Catapult A platform for accelerating education

DSC04318 crop sm


  • Product & platform strategy

  • Naming

  • Messaging & Copy

  • Brand development

  • Website Design & Development

  • Image production

  • Video direction & production

Catalyst @ Penn GSE, an innovation center at the University of Pennsylvania, engaged the Foundry as early stage strategic partners in creating their new virtual EdTech accelerator – an online platform designed to help diverse entrepreneurs improve the efficacy of their products and to transform outcomes for both students and investors. Two years into our relationship, we’ve envisioned a research-centered ecosystem of tailored learning experiences, mentor engagement, and community building.

  • 1,000+ registered ventures

  • 40+ countries represented

  • 10k+ pieces of content

  • 100% engagement benchmarks exceeded

Section 1.Building the vision

Across diverse stakeholder groups – UPenn, Penn GSE, and Catalyst leadership as well as content partners, advisors, and entrepreneurs – we provided candid, strategic counsel, expert facilitation, and creative energy. Together, we shaped the vision for the platform, defined critical MVP priorities, crafted the road map, and sprinted into design and development.

The Foundry team has brought mission alignment, deep experience, and attention to detail to our collaboration. Three years in, they continue to act as true strategic and thought partners, helping us think creatively and technically, and then delivering beautiful work that delivers the results we’re after.

Photo of John Gamba
John Gamba Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Catalyst @ PennGSE

Section 2.Built to evolve

To support phased platform maturation, we leveraged emerging technology like Hasura to streamline query logic, simplify role and permission architecture, and accelerate build times. Catapult's phased expansion now includes multiple activity hubs ranging from assessment and mentorship to a robust content hub featuring over 5,000 pieces of content from 30 licensed partners.

Smart phasing

We worked closely with the Catalyst team to establish clear priorities, presenting a carefully crafted phasing plan to quickly launch a minimum viable platform (MVP) and road map for feature evolution.

Milken Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition

The recent integration of the Milken Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition spans a full marketing site and application, review, judging, and administrative portals.

2 6 new2 compressed

Hitting MVP targets

Like any startup, the platform is held to high performance standards and expected to achieve or exceed key benchmarks.

Section 3.The path to progress

For all its strategic complexity and technical accomplishment, Catapult is a journey for entrepreneurs seeking research-centered guidance to power their venture. We captured that essence in an elegant visual identity, abstracting performance graphs to evoke community and progress

3 0 Catapult conference mockup
3 1

Aligning brands

We helped Catapult carve its own niche while respecting the established guidelines of the school’s parent brand. The power of Catapult’s identity lies in how it leverages and represents the University of Pennsylvania through a fresh, autonomous expression.

Similar, but different