Over the past decade, I’ve developed a very close friendship and work collaboration with Phil Weiser. Phil is now the Dean of the CU Law School. Prior to this he spent several years in the Obama Administration, most recently as the Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation to the National Economic Council Director. We first met when Phil was running Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, an organization he founded at CU Boulder.
Phil is an incredible thinker, totally understands entrepreneurship, is on a quest to level up law school education, and is my guide to all things politics. Simply put, he’s awesome.
He’s also hiring two positions – both of which report to him. If you are interested in these areas, I strongly encourage you to apply as Phil is a remarkable person to work with, and for.
Director of Communications and Public Relations: responsible for improving and expanding written and electronic communication within the Law School and for developing/ maintaining a public-relations program for the Law School. The Director will further serve to develop and implement an aggressive strategy to use traditional and innovative media work with the External Affairs team inorder to communicate the Law School’s research, teaching, and service excellence to external audiences.
Director of Information Technology: oversees all technology-related responsibilities and efforts for the University of Colorado Law School. In so doing, the Director will evaluate and support a range of strategies for using technology more effectively to advance the mission of the Law School and the effectiveness of its departments.
As a bonus, I expect you’ll get more time with me since I spend a chunk of mine with whatever Phil wants me to do.
If you are looking to be in on the ground floor of a hot, new mobile startup based in Boulder, now is your chance.
We’ve funded a new company focused on the business conferencing / collaboration market that uses a unique mobile approach. Our co-investors including Google Ventures, SoftBank Capital, SoftTech, and a few prominent angels. The team is led by an experienced entrepreneur who I have worked with in the past and he’s built a dynamite founding team.
The company is looking to build its core development team here in Boulder. If you are a great mobile developer (iOS or Android) and want to help start and build a great company, email me and I will connect you to the team.
There was a huge kerfluffle over the weekend about racism in Silicon Valley which tried to end when Michael Arrington wrote a post titled Oh Shit, I’m A Racist. But it didn’t end – on Monday there were stories by CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien defending herself with an article titled Michael Arrington is right (about one thing) and then a well reasoned post by Mitch Kapor titled Beyond Arrington and CNN, Let’s Look at the Real Issues. And I’m sure there will be more posts, including this one.
If you don’t know me, I’m white, Jewish, third generation American, born in Arkansas, grew up in Dallas, lived in Boston for 12 years, and I now live in Boulder, Colorado. My great grandparents emigrated from Russia and Germany – there were people in those countries trying really hard to kill them before they managed to emigrate to America. I say this not because I’m going to prognosticate about racism, but rather I’m going to tell a story. Of something that happened last week. Just to remind all of us that racism is alive and well in the US and in tech.
On Thursday, I got a call from a CEO of company I’m on the board of. He was very upset as he relayed a story to me. He had just heard from one of his employees who had been at a customer site for the past three days with another employee. The first person (person A) is white; the second is Indian (person B). The customer site is a government owned military installation.
Upon arrival, the customer would not shake hands with B. The customer would not acknowledge B’s presence directly. Over the course of the three days, the customer made endless racial and ethnic slurs directed at B. While it was extremely uncomfortable, A and B did their work, put up with the nonsense, and were professional.
While the CEO was relaying this to me, I was pacing outside a room that I was about to give a talk in. I was furious at the customer. I was sad that A and B hadn’t called the CEO immediately – I know he would have told them to pack it up and come home right away and he’d deal with the customer situation directly. The notion that B, and A, had to put up with racist behavior for three days was appalling to me. Especially at a government facility. In the United States. In 2011. In the tech business.
Everyone on this planet gets to believe what they want to believe, but I’ll assert that racism is alive and well in the US. I’ve seen it many times, including in Silicon Valley. Rather than get into arguments about the existence, or lack thereof, I’d encourage anyone who cares about this to listen to some wise words from Mitch Kapor.
“Being meritocratic is a really worthy aspiration, but will require active mitigation of individual and organizational bias. The operation of hidden bias in our cognitive apparatus is a well-documented phenomenon in neuroscience. We may think we are acting rationally and objectively, but our brains deceive us.”
When you see racism, don’t tolerate it. Take action. And don’t deny reality.
Several of the companies I’m an investor in are significantly building out their iOS and Android development teams. They are looking for acquihires of up to teams of five. If you are a partner in a small iOS or Android development shop, are tired of doing custom projects, and want to join a fast growing VC-backed startup, drop me an email.
We recently invested in an exciting company called Sympoz. They are searching for a great head of marketing.
Sympoz, based in Denver, was founded in May 2010 by an experienced team. They are growing rapidly, generated over a million dollars in revenue in their first year, and are now looking for an experienced VP of Marketing to join the founders as an integral member of the executive team to lead all aspects of marketing.
If you are interested and think you fit, please email email@example.com.
Many of our Foundry Group portfolio companies are growing rapidly. As a result, we just put up a new page on the Foundry Group website listing all of the jobs in Foundry Group portfolio companies that we are aware of. We also have a new Foundry Group Jobs twitter feed to follow – it’ll tweet out a link whenever a new job is posted.
This page is built on top of Indeed, in our opinion the best job search engine. We are not investors in Indeed, but our friends at Union Square Ventures are. They led the way on this one, working with Indeed and hacking together some code to make a dynamic jobs page. We looked at several options but kept coming back to the USV Jobs page.
Kelly Collins and Ross Carlson in our office did all the work. They had help from Gary Chou at USV who generously provided all the code he’d written along with advice, as well as Matt Molinari from Indeed who helped Kelly and Ross figure out all the nuances of the integration.
Boulder is full of software engineers, but we need more. A lot more. So, several local companies pitched in some bucks and the organizers of Boulder Startup Week are buying plane tickets for five people to come out between May 18th and May 22nd. If you don’t know about Boulder Startup Week, take a look at the killer agenda.
If you are a software engineer, send ryanwanger at gmail a note containing the following:
1. An answer to why you are interested in coming out to Boulder.
2. A resume or examples of your work.
3. Your phone number.
The deadline for applying is 12pm MST on May 9th. Please don’t apply unless you are available to fly out to Boulder May 18th – 22nd (with a little +/- flexibility). Also, you have to be in the US already as the organizers can’t afford to fly you from outside the US. And, they’ll help you find a place to stay as long as you aren’t allergic to couches.
If you don’t know Orbotix, they make Sphero, the robotic ball you control with your smartphone. And if you you wonder why you should care, take a look at Sphero on his chariot being driven by Paul Berberian (Orbotix CEO) while running Facetime.
We are looking for two new full time positions to fill as soon as possible. We need talented iOS and Android Developers that are not afraid of a little hard work and a little hardware! You must have an imagination. No previous robotics experience necessary but it doesn’t hurt. We want someone that can help make an API, low level protocols, implement games and work on other research and development tasks for Sphero. We expect some level of gaming history and previous experience in the field. There are online Leaderboards and some side tasks include coding up demonstration apps for our numerous interviews, conventions and for fun! We pay well, have plenty of food and beverage stocked including beer, redbull and the famous hot-pockets, are in downtown Boulder and literally play with robots all day/night long. Read our full jobs posting at https://www.orbotix.com/jobs/ for more info. Take a chance…. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A bunch of our portfolio companies are hiring. Just today, I got emails about new job pages at Cheezburger (Seattle and NY), SendGrid (Boulder and LA), and Attachments.me (Bay Area). But the growth is everywhere – Zynga (throughout the US), AdMeld (NY, London, Berlin), Fitbit (Bay Area), Gnip (Boulder), Oblong (LA), Trada (Boulder), and – well – most of our other portfolio companies.
I know I’ve got to come up with a better way to aggregate jobs across our portfolio, but if you are on the job hunt, take a look. And if you are looking for something in Boulder, don’t forget that I manage a CEO list that I’ll happily email your resume to.
I had a really fun night in Montreal at the opening dinner for the C100 Conference that I’m speaking at tomorrow. The dinner was put on by Accelerate MTL and included some friends as well as a bunch of new people I met tonight.
Dinner was really well done. I sat next to Howard Lindzon who teased and entertained me all night long. Dinner was a pre-set menu so I ordered the non-meat choices and didn’t think twice about it.
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 19. I eat fish, so I guess I’m a fishetarian or pescatarian or whatever you want to call me, but no beef, chicken, or pork. Once a year I end up accidentally eating some meat (usually on nachos, soup, or something Italian) and I always realize it around 3 am.
The first course was yellowfin sashmi, which was excellent. The second course was some kind of red tuna like thing which I dug into without a second thought. It was easily the best tuna I’ve ever had. Snarf – and gone. I then made fun of my tablemates who were eating a beet salad (which also looked really good.)
Brad: “You guys made the wrong choice – this tuna tartare was awesome.”
Howard: “That’s not tuna, that’s steak.”
Brad: “Howard – you know I’m a vegetarian – quit giving me shit.”
Howard: “No seriously, look at the menu, you just ate a plate full of stake tartare.”
I looked. In fact, they’d served me “Tartare de boeuf epice, truffe, parmesan, citron.” Yes – it was the best tuna I’ve ever had because it was in fact steak tartare. And it was awesome.
Much mockery of me ensued. It’s not quite 3 am, but my stomach is doing the once a year “you just ate meat” rumble.