Getting Investment Ready | Kick Starter & Catalyser

Social enterprise Catalyser is on a mission to help corporates increase their impact in the communities they support.

“The more businesses we speak to the more we see that people are caught up in manual processes. Companies are administering the giving but now they can work on having the biggest impact possible,” says Aivee Robinson, Co-Founder of Catalyser.

Catalyser is a customisable software platform that enables businesses to support not-for-profits through workplace giving, sponsorship and volunteering.

Since launching in late 2015 the social enterprise has facilitated more than AU$2 million in donations.

“The flexibility of the platform is what is resonating as it is perfect for a corporate environment. We’re excited to be disrupting the giving space,” says Aivee.

In 2017 Aivee and co-founder Angela Kwan decided to apply for Kick Starter – their enterprise was nearing investor-ready stage and they needed structured and independent advice to secure funding.

Aivee and Angela were attracted to the focused and tangible nature of Kick Starter, along with the access to mentors who provided a different perspective for their social business.

"Kick Starter helped us to put structure around the enterprise that founders tend to do organically. It also allowed critical thinking that we don't normally have time for day to day, as our business is moving so quickly and we are constantly pivoting," explains Aivee.

From the outset, Aivee and her two mentors from Macquarie Group scheduled the themes for each of their mentoring sessions. Over 12 weeks they covered Catalyser’s social mission, profit and loss, forecasting and cash flow, with the aim of creating a business plan which was submitted at the end of the Kick Starter program.

“We felt so fortunate having such great minds on our challenges. Our mentors came at it from a different angle and they were focused on the best possible outcome for the business,” says Aivee.

At the end of the 12-week program Catalyser was awarded a $10,000 grant as one of the winners of Kick Starter 2017.

“We were so honoured to win but going through the business planning process was even more valuable, as was securing a long term mentor via Kick Starter who continues to provide strategic advice and invaluable insights around capital raising and growth,” says Aivee.

Since completing Kick Starter, Catalyser has experienced rapid growth with the employment of three staff and financial backing from Telstra.