Harrisburg business accelerator launches first group of entrepreneurs

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - Catamaran, an offshoot of Harrisburg design company AndCulture, is celebrating its first launch of three local businesses.

Catamaran was started in October 2017. Shortly after in January, it recruited three entrepreneurs: Martha Harris (www.fizikaflex.com), Justin Stimpson (www.daddiobox.com), and Mark Wieder (www.poprietor.com).

"We really want to retain the talent and industry here," said Lauren McAteer, director of Catamaran.

Each entrepreneur received the equivalent of $35,000 worth of design, engineering and enterprising resources from Catamaran's team.

"Intentionally, the accelerator is meant to be a pressure cooker, fast-paced. This is not perfect; it's about progress," explained McAteer.

One of the entrepreneurs, Martha Harris launched FizikaFlex in April. FizikaFlex is a digital health scrapbook, meant to lessen the possibility of dementia in older adults who are at risk because of cognitive decline.

"The year I started Fizika, my mother died of vascular dementia. It was a painful and agonizing death," said Harris.

Harris says without Catamaran, she would have never been able to get her product off the ground and running.

"They've given us a tremendous gift and it's up to us now to nurture that gift," she said.

Catamaran says it takes three percent of the startups' profit and distributes it back into a pool for the entrepreneurs to keep them connected and afloat.

Applications for Catamaran's next cohort are available now through July 2.  They will begin in September.

For more information about Catamaran visit: www.catamaran.cc

If you're interested in learning more about FizikaFlex, you can contact Martha Harris at martha@fizikagroup.com or at 717-575-7465.

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