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Catalyst banking on Barclays to boost Northern Ireland entrepreneurship

By John Mulgrew

Published 14/09/2016

Claire McCombe, private banker; John Mathers, Barclays corporate development director, and (front) Elaine
Smyth, head of programmes, Connect at Catalyst Inc
Claire McCombe, private banker; John Mathers, Barclays corporate development director, and (front) Elaine Smyth, head of programmes, Connect at Catalyst Inc

Northern Ireland's technology park Catalyst Inc has signed a major sponsorship deal with Barclays Bank. Catalyst, formerly the Northern Ireland Science Park, will now be assisted by experts from the bank, with Barclays also hosting events to help boost and grow the hub's Connect programmes.

Steve Orr, director of Connect at Catalyst, said: "We believe that the talent and ambition of entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland has the power to change the world.

"We're here to make that happen and through Connect we provide the way for our most experienced people to effectively and efficiently volunteer their time to share their experiences, contacts and collective intelligence to give our entrepreneurs an advantage.

"We are delighted to have Barclays as a partner, working with us to support our entrepreneurs and helping us to achieve our vision for Northern Ireland to have one of the most entrepreneurial economies in Europe by 2030."

John Mathers, corporate development director at Barclays, said the bank shares in its "ambition to support our innovative entrepreneurs".

"We've been impressed with the impact Connect has had, particularly in recent years," he said.

"Running any fast-moving, high-growth company takes substantial investment, from both an emotional and financial perspective.

"It's an investment we at Barclays want to support. High-growth businesses have a hugely positive impact; they create new jobs, new opportunities for investors and they help to galvanise economic growth as a whole.

"That's without even exploring the difference these companies can make to our day-to-day lives, through innovations in technology, medicine, communications and so much more."

Belfast Telegraph

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