Services

Product Development

  • Patent Information
  • Product Assembly and Packaging
  • Product Design and Development
  • Prototype Development
  • R&D Support

Regulatory Compliance

  • Bonding
  • Certification
  • Codes
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Government Requirements
  • Insurance Requirements
  • International Regulatory Compliance
  • Patent Information
  • Registration, Licenses and Permits
  • Trademark and Copyright Information

Space

  • Commercial Kitchen Facilities
  • Conference/Meeting and Event Space
  • Coworking
  • Lease Review Assistance
  • Makerspace / Hackerspace
  • Office Space
  • Retail Space
  • Site Location Assistance

Starting a Business

  • Business Research Resources
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Forming a Business

Tax Services

  • State and Federal Tax Training
  • State Tax Credit Information
  • Tax Credits
  • Tax Preparation Assistance
  • Tax Registration

Technical Assistance

  • Bookkeeping/Accounting Software Training
  • Technology Transfer
  • Virtual Consulting and Online Services
  • Website Development

Training

  • Bookkeeping/Accounting Software Training
  • Budget, Cash Flow and Financial Statements Training
  • Business Management Training
  • Business Plan Training and Assistance
  • E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
  • Health and Safety Training
  • Human Resources Training
  • International Trade Education and Training
  • Marketing Plan Training
  • Online Courses and Videos
  • Startup Classes
Primary ContactKelly Pease
Address227 W Monroe Street
Suite 5200
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone(312) 224-8006