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Watson Basecamp

A weekend bootcamp for aspiring young innovators and entrepreneurs, in partnership with Techstars Foundation and Western Union Foundation.

New dates for this Basecamp to be determined.

The trek to the summit begins at Basecamp.

The Watson Basecamp is a program aimed at high school and university students interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, and impact.

During the program, participants identify the main challenges facing their community, devise solutions for those challenges, develop a prototype, receive mentoring, and present their projects to a panel of experts for a prize.

Participants will also be fully immersed in the Watson experience. They’ll have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with current Watson students and meet the broader Watson community of mentors and champions.


The workshops focus on defining a problem and designing a solution for that problem during the program.


Each student will meet mentors who will challenge their assumptions, enhance their perspective, and expand their impact.


Students join a cohort of members with a variety of experiences and a common goal to impact the world.

What is Watson Basecamp?

This no-cost program is run in partnership between three organizations: Watson Institute, Techstars Foundation, and Western Union Foundation. The alignment between the missions of these three organizations and their a strong, purpose-driven cultures come together to create an inclusive entrepreneurial program.

This partnership Watson Basecamp was run in Spanish in Mexico City, Mexico in October 2019 and in English and virtually from October 9 to 11, 2020. Learn more about the participants’ experience during the Watson Basecamp:


First day
Participants get into groups and perform a deep dive on the greatest challenges facing their community using the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, root cause analysis, and a debate between the groups.

Second Day
On the second day, participants take on the challenges they identified and design, test, and create prototype solutions for them. They also meet with entrepreneurs and local leaders for mentorship sessions and end the day with a Master Course from an established entrepreneur.

Third Day
On the last day of the program, students put together presentations based on their progress on Friday and Saturday and pitch their project idea to a panel of experts. The winning team, chosen by the judges, will win a prize.

Boulder, Colorado

This Watson Basecamp is hosted out of Boulder, Colorado, an innovative hub nestled against the Rocky Mountains. Boulder’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is booming and students get to meet and interact with the local entrepreneurial community during the program.

The Basecamp Cohort

Watson Institute is home to young innovators and entrepreneurs from all over the world, where they build a powerful community of peers and friends for life. The cohorts, as diverse as they are, have in common a gritty idealism and a drive to make the world a better place.

What is Watson Institute?

Watson Institute is built on the belief that to solve the toughest challenges facing the world, we must equip the next generation with the necessary tools, network, mindset, and courage to unleash a lifetime of impact.

We are a reimagined model of education for next-generation innovators, leaders, and entrepreneurs, with locations in Boulder, Colorado, Boca Raton, Florida, and Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Is the Watson Basecamp for you?

Students who are part of this program are motivated to solve social or environmental problems and want to learn the tools to design solutions and put them into action.

The program is tailored for high school seniors and college students or recent graduates interested in a career in impact or launching a venture.