Baton Rouge-based MasteryPrep is the first young business to receive fundraising assistance from The Catalyst Fund, a local evergreen nonprofit, officials said Monday.

Charlie Davis, MasteryPrep’s co-founder and chief strategic officer, said Catalyst Fund officials will lead an investment round seeking $500,000 for expansion of MasteryPrep’s 12-state, 500-school business.

MasteryPrep officials reported 2014 sales of $3.5 million through November, when they won the Pitch Night competition during Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week.

Davis would not disclose the sales total for the first quarter of 2015 but said that total is 400 percent larger than that of the first quarter in 2014.

MasteryPrep markets a program developed by co-founder and President Craig Gehring to help high school students score high enough on the ACT college-preparatory test to gain admittance to college or even snag a scholarship. The company also trains teachers on ways to help students use the program.

Company officials report students improve their ACT scores by an average of three points on the 36-point exam.

“MasteryPrep has all the elements we look for in an entrepreneurial startup — a strong, passionate management team, a valuable solution to a pressing problem and a well-thought-out ‘go to market’ strategy,” said Jeanne Bayless, chief executive officer of The Catalyst Fund.