Catalyst Inc is an independent, not for profit organisation that is on a mission to build a community of innovators, so powerful, its people can change the world. Connect, the community-led support ecosystem, supports over 600 entrepreneurs per year in Northern Ireland, using its insight and energy to unlock the full potential of entrepreneurial ideas.
Connect’s flagship programme is Springboard, an intensive, in-business process that challenges, supports and expedites robust business models, including sales and marketing strategies, by leveraging the collective knowledge of a unique network of experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders in an open, nurturing environment. Springboard is using Oroson to streamline content, share critical information and maximise team collaboration amongst a large and ever-changing user group.
Director of Springboard John Knapton and Springboard Programme Coordinator Ellen Maguire tell us more:
The programme is open to companies with the ambition and potential to grow revenue to between £10Million and £100Million.
The sort of support we offer, as critical friends requires a lot of coordination, information sharing and follow-up. In order to do this successfully, we needed a method to communicate and collaborate as effectively and efficiently as possible with the Springboard participants and their mentors.
There is a steady flow of entrepreneurs joining Springboard. This could be one person representing each business or up to 10 people, to include senior decision makers.
The participants go through a 20-week process of pitching their business model and business plan to different, expert panels and intense workshops. This calls for a lot of information sharing including reports, spreadsheets and presentations. Springboard also shares a lot of programme materials.
Using email and instant messenger just wasn’t working for us.
Because of the number of participants and coordination needed, emails were completely unwieldy, and we were constantly getting requests to resend info as emails got lost in the myriad of people’s inboxes. We occasionally had issues with email being down, which meant everything ground to a halt.
With instant messenger type systems, the chronological display wasn’t helpful. Nothing was in context, just date order so it was difficult to track information flow, again, especially because of the numbers involved.
Oroson has provided a really simple way for us to share and centralise our content. Springboard and the participating companies just add all the content to contextual boards now to share and act on it. This keeps everything in one place and people can access it from anywhere. As the content remains front and centre on the board, this removes the issues we had with sharing content by email.
We could have 10-15 companies in the Springboard programme at any one time and at various stages of development. The information being shared between us and these companies is highly confidential. Oroson provides a secure way to share information with only those who should be privy to it. We create a board for each company and invite members to the board using their email address. As all our content is shared on Oroson, the streamlined joining process is a real bonus.
Communication with all the participants is much easier as they are all grouped by the boards. This means we no longer have to communicate or share content with each person individually by email. As communication is done at board level, it also keeps everyone in the loop, so they are all aware of what stage everything is at.
We have significant amounts of content to manage, with both Springboard and the participating companies uploading content. Because it is so visual, Oroson enables the Springboard team to open each board and get an immediate understanding of progress and anything that needs addressing.
The Oroson features keep everything so visual. The video links let us view videos within the board, the URL links display the image of the landing page and we can add images too.
“Oroson provides us with a platform that allows ease of communication and drives collaboration. It’s a simple way to share information and for people to act on that information. It really makes life easier for all involved in the process. What I like about Oroson compared to other content management tools is that everything is so visual - content isn’t just displayed as text, so it enables us to process the information much more effectively.”