Camp Inc. is located just outside the beautiful mountain town of Steamboat Springs, in northwest Colorado. Steamboat is best known for being a world class ski and mountain bike destination, and producing more winter Olympians than any other town in the USA. So what does this small town of overachievers’ think of Camp Inc.? I would say they are pretty impressed.
As a ‘Steamboat local’ working at Camp Inc., I get to tell my friends and acquaintances about the amazing things going on just up the road. I talk about the innovative ideas that come from these young entrepreneurs. How I have the opportunity to help these young campers take an idea and develop it into a pitch that is worthy of going head to head with any Shark Tank contestant. How these young campers are coming up with real life solutions to very real problems, solutions that could be implemented and commercialized not in years to come but in weeks or months.
The skills that these young campers develop over a two and a half week period are really quite amazing. The testament to this is ‘Pitch Day’ at the historic Chief Theater in downtown Steamboat, where the campers get up on stage and present their pitch to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs and investors.
Steamboat locals ask me; “so do the kids come up with good ideas?” I tell them: “No, not good ideas, great ideas.” I usually go on to explain the details of these young entrepreneurs’ business pitches, at which point I usually get asked: “So, can I come along to this event?” Of course the answer is always: “Yes, we would love to see you there.”
Not only are local people impressed, but also local business leaders think this is a very cool program for kids to be involved in. It’s been great to have people from successful, Steamboat based, entrepreneurial companies, such as Honeystinger/Big Agnes, Smartwool, Moots, and Backcountry Deli, involved in the Camp Inc. program. These entrepreneurial business leaders have also been very impressed with what these kids can produce in such a short period of time.
Currently we are kicking off the second session of Camp Inc. and I’m looking forward to some amazing new ideas that will be developed into great business pitches. So if you’re wondering what’s going on just up the road in Steamboat Springs, I invite you to see the final product at our next pitch day at the Chief Theater on Friday, July 21st (live stream available as well). Who knows, maybe Steamboat will be famous for not only producing great winter Olympians, but also great entrepreneurs.
David Poussard is a resident of Steamboat Springs. He has a Masters in Entrepreneurship and has been involved with a number of successful companies over the past few years. He recently launched an internet radio station.