Company History

Catalyst is the result of the same thinking that sparks most innovations in the tech industry – the desire to build a better mousetrap. Here’s our story:

Today Catalyst’s entire business and cultural DNA is built on this unique model – working collaboratively with clients onshore using a data-driven approach to team assembly that optimizes the effectiveness of the Agile methodology and rapidly iterative variants of it.
Catalyst is also one of the first to deploy this methodology at an enterprise level and one of the first to receive an ISO 9001:2008 certification of Agile methodologies. Our analytical approach to team assembly enables onshoring, which makes Agile work by enabling close relationships with clients that ultimately make them more agile. With this model, Catalyst is turning the industry’s conventional belief about application delivery and team assembly on its head.
2013 Gartner names Catalyst a 2013 Cool Vendor for its US-centric, onsite/onshore model, 24-hour rapid response capabilities and "moneyball" approach to team assembly. These differentiators enable Catalyst to consistently deliver more productive, higher quality development services at lower costs than other outsourced vendors.
2011 The notion of a successful team assembled objectively from data was propelled into pop culture by the release of the movie Moneyball.
2004-2010 The company’s focus shifted to developing applications to demonstrate the benefits of this technology. As our business grew, Catalyst realized that the ability to choose new employees based on high performance rather than their credentials (which may or may not predict performance) justified a powerful business model – one enabling software to be built onshore in the US at a cost comparable to offshoring.
Catalyst executives also discovered an industry trend: the type of offshored projects that gave companies the most significant problems were those that required the highly collaborative, rapidly iterative approach that is the company’s specialty. During this decade the methodologies for doing this type of work evolved, with Agile software development emerging as one of the most effective approaches for rapid iterations.
2001-2003 Mike realized that having his academic mentor encourage him to pursue an interest outside of academia might be a sign that the academic career track was not for him. So he founded Catalyst, determined to build a better mousetrap for talent recruitment and team assembly. The company’s first job was to build an analytics-based engine for selecting candidates based on the actual determinants of high performance, not signals that people subjectively perceive to be relevant.
Late 1990’s Michael Rosenbaum was a graduate student and then a fellow, teaching and writing on economics and law. Struck by a huge gap between the importance that hiring managers attached to resumes versus the resume’s actual ability to predict success, Mike wondered if it was possible to assemble teams using data instead of subjective perceptions. His first instinct was to write an academic paper. His academic mentor, however, suggested he might prefer to try out his idea in the real world.