VentureWoods has an abstract from HBR’s December article:
Based on Clayton Christensens disruptive-innovation model, catalytic innovations challenge organizational incumbents by offering simpler, good-enough solutions aimed at underserved groups.
Unlike disruptive innovations, though, catalytic innovations are focused on creating social change. Catalytic innovators are defined by five distinct qualities.
First, they create social change through scaling and replication.
Second, they meet a need that is either overserved (that is, the existing solution is more complex than necessary for many people) or not served at all.
Third, the products and services they offer are simpler and cheaper than alternatives, but recipients view them as good enough.
Fourth, they bring in resources in ways that initially seem unattractive to incumbents.
And fifth, they are often ignored, put down, or even discouraged by existing organizations, which dont see the catalytic innovators solutions as viable.