Student Programs  / Q & A

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Catalyst Past Events

  • 2013 Catalyst Showcase
    Over 100 Student & Youth Entrepreneurs Present Ideas at 2013 Catalyst Showcase Click here for event photos! On April 24th, the [..]
  • 2012 Catalyst Kick-Off
    Over 200 Student and Youth Entrepreneurs Kick-Off New Semester of the Catalyst Program! One by one, college students and teens [..]

Featured Entrepreneur

Diane Ivey :
Lady Dye Yarns, LLC

1. What kinds of students make GREAT Catalysts? Catalysts are people who want to make change, who have passion for their purpose?

Catalysts are willing to take risks to pursue their dreams and even if they hit obstacles or experience some failure, they continue to learn from the experience and find a way to make good things happen. They have the spirit of wanting to bring an idea to life!

2. Can the Catalyst Seed Grants received from the Catalyst Program be used as a stipend for team members?

No, teams cannot use Catalyst Seed Grants as stipends. The funds received must be used to purchase items to help launch your project/ business idea (i.e. supplies, materials to create products and/or prototypes etc.)

3. Does my project proposal have to be a part of a school course?

No, your project proposal doesn’t have to be part of a school course but in some cases it may be.

4. If I have a project that is part of a school project, do I have to complete all requirements for my course and Catalyst Program?

Yes, if your Catalyst Teams project is part of a course requirement, you must complete all of the course requirements in addition to the Catalyst Programs requirements.

5. Can Catalyst Seed Grants be used to implement a new aspect of an existing project/business idea?

Yes, you can use your Catalyst Seed Grant to add a new aspects to your existing project/ business in example of new products, programs, etc…

6. Can I do a solo project or do I need a team?

Yes, you can have a solo project for the first stage of the Catalyst Program ONLY. Applying for stages 2 &3 of the Catalyst Program you must have at least one partner. The reason we require you to assemble a team (even if it’s just one team member) is because it’s important to build a diverse team that can bring different skill sets to your business.

7. Do all of the members on a team need to be enrolled at one of the Catalyst Partner’s institutions or organizations?

Yes, all group members must be enrolled at one of the Catalyst Partner institutions and/or organizations (your team partners can come from different partners). If anyone of your team member does not attend any of the Catalyst partner institution and /or organization you must get approval from us. 

8. What does it mean when it says Catalyst Seed Grants are up to $500, $750 or $1,000?

We will carefully review every team’s expense budget and we will make the decision to approve part or all of the expenses proposed. This will help us support as many projects as possible. So you’ll need to look carefully at all of your proposed expenses. Make sure you stretch your funds as far as you can and be frugal by thinking creatively on ways to keep your expenses down.

9. Can teams keep any hardware and/or equipment (i.e. camera, printer, printing press, sewing machines etc.) purchased with Catalyst Seed Grant Funds?

No, hardware and/or equipment purchased with Catalyst Seed Grant funds are not to be kept by the teams. Teams are allowed to use the hardware and/or equipment they purchased while they are active Catalyst. Once team and/or team member(s) are no longer part of the Catalyst Program they must return all hardware and/or equipment back to their institution or organization. This will allow our Catalyst Partners to build capacity for future students who want to participate in the Catalyst Program.

10. What happens if I spent more money than what it was awarded?

Any cash beyond the awarded funds must be covered by the team or other financial sources. 

11. What if I can’t make it to any of the events?

Participating in the Catalyst events brings students together to learn, network, and get new resources. Every team must have at least one member attend each event.

12. What if I’m looking for an advisor/mentor to help with my project?

Let your institution and/organization point person know that you’re interested in a mentor. We’ll then work with them to identify a few potential mentors that could be a good fit.

13. What else does the Sandbox offer?

We host several pitch contests (outside of Catalyst Program ones), social innovator mixers (for connecting people) as well as workshops each year. In addition to the social events we also have an Accelerator Program (to help launch start-up businesses to the next level) & a Leadership Program (which offers leadership development). For more information on either of these programs, please visit Also make sure to stay connected to our FB page & Twitter to receive information on upcoming social events, updates on programs as well as application deadlines etc.