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Watson Institute Basecamp

Accelerating our Fellows’ impact through 1-3 day entrepreneurial training and community building workshops.

Basecamps for impact.

Basecamps are 1- 3 day workshops designed to help rising entrepreneurs and leaders from our Fellows’ communities to ideate solutions, design business models, and compellingly communicate their businesses and organizations to an external audience. 

The Watson Institute team facilitates training workshops, shares the Watson Institute Basecamp curriculum and planning materials, and provides a financial stipend to help organize and facilitate Fellow-led Basecamps. Fellows are empowered through their training to tailor the Basecamp structure and outcomes to their desired participant community.

How It Works

Step 1: Join

Apply and join one of Watson Institute’s prestigious Fellowships. Each Fellowship has specific requirements and impact metrics for participating entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders. You can learn more about the fellowships we offer here.

Step 2: Plan

During the Fellowship, in addition to participating in our award-winning curriculum, you will receive additional training, support, and a stipend to facilitate a Basecamp event in your community. You will engage with local leaders, companies, and groups to build an engaging agenda for participants.

Step 3: Implement

Fellows will facilitate a Basecamp alongside the community partners they engaged during the planning process. Basecamp participants are individuals from the Fellows’ local communities who are eager to gain entrepreneurial knowledge and skillsets.

Basecamps Hosted in 2021
Basecamp Participants
Countries Represented

The Watson Basecamps enhance your leadership and accelerate your impact:

Pay It Forward

Patrick Chandiga, Western Union Foundation Fellow

Patrick Chandiga, a Western Union Foundation Fellow, held a Basecamp in Uganda to equip refugee youth with design thinking skills and tap into their potential to develop local solutions to their communities’ everyday challenges. The theme of the Basecamp was “Don’t Just Be Youthful, Be Useful.” One partner, the South Sudanese Refugees Association (SSURA), has since chosen four participants to receive additional mentoring and support for their training events on business management for women and school awareness-raising.

Expand Into New Communities

Ahmed Fatani, Western Union Foundation Fellow

Ahmed Fatani, a Western Union Foundation Fellow from Saudi Arabia, partnered with the government of Saudi Arabia to expand and deepen the social innovation ecosystem across the country, including through a Basecamp model, and develop (in partnership with Watson Institute) a curriculum for ongoing training of aspiring social innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs. The goal of this partnership is to deepen the social innovation ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

Launch New Ventures

Yidi Zhang, Ford Fund Fellow

Yidi held her Basecamp in Silicon Valley with the generous support and partnership of an investment firm, supporting Chinese-heritage tech entrepreneurs. Yidi secured partnerships with UpHonest Capital, a Silicon Valley based early-stage fund that has invested in over 350 portfolio companies; INNW Institute, a company that helps entrepreneurs perfect their pitch; JJ Lake, a business innovation hub in Silicon Valley; and Silicon Valley Design Thinking Club. Together, these companies provided over $10,000. As a result of her Basecamp, Yidi decided to launch another venture with the investment firm partner.