Thomas Carlson is the Founder, Managing Director, and CEO of ECatalyst, whose purpose is to transform developing communities through their entrepreneurs.
For nearly 22 years Thomas was a serial entrepreneur. He founded or co-founded six businesses in both the US and overseas in fields as diverse as construction, graphic design, and water bottling. He has an extensive cross-cultural background which includes living 10 years in the Middle East, traveling with significant cultural exposure in over 50 countries, and operating at different times in four other languages. He is fluent in Arabic. Thomas has also served as a professional educator, teaching recently as a Professor of Philosophy at CSU-Pueblo and PPCC. He has given guest lectures in many academic and professional contexts over the last 25 years on topics like business, startup principles, philosophy, theology, world religions, and cultural intelligence.
Before starting ECatalyst, Thomas trained on the MIT method of entrepreneurship and set up for-profit ecosystems with LIFE (The Leadership Institute for Entrepreneurs).
Thomas has his BA from Cornell University in Mathematics, Psychology, and Religion, and graduated summa cum laude in his MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He currently lives in Colorado Springs with his wife Stephanie and his two amazing red-headed kids.
ECatalyst’s purpose is to transform developing communities through their entrepreneurs. We believe that creating viral entrepreneurial growth in a developing community through Entrepreneurial Ecosystems is the only true and sustainable solution to poverty.
We believe in the power of entrepreneurship to create sustainable development through job creation and economic impact, and that SMEs* can transform not just individual lives but entire economies.
Our entrepreneurs work together in groups (cohorts) to develop their businesses and connect to other entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders. As these catalytic networks of stakeholders grow, it builds the local Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, the environment which spawns new entrepreneurial ventures and in which all entrepreneurs thrive.
ECatalyst is a US nonprofit that builds for-profit entities in developing communities which become the self-sustaining engines of new, growth-oriented business creation. Each of these locally-owned entities functions like a decentralized incubator made up of interconnected cohorts of entrepreneurs working together to refine their ideas, seek capital, and grow into economy-impacting businesses. As entrepreneurs gain traction, they move into more centralized cohorts with other entrepreneurs at similar stages of growth.