Chase Guttman, the Magellan of entrepreneurship

Photo of Chase Guttman

Who hasn’t dreamed of traveling the world while managing a successful business? If there is one person who embodies this lifestyle, it is Chase Guttman ’18. Chase is the founder of Heightened Visions, a drone photography, videography and education company. Award-winning travel photographer, author, avid traveler and social media influencer with 50,000 followers on Instagram, Chase is the most adventurous entrepreneur you will meet in your life. Always looking for the next eccentric travel challenge, the next best photo taken by his drone or the next unique story to tell, he is the definition of what is it like to be the ultimate travel entrepreneur.

This passionate traveler started his entrepreneurial journey very early in life. Back in middle school, he was making pocket money with his massage business. Such experiences taught him his financial savvy, an invaluable skill for someone with the desire to always travel.  To his mind, Chase’s entrepreneurial ventures are ways to finance his unique lifestyle full of travel adventures.

Of course, his talent does not stop with his artistic and journalism skills. He is also a marketing genius. While a junior at SU, he was highly successful at bootstrapping a full-fledged PR campaign. Indeed, during his sophomore year and in only a few months, he successfully published one of the first ever book written on drone photography, The Handbook of Drone Photography. In order to promote his book, his plan was well crafted. He only needed one prestigious media mention and other well-known outlets would pick up the news. After trying over and over again, he finally got his first media mention. Once the first domino fell, others quickly followed, and many media outlets published dozens of content pieces about his book. Travel + Leisure, The Telegraph, Business Insider, The Daily Mail and the New York Post are among the many publications that praised his book. With this success, Chase Guttman quickly realized the untapped opportunity in the drone market: the tremendous lack of education. He then started to teach drone photography at companies and universities. This is one of the reasons he decided to start Heightened Visions.

What is even more incredible about Chase Guttman is his ability to quickly learn from adversity. It is in his DNA. “Travel experiences are about learning. You have to approach every situation, every client, every sale differently” says the young photographer. By traveling, you put yourself out of your comfort zone. You need to walk out of the beaten path. This is the same in business. Of course, travel was not the only way Chase learned the entrepreneurial mindset. Mentors were also highly valuable in his life. His parents each gave him a piece of their photography and business backgrounds. SU’s teachers were also part of this mentors’ circle. “I always try to hang out with people who are way smarter than me,” says Chase while thinking about his mentors.

Chase graduates in May and this summer, he is teaching drone photography at the New York Times.  He recently incorporated as an LLC, and is building a client base with high profile clients like Procter & Gamble, Intel, GoPro, ESPN,  and Sofitel.

He is tracking the fast-growing drone sector, and scanning the horizon for opportunities.  As he builds his business base, he is also looking for the next travel destination, while sharing his passion with others.  He has already traveled to all 50 states and in 75 countries.

He is the recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Storytelling and Exploration.  Travel + Leisure Magazine hailed his work, “Stunning Drone Photography Captures Unique Perspective on the World.”  Three-time recipient and first American to win Young Travel Photographer of the Year, a prestigious international competition judged by museum curators and magazine editors, Chase was named a World’s Top Travel Photographer by Condé Nast Traveler.

Named a Three Best Travel Photography Blogger by USA Today, Chase has been published in National Geographic Publications, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet, Photo District News, The Guardian, CNN, BBC, ESPN and more.

Chase was the title subject of a Hollywood television pilot about his travel adventures called the “Thrill of the Chase” at the age of 15.  He visited his 50th and final U.S. state at the age of 17 and his 50th country by the age of 18.

During his travels to five continents, he has ridden ostriches, dove with great white sharks and heli-hiked, sleeping in ice hotels and on swamp platforms and consuming everything from whale blubber to a drink garnished with a severed human toe along the way.  He has rafted tidal bores on the Bay of Fundy, rescued baby puffins beneath the cliffs of Iceland, stood atop George Washington’s granite wig on Mount Rushmore, cage dove with great white sharks in South Africa, tracked jaguars through the jungles of Belize, crossed Saharan dunes by camel in Morocco, trapped eels on the Delaware River, rode with gauchos across the Uruguayan pampas and raced astride an ostrich on the African Cape.

Magellan was the first to circumnavigate the earth, launching in 1519.  His accomplishment is honored by the Order of Magellan, as well as a galaxy in the celestial hemisphere.  2019, the 500-year anniversary of Magellan’s launch, is auspicious timing for Chase to set off full-time on his entrepreneurial adventure around the globe. Like Magellan, he will be capturing sights not yet seen by the human eye, in a way they have not yet been experienced.  He is truly the Magellan of this generation – a digital cartographer of the world.

See his work here:

Story by Blackstone LaunchPad Global Media Fellow Quentin Rosso ’18

Photo by Blackstone staff