Day in the Life: Arya Mar'at – Building expertise

In this blog, Innovation Consultant Arya Mar’at discusses his experiences since joining Catalyze almost 2 years ago.

Coming from a business and design background

Prior to my tenure in Catalyze, I pursued studies in International Business and Strategic Management, while making use of my skills as a graphic designer. I have always had a deep interest for art and design, yet, I knew that I wanted to work in the consulting industry for a company making a meaningful impact in  society. Catalyze stood out as a unique opportunity, aligning with my goal to make a direct positive impact.

In the beginning of my career in Catalyze, I was well equipped with business and management theories from my studies, but in practice, Innovation Consultancy is so much more than that. We need to have a wide skill set to manage and submit a project.

Joining Catalyze’s Starters Training

Starting at Catalyze, I was enrolled in the comprehensive Starters Training program, designed to train several foundational skills towards becoming top-notch Innovation Consultants. We dived into everything from understanding funding programs to time management, from figure making, proposal writing, to consortium building.

During this period, the learning curve was steep, but gradually, the puzzle pieces started falling into place, revealing a clearer picture whilst working on my first project, guided by my mentor. On top of that, Catalyze continues to provide us with ongoing learning and development training opportunities.

First projects

Initially, my team lead entrusted me with visual development tasks, translating business information and developing figures and pitch decks. I really enjoyed it, as it was a chance to blend my passion for design with the excitement of learning something new. As my work was highly appreciated, doors opened for me to contribute to their projects and learn about other technologies. I have since continued to deliver visual development support for other projects.

By doing this, I not only get to do the things that I love and that I am good at, but I also get familiar with many innovative projects and understanding the scientific aspects becomes much easier. In developing figures, I employ the belief that “if I can’t understand the figures that I make, then no one will be able to understand it.” This really drives me to make comprehensive step-by-step figures.

Working closely with a diverse range of clients

I find the dynamic collaboration with diverse clients truly fascinating. Each client has a unique set of needs, yet we all share a common goal: to refine their proposals and secure funding for their projects. For instance, when dealing with advanced TRL level projects such as the EIC Accelerator, the focus extends to crafting a compelling pitch deck and business proposal that mirrors the client’s brand identity. This involves presenting key figures such as commercialization and development timelines, sales forecasts, value chain details, and work packages (Gantt Charts).

On the other hand, when working on lower TRL level projects like Eurostars, the emphasis shifts. Here, a fully developed brand image may not be necessary in the application process, and the focus is on conceptual figures such as problem solution details, technology concepts, and other relevant metrics.

By working in these projects, I have developed a strong sense of the importance in presenting clear visuals for our clients within the pitch deck and proposal itself. This positive impression on investors builds trust, distinguishes their project, and ultimately persuades investors to explore the story behind the company. Hence, It is an essential component of effective communication that can significantly impact investment decisions. This is where I feel like I have built my expertise in within the company that I truly enjoy.

Striving for excellence means going the extra mile

I believe that tending to this seemingly small detail can greatly resonate with our clients. It goes beyond the conventional scope of grant writing, demonstrating our commitment to go the extra mile and ensure their proposal stands out. This not only highlights our dedication but also reinforces Catalyze’s commitment to being a comprehensive one-stop-shop for our clients’ innovation journey.



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