Aspen Academy Alums Present at Denver Startup Week 2021

  • Entrepreneurship
  • The Aspen Difference
Katie Becker

Aspen Academy alumni took the Zoom stage at Denver Startup Week in early October, in our panel session, “CEOs at Age 14: Key Learnings from Teen Entrepreneurs.” Moderated by Kristina Scala, we heard thoughtful answers to a range of questions that reminded us of the importance of tapping into the most creative people on the planet (kids!).

Participating students included recent alumni, Hogan Phelps (Fore Box, Class of 2021), Sofia Cooper (Tray Chic, Class of 2021), and Jack Watters (Trak Pack, Class of 2021) alongside now college students, Josh Hascall (The Chicken Business, Class of 2015), Emily Rudnick (Rudspice, Class of 2017), and Gabby Burgess (Bath Bombs for Good, Class of 2017).

Our students shared with an audience of adult entrepreneurs the key skills they learned through the process of starting businesses at such young ages, highlighting creativity, problem-solving, time management, working with mentors, iterating, improvising, and public speaking.They wowed with their poise, wisdom and confidence and reminded us all the long term benefits of a leadership focused, entrepreneurial education.

They also had great advice for schools and parents! Namely, that schools should all provide experiences in business learning and entrepreneurial ventures for kids, as well as consistent practice with the use of money! They commented on the opportunities they had at Aspen Academy to work with systems of economy in their classrooms, starting in Pre-Kindergarten. For parents, they suggested following the lead of their kid, watching what their child is naturally curious or passionate about and then letting them dig into it deeply, unraveling the threads of natural affinities and interests.

We are so grateful to our students who participated, we were truly in awe and loved hearing the impact of their Aspen Academy experiences years later. Want to watch the full session? CLICK HERE.

About the Author

Katie Becker, Executive Director of Future Holders

Katie’s mission is to re-center education practices on the most important thing: developing people. By focusing first on who is in front of us, and second on what we want to teach them, extraordinary results follow. She is praised as a leader, trainer, and speaker, demonstrating great awareness and empathy with direction and purpose. Katie grew her career at Aspen Academy as a teacher, instructional coach, and middle school principal, and she now leads the launch of Future Holders as the Executive Director.

Katie is a proud mother to Evelyn, Hugh, and Noah, spending as much time with her family as possible. She earned her undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Colorado Boulder and then moved to the space of education in 2007 earning her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a certified MBTI Practitioner, 7 Habits Trainer, and Love and Logic Facilitator. She is highly engaged in community causes that propel education systems into a more effective space.