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Launching in 2023, Providence Pre-Catalyst (PPC) will help Providence-based ventures take their businesses to the next level with trainings that grow and sustain Providence’s design and creative sector businesses.

Envisioned as a primarily virtual series, over the course of two months PPC participants will participate in businessworkshops targeted to their early stage design businesses, and have access to business coaching in a small cohort setting.

While the full Design Catalyst program is ideal for businesses that already have a few successes under their belt, there lacks a mechanism to help our city’s most innovative minds dig into their ideas for a business and get these businesses to fruition. Enter the Pre-Catalyst Program.

Please be aware that you can only apply for one program: either the Pre-Catalyst Program or the Design Catalyst Program.

The Program and Schedule+

Participants will hone their business idea/strategy in this free-of-cost workshop-based program, utilizing peer-to-peer exploration and expert coaching within an intensive four-week time period.

Full-attendance is required of participants from January 9th, 2023 to February 1, 2023.

The Pre-Catalyst Program Includes:

  • Four Weeks of two-hour virtual classes meeting twice weekly on Mondays and Wednesday from 6-8 PM beginning on January 9, 2023. Classes have rotating instructors who are experts in their given fields.
  • Three additional weekly virtual coaching sessions on Saturdays from 10-11:30 AM (the 13th, 20th, and 27th of January). You will be placed into a small cohort of 3-5 to meet with a business coach who will remain with you throughout the four-week program.
  • We will host a final (most likely in-person) gathering on the evening of Wednesday, February 1, 2023 to celebrate the completion of the program.


Week 1 |  Week of January 9, 2023
Monday, January 9 – Visioning Your Business 
Wednesday, January 11 – Personal Growth Management

Week 2 | Week of January 16, 2023  
Monday, January 16 – MLK Jr. Day – No Session 
Wednesday, January 18 – Product Development 

Week 3 | Week of January 23, 2023
Monday, January 23 – Market Evaluation and Pricing: Who Wants it and For How Much?
Wednesday, January 25 – The Nuts and Bolts: Finances and Legal

Week 4 | Week of January 30  
Monday, January 30 – Bringing it Home 
Wednesday, February 1 –  “Final Showcase”


To be eligible for the Pre-Catalyst program you must:

  • Be of low-moderate income. CLICK HERE for reference.
  • Maintain your primary residence in the city of Providence.
  • Have an established creative or design practice that could potentially scale up to a small business or microenterprise (five or fewer employees including the owner(s) and paid interns. Does not include: contract workers and volunteers). If you already have a microenterprise, it must be based in the city of Providence, RI.

Applications for Providence Pre-Catalyst’s inaugural cohort  will open on November first, 2022.

For more information we are hosting two info sessions for both
Providence Pre-Catalyst and Providence Design Catalyst

Info Session 1:
Tuesday November 15th, 2022 | 6pm

Info Session 2:
Wednesday December 7th, 2022  6pm

Still have questions?

For more information

Contact Muggs Fogarty (muggs@designxri.com)


City of Providence

CIC Providence