The Basement provides innovation space, mentorship and resources in support of UC San Diego's innovation and entrepreneurial focus. Alumni-founded, The Basement was launched in 2015 with the support of Jeff and Kim Belk '83, Forecast Ventures, Aryeh Bourkoff '95, LionTree LLC, and Mark Suster '91 of Upfront Ventures. In the spirit of UC San Diego's entrepreneurial DNA, The Basement brings together students, and alumni, ideas and inspiration, earnest ambition, and real-world experience. Student entrepreneurs can gather and be nurtured, and with alumni support and visionary leadership, they can grow companies and social innovation ventures that become the fabric of our community, creating jobs and inspiring a culture of ingenuity and impact with help from The Basement. All university students – regardless of college or department affiliation can access the resource. Community-facing workshops and programs offered by The Basement provide opportunities for alumni and community members to get involved.
The Basement’s mission is to stimulate, encourage and serve the entrepreneurial spirit of UC San Diego students by providing a co-work and incubation space. It is a campus-wide resource managed by the UC San Diego Alumni office with involvement from alumni and community leaders. The Basement works closely with Research Affairs through its Office of Innovation and Commercialization to structure and offer programming that serves the UC San Diego innovation and entrepreneurial community.
Jeff is managing director of Forecast Ventures, focused on developing and guiding global growth opportunities in the information and communication technology space. Belk spent nearly 14 years at Qualcomm Inc., where he served as senior vice president of strategy and market development. He currently serves on the board of directors for Peregrine, Interdigital Corporation, as well as the Wireless Life Sciences Alliances. He earned an M.B.A. from UC Irvine.
Aryeh is founder and the Chief Executive Officer of LionTree LLC, an independent investment bank based in New York City. Previously, he served as vice chairman and head of Americas Investment Banking at UBS where he held a seat on UBS's global Investment Banking Executive Committee. Before joining UBS, he served as a high- yield research analyst at CIBC World Markets from 1997-99 and Smith Barney from 1995-97. Bourkoff is a director on the boards of select private companies.
Mark is a partner at Upfront Ventures, a venture capital firm that backed both of his previous startups. Before joining Upfront, Suster was Vice President, Product Management at Salesforce.com following its acquisition of Koral, which he was the CEO of and founded. He was also the founder and CEO of BuildOnline, a European SaaS company that was acquired by SWORD Group. He received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Armin is the vice chancellor for advancement the University of Denver where he inspires a progressive vision for university advancement, and provides leadership for the university’s global engagement and philanthropy programs. He previously served as the associate vice chancellor for Alumni and Community Engagement at UC San Diego, and chief alumni officer and executive director for the UCSD Alumni Board of Directors (2007-2015). He is a seasoned advancement professional with more than 20 years of private and public sector experience. He received a bachelor of arts degree in communication from UC San Diego’s Revelle College, and an M.B.A. from the University of San Diego.