DSW Spotlight on Basecamp Powered by Chase for Business
Every year, the heart of Denver Startup Week can be found at Basecamp powered by Chase for Business. Located at the Commons on Champa (1245 Champa Street) and open to the public throughout the week, Basecamp is a place to network, chill, get work done or hang out with new and old friends. It is art, it is innovation, it is connection: all for free, and all for you.
We were lucky enough to get to talk with Katie Payer, President of Katie Payer Consulting and the Basecamp Programming Lead and Chad Person, CEO of Bowtie.co and the artist behind the amazing installation pieces at Basecamp to learn what they had to say about the space and its upcoming programming. Castle Searcy, Creative Director of Basecamp, was not available to interview but trust we’ll be checking in with her (and her awesome track) throughout Denver Startup Week.
What IS Basecamp?
Katie: Basecamp is a place where people can plug in, fuel up, meet up, and get exposure to everything Denver Startup Week. It’s a total blast. We’re going to have two tents of stellar programming and fun activities. Not to mention people can co-work, attend mentoring sessions, pitch to investors — you name it. Plus, there will be free meals and happy hours throughout the week. There is just going to be constant stuff happening with many, many things to do and ways to jump in.
What are you most excited about this year?
Katie: We are expanding the footprint of Basecamp so it’s the biggest it has ever been. In addition to everything that’s going within the Commons on Champa, we’re also filling up Sculpture Park with programming and activities (move over, dancing aliens!).
Chad: Last year, my pop-up exhibition with Black Cube, the Prospector (see picture below), was on display outside of Basecamp. This year, we have taken the concept even further and added an interactive piece to invite bystander involvement. Art gets taken so seriously, but in startup culture we try not to take ourselves too seriously, so it’s a perfect match. People can jump within the prospector’s pan, making it more a holistic installation than just a monument.
Whoa! How big is that prospector?
Chad: 45 feet. He’s monstrous. And we’re going to have inflatable clouds, gigantic trees and an interactive gold pan. Everything will be live and accessible from day one (Sept. 24).
In addition to jumping around with the Prospector, how can someone maximize the value of attending Denver Startup Week?
Katie: If you can just set aside a whole day to hang at Basecamp you’ll be able to experience awesome programing, have a coffee meeting, and even get work done with our fast and free wi-fi. But definitely don’t spend all your time working. Use your time throughout the week to have conversations and meetings and drop in on thoughtful programming that may not necessarily be in your wheelhouse. You’ll definitely learn some cool stuff and make great connections.
Chad: There is a challenge to Startup Week and that is that everything sounds great when you read about it and sign up. I’ll often have to choose between sessions that are on at the same time. So if I go to one, and it’s not what I thought it was going to be, I’ll leave after ten minutes and go to the other. That would be my advice: if you’re not super excited, bounce to the next.
Basecamp is powered by Chase for Business. Can you tell us how Chase has contributed to its success?
Katie: Chase for Business has been with us since the beginning of Basecamp. Honestly it wouldn’t happen without them. They bring so much more to the table than financial sponsorship. They help bring in big name speakers, they keep a team on-site for support, they organize and speak at sessions, they provide great mentoring and advice — it’s really endless. They are super engaged.
What is your favorite part of Denver Startup Week?
Chad: I just couldn’t count the number of professional connections I’ve made during Denver Startup Week. As a tech entrepreneur myself, I’ve found it easy to get siloed into your own space and your own work. It can be all-consuming. So I love that one time a year, tens of thousands of us all interact — at Basecamp and beyond. Share stories and learn from and benefit from each other. That’s the work of the week. All those collisions lead to new opportunities and new solutions, both personally and professionally.
What are some of the ‘can’t miss’ sessions at Basecamp?
Katie: As always, there are so many, so here are just a few I’m jazzed about:
- Wanda James: The Woman Who is Simply Pure (9/24 | 12–1 p.m.)
- Fireside Chat With Kimbal Musk (9/24 | 2–3 p.m.)
- Space: Denver’s Next Frontier (9/25 | 8–9 a.m.)
- Fueling Entrepreneurs . . .While Being An Entrepreneur (9/25 | 12–1 p.m.)
- Local News Startups: A Changing Journalism Ecosystem (9/26 | 12–1 p.m.)
- Making an Impact While Making Money: For-Profits Creating Social Change (9/28 | 12–1 p.m.)
- TechStars is taking over Thursday again this year, so check out all four (!) sessions they are hosting too (9/27 | 11–4 p.m.) Plus, sign up to pitch TechStars and get a coveted spot to pitch to their Screening Committee for the 2018 Boulder class.
All of this phenomenal programming is only available to Denver Startup Week registrants! Registration takes moments, and everything is free. We will see you at Basecamp!