Diverse Supplier Business Development

Growing Your Business

Capital One has a variety of mentoring opportunities to help businesses be successful. We take great pride in building capacity and creating development opportunities for diverse suppliers.

Catapult Program Brings Digital Expertise to Diverse Businesses

Sharing Capital One’s digital and innovative business expertise is at the heart of our award-winning Catapult program. Launched in March of 2017, Catapult is an annual program designed to help diverse business owners develop a solution to a critical business challenge - through either solving a complex business problem or creating a new product or service by leveraging the concepts and skills that they learn from the program. 

Developed and facilitated by Capital One’s Supplier Diversity team, in partnership with national certifying organizations, Catapult is an intensive, seven-month transformational journey for 10 diverse business owners. Designed to help them bridge the digital skills gap, Catapult offers participants instructional courses, collaborative thinking workshops, access to one-on-one meetings with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and regular meetings with a dedicated Advisory Board.

Core to the program’s success is how the team leverages the competitive strengths of Capital One - our innovation/technology focus, digital labs, and experienced and talented associates. Capital One associates teach most of the program’s instructional courses, conduct SME sessions, and sit on the Advisory Board. Upon the completion of the program, participants will have received the knowledge and tools that they need to innovate and disrupt their business and, ultimately, their industry.

Diverse business owners apply to participate in the program, which culminates in a pitch competition. Participants present their learnings and proposed solution to a panel of judges, with the winner receiving a cash grant to assist with implementation of their digital solution.

Everyone Wins

Just by participating in the program, all the businesses “win.” They benefit from classes like Design Thinking, Strategic Measurement, and Digital Foundations. In addition, all participants have access to one-on-one sessions with an Adviser and SMEs across a wide variety of business-related topics and disciplines. According to Unoma Okorafor, the 2019 winner, “The learning, the community, the environment...it’s just been an amazing experience.”

As part of the application process, business owners are asked to submit a short video describing their business and a unique business challenge that they are currently facing. Some of our business owners have expressed a little trepidation about creating a video, but according to Unoma, “For somebody who’s thinking about applying for the program I would say do it, and do it now! Get in front of that camera, take that video, and just be as authentic as you can and let your excitement about your business show through.”

Great advice - and timely! The Supplier Diversity team is in the process of accepting applications for the fourth annual program, which will kick off in March 2020 and be held in The Garage in Plano. Interested in participating? The team would love to hear from you!