Today, I start a new adventure. I am joining the LENA Research Foundation in Boulder, Colorado. LRF is a 501(c)3 with roots extending back to 2004. LENA stands for Language ENvironment Analysis. It is also the name of their "verbal pedometer" device that records speech and, most importantly, tracks the conversation turns of small children. 

LENA Research Foundation
LENA Research Foundation is focused on children aged 0 to 5.
The technology is being used to conduct ground-breaking language development research all over the world. It has also been used to detect, diagnose and support early treatment of language delays and disorders like autism. The deaf and hard of hearing community has embraced the little 'iPod" device and has achieved great results. And recently, the foundation has shifted focus toward using the LENA tools to do something about language deficits for disadvantaged youth.   

The critical, watershed project to begin making a difference is Providence Talks, the winner of this year's Bloomberg Philanthropies $5M grand prize. The focus is children aged 0-2 in low SES homes. It's an audacious project. 

I'm thoroughly excited because of our mission-focused team and the opportunity to make a difference. 

 
 
Code.org is a non-profit foundation founded in the latter half of 2012 that wants to dramatically grow computer programming education at a global level. They are motivated by the worldwide shortage of computer programming talent. At the same time, less than 20% of the states count coding classes toward high school graduation. As an initial assault on the problem, the organization aims to reduce degree to which learning a computer language appears to many to be an daunting, intimidating challenge. The video they just posted is well done and does a great job of conveying their message. Read more about them at Code.org
Code.org™ and the Code.org logo are trademarks of Code.org.  

 
 
The last several years have seen the Front Range of Colorado bloom when it comes to a dynamic entrepreneurial community. A client recently asked me about networking and entrepreneurial learning opportunities of which I was aware, and I put together the following list.

For newcomers or those that have been living an insular corporate existence, these are excellent examples of the many Front Range venues available to learn new stuff, meet interesting people, and feel more invigorated.  And, if you are in the midst of a challenging situation for your small business, these may get you connected with folks that can help you close your gaps.

1)  Boulder StartUp Meetup - Coordinated by Brian Tsuchiya, this meets weekly on Wednesday evenings in Vim's 'cozy' offices in Boulder/Gunbarrel.  The topics cycle each week through the following themes: Funding, Entrepreneurship, Sales & Marketing, and Technology & Operations. There are usually a couple presenters each week with ample time for questions, feedback and general networking. Attendance is usually in the range of 30-50.