OUR STORY

It’s no secret that entrepreneurs who work together, thrive together – just ask us. When we started Catapult in 2012, we were just a couple of startup co-founders who teamed up with a couple of attorneys from Foley & Lardner LLP. We wanted to build more than just an incubator for tech companies. We wanted to build a peer selected community where operating 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 we did. Through mentors, service providers, investor referrals, and fellow founders, the connections at Catapult open doors that help you grow your business.

YOU WILL BE SURROUNDED BY

Founders

Smart. Hardworking. Innovative. Collaborative. Driven. These words describe our founders. We are a diverse group of founders in a variety of verticals with a similar mission: to grow our companies. It’s not easy and it’s not always pretty. But we wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

Tech Startups

Tech startups with business traction. Traction could mean a variety of things: funding, product-market fit, customers. You’ll have a network of startups that are working on similar challenges and celebrating similar successes. When you ask a question to your fellow founders, you will know you can trust the advice.

Downtown Chicago

Not many startups can boast 25th floor views in the heart of River North. Look up from your computer to enjoy the amazing vistas from your private office. Hungry? Walk a block in any direction to find great food and drinks. Need a break? Jump on the complimentary water taxi for a breather.

WE ARE NON-PROFIT

Catapult is the only non-profit community for startups with business traction. We do NOT take equity in our companies. Our mission? To help you succeed. Our corporate sponsors help us in supporting that mission. 

 
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"As a service provider working to solidify our reputation in the technology and startup space, it’s important for us to be at the forefront of the industry. Our relationship with Catapult enables our team to be in touch with the disrupters and decision makers who are shaping the future of the Chicago technology industry. We meet with the Founders quarterly to provide guidance and expertise on relevant topics, such as pro forma financial statements to send to investors, state and local tax issues and the Chicago lease tax, while at the same time hearing about founders’ current concerns and issues. For us, the relationships with the companies extend beyond their time at Catapult and often turn into lifelong partnerships."

- Nicole Hoague | Plante Moran

 

The Catapult Experience

Peer Selection: Catapult adheres to a peer selection model. Potential new companies are vetted and voted in by the founders of the resident and alumni startups. Companies are judged on business idea, traction, team, and how they can contribute to the Catapult community.

Help Me Help You: Catapult companies are in similar stages in the startup life cycle. Positive peer pressure fosters an environment of hard work, ambition, and dedication. Catapult is a supportive, trusting environment where founders feel comfortable sharing challenges and asking for help.

Graduation: After up to two years of being surrounded by the brightest founders, mentors, and sponsors, companies graduate to their own spaces. Don't worry - once a Catapulter, always a Catapulter. We offer a variety of alumni programming and events - alumni are always welcome back!