Today, I’m helping amplify a $50,000 fundraiser for Sophie’s Neighborhood as part of World Pediatric Bone & Joint Day. Amy and I just contributed $25,000 so we are effectively matching any contributions dollar for dollar up to $50,000.
Whenever I feel exogenous stress from the world, it helps me lower it by doing something to support someone in need. The #Calwood fires just outside of Boulder that broke out on Saturday added to a pile from 2020 that is beyond anything I’ve experienced in my life.
Boulder is a magnificent city, but there are plenty of challenges for people everywhere. If you’ve eaten at Blackbelly, Santo, Jax Fish House, Dandelion, or Triana (remember Triana?), you probably know Chef Hosea Rosenberg. And you might know his wonderful wife Lauren and their delightful child Sophie.
Sophie has a rare disease called Multicentric carpotarsal osteolysis syndrome (MCTO). It is a skeletal disorder characterized by aggressive osteolysis associated with progressive nephropathy. Basically, serious stuff that is not well understood.
The Rosenberg’s have gone extremely deep on the science of the disease and are supporting a substantial amount of research, including:
- Cell line development to study the mutation and get a readout on what is going wrong in the gene that is mutated
- Screen existing drug libraries against the mutation to see if there is an already approved compound or small molecule (or drug undergoing clinical trials) that exists for drug repurposing
- Examine proteomic differences caused by the mutation and identify a target protein for the treatment
- Development of iPS cells specific to Sophie’s variant to try and correct the error using gene-editing technology
- Study of the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease with a genetically modified MCTO mouse model
- Database with natural history disease tracking genotypes with disease phenotypes
It’s difficult to get sponsored research for diseases like this, so the Rosenbergs have been raising money to fund this activity.
Sophie is still in the “miracle window,” – the time in which her diagnosis is known, but symptoms are not yet very severe. But it is slipping away with each passing day. Funding is essential to continue the work to get closer to discovering or repurposing an effective and life-changing therapeutic.
If you are a Boulderite, have enjoyed any of Chef Hosea’s food at Blackbelly or Santo (or any of the other restaurants he’s worked at in the past), or just want to help try to figure out the cure for this rare disease, please join the fundraiser today and contribute to helping find a cure for MCTO.
A creative group of Boulder entrepreneurs, led by Vikas Reddy and Kyle Judah and inspired by San Franciso entrepreneurs/investors Frank Barbieri and Ryan Sarver have created and put into action a program that supports both frontline health workers and local independent restaurants.
They’ve created a program called Feed the Frontlines Boulder that lets the community donate meals from local restaurants to health workers on the frontlines. Health workers get a nourishing meal, and local restaurants get badly needed business to keep running and keep staff employed.
Feed the Frontlines Boulder was conceived and implemented in a week. We have one month of meals paid for through an initial contribution of $200,000 from me and Amy Batchelor, Dan and Cindy Caruso, John Goldsmith, and an anonymous donor.
We are now looking to raise another $200,000 for month two of Feed the Frontlines Boulder.
100% of the money goes to local restaurants. The first restaurants participating are Salt, Big Red F Restaurant Group, Kitchen Next Door, Japango, Blackbelly/Santo, and Community Kitchen Table. The food services partner at the hospital, BCH Food Services, has generously offered their trained staff and facilities to help receive, distribute, and store the meals delivered by the restaurants.
I’m blown away by the generosity and execution around this. I love that we are doing something to take care of our frontline hospital workers at BCH who are putting in an incredible effort around the Covid crisis that I expect to be extremely intense in April. And, I’m psyched that we are buying meals from local Boulder restaurants.
Following are three links in case you want to contribute in some way:
- Contribute financially to the Feed the Frontlines Boulder Fund
- Are a restaurant in Boulder County and want to participate
- Want to Feed the Frontlines in your city
We depend on our frontline hospital workers right now. And, we all want to see our local restaurants survive this crisis, especially the short-term shut down of their businesses. If you have the resources or the interest, please help any way you can.
Amy and I recently joined a campaign created by Dave and Suzanne Hoover to fund a $100,000 match for the Impact on Education Foundation for Boulder Valley Schools Critical Needs Fund.
School closures due to COVID-19 have a direct impact on BVSD students and families. This fund supports BVSD food services to ensure families receive nutritious meals. It also provides school supplies to assist with at-home learning.
On Monday, I talked about our matching gifts to Boulder Community Health Covid-19 Relief Fund and the Covid-19 Response Fund Boulder County. Both funds have happily completed their match, but are continuing to raise additional money. They are both Covid-19 Relief Funds to consider if you want to support immediate and high-impact activity in Boulder.
Amy and I are continuing to work with specific organizations and volunteer teams in Boulder County on creative and immediate matching campaigns. We have at least one more coming next week, but if you have financial resources, please support anything that appeals to you.
If you are looking for specific organizations to fund, the following are some that Amy and I are long time supporters of that have an immediate impact in Boulder County, organized by the category they address.
If you want to see all the organizations Amy and I support, take a look at our Anchor Point Foundation site. But the ones listed above are the ones we think have an immediate impact.
If you have any others to suggest, or know of active campaigns in Boulder County highly relevant to the Covid-19 crisis, please put them in the comments.
Every day counts right now in the Covid fight, so if you have resources and the inclination to give, please do.
As the world shifts underneath us around Covid-19, Amy and I have focused our immediate philanthropic efforts on our local community in Boulder County.
If you have the ability to contribute anything philanthropically, helping locally will make a huge difference right now. While many of us are hunkered down at home, we’ve got numerous frontline providers at hospitals and in the community out in public helping us all get through this.
Amy and I made two matching gifts in Boulder County. Note that we are focusing on “Boulder County”, not just “the City of Boulder” right now as many of the people who serve us in the city of Boulder live in the surrounding towns that make up Boulder County.
The first gift is to BCH for the Boulder Community Health Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund. They have identified two priorities.
- BCH People: Assist BCH staff who are facing unanticipated financial challenges (e.g., needing child care due to the closing of schools, financial hardship from a spouse/partner being out of work, etc.). BCH will provide the assistance they need by significantly expanding the depth and breadth of support provided by the BCH Employee Assistance Fund.
- Remove any barriers to providing the best treatment for COVID–19. Support BCH’s significant investment in their testing capability, expanding telehealth access, and planning for an increase in cases, including supply management, space capacity, and flex training for our staff and physicians.
The other gift is to the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County for the Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County. This fund will ensure essential services for community members who find themselves at the intersection of being most vulnerable to the virus and most impacted by inequity. It will focus on continuing access to care, food, hygiene, shelter, housing, and other services for the most vulnerable.
If you have any financial giving capacity of any amount, please consider a gift to either the Boulder Community Health Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund or the Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County. Your support today will make a difference right now.
If you are asking, “What’s Helium?” here’s a fun video to get you started along with a deeper explanation of the technology.
As an LP in USV, we are small indirect investors. But, as a way to engage with a particular blockchain-based application/technology that we think has meaningful real-world potential, we thought we’d help enable a network in Boulder and see how it works.
We are looking for about 40 locations throughout Boulder (not just downtown) to set up hotspots. All you have to do is connect the Helium hotspot to the Internet. We’ll handle the rest.
If this is interesting to you, please fill out the Boulder Helium Hotspot Application. We are only choosing 40 locations, and we are going to spread them out as best as we can, so if you aren’t chosen, and you still want to be part of this, you can always buy a Helium Hotspot directly.
The level of histrionics yesterday about the weather on the front range that is coming has been epic. I’ve lived here since 1995 and the amount of fear, anxiety, discussion, preparation, and public commentary is higher than I can ever recall (and yes – I’m now contributing to it.)
As I sit here at my computer looking out my window in Longmont, it’s cloudy and raising episodically (hard a few minutes ago, but it has now stopped.) The clouds are dark and heavy to the east, low and snowy to the west, and light to the south. It’s just weird and made me think of what the eye of a hurricane must feel like.
Everything in Boulder is closing in advance of the storm. I had two meetings in person today – one canceled and I went ahead and canceled the other one just for flexibility. I expect DIA is going to be a total mess although the status is pretty normal right now.
I wonder what this would have been like 30 years ago, pre-commercial Internet and World Wide Web. How much of this is excitement amplified by immediate transmittal of information of an extremely wide variety of accuracy?
Or maybe a snowpocalypse is really coming. I guess we’ll know in a couple of hours (it’s now predicted to start around noon.)
I’ve been in San Diego with Amy for a while but we are returning to Boulder in a week. San Diego has been great, but I miss my dogs, my friends, and the Colorado vibe.
When people ask me about the Colorado vibe, I often talk about GiveFirst. Soon there will be a book (by me) on this, but for now there’s an increasing amount of content on the web building up to explain it. This article in the Colorado Sun – How Techstars’ “GiveFirst” mantra became a road map for the startup community in Colorado and beyond – was excellent and had numerous short examples of how GiveFirst works and influences a startup community.
Next up is a fun article by my co-author of Startup Communities Way (my new Startup Communities book – coming up mid-year 2019) Ian Hathaway. A few days ago he cranked out a post titled Colorado is for Founders. I love that phrase and he led off the post with this great tweet from Phil Weiser.
— Phil Weiser (@pweiser) December 5, 2018
He goes on to explain Jared and Phil’s huge accomplishments and impacts around startups and the startup community. The punch line in the post is:
“By many measures, Colorado is the most entrepreneurial state in the country, a fact that I discovered in 2013 when studying high-technology business formation around the United States. I was struck by just how many places across the state had a high proportion of startup activity occurring—a finding that has been extended to looking across other types of high-growth entrepreneurship as well. Something special is happening there, and it has been for many years.”
I’ll end with the Holiday Gift Guide from Techstars. If you want to give someone you know the gift of something from a Techstars company this holiday season, here are the choices all in one place.
Happy Friday Colorado. See you in a week.
Google Boulder recently did a phenomenal thing. They recently gave a gift of over $2 million to CU Boulder, which included free office space for NCWIT for the next six years (valued at $1.3 million.) As of a few weeks ago, NCWIT now has a great long-term home in an older Google office on 26th Street in Boulder off of the CU Campus.
The head of Google Boulder (I think his official title in Googlespeak is “Engineering Site Director”) is Scott Green. I’ve known Scott since shortly after I moved to Boulder in 1995. He was an early employee at Email Publishing (which became MessageMedia), my very first Boulder-based angel investment. After MessageMedia, he spent some time working at Return Path (where I’ve been an investors since 2000) early in its life before moving to @Last (which we were not investors in, but were fans of since some of our friends, including Brian Makare (the co-founder of Email Publishing) and Mark Solon (then of Highway 12, now at Techstars) were investors.) While Scott and I don’t spend a lot of time together, we’ve both been part of the evolution of the Boulder startup community going back to the late 1990s.
In 2006, Google bought @Last (makers of SketchUp). That was the beginning of Google’s presence in Boulder, which is now around 1,000 people on a new, very nice, and well-integrated campus in the middle of town. Scott and the Google team have always been great corporate citizens of the startup community, offering up their larger event space on a regular basis, participating in, and sponsoring, many of the local startup events over the years, and generally just being a constructive and healthy part of the mix. Google’s continued expanded presence in Boulder is a positive reflection on the overall startup community and their new campus is a really nice addition to our little city in the mountains.
NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) has long been a hidden gem of Boulder. I got involved shortly after it was founded in 2004 and became the board chair in 2005 (which I served as until I resigned all my non-profit board positions at the end of last year.) I’m still deeply involved and it is a major initiative of the Anchor Point Foundation (the foundation that Amy and I run.)
Physical office space at CU Boulder has always been a struggle for NCWIT. When the organization was small, it fit nicely in a corner of the CU Roser ATLAS Center on the second floor. Amy and I were appreciative of this and sponsored the bathrooms on this floor of ATLAS. As NCWIT grew, they crammed into a small space, then overflowed it, expanded a little, but then lost it in a mysterious space shuffle that I’ve never really understood. Eventually, NCWIT moved over to some old space in the engineering building, but the space was poorly configured, had no cell signal, and wasn’t secure.
At the beginning of 2017, Lucy Sanders (NCWIT CEO) and I started looking for other space in Boulder. We tried to get different space on CU’s campus but were unsuccessful. We had a few near misses with commercial space, but either the economics didn’t work out or the space wasn’t right. Last summer, Google Boulder engaged as their new campus was opening up. A few weeks ago, NCWIT moved into their new, long-term home.
I’m incredibly appreciative for what Google Boulder has done here for NCWIT. It makes me extremely happy to see a #GiveFirst approach from Google in our startup community, along with the extensive support for NCWIT. It’s always nice to be part of an organization that is on the receiving end of this kind of generosity, especially one as deserving as NCWIT.
Scott, Google, and the rest of your team at Google Boulder – THANK YOU!
I’m not doing my usual crazy schedule of running around to panels and events as I’ll be out of town for most of the week but wanted to highlight a few events I’m especially excited about.
Amy and I supported the Pledge 1% Colorado Nonprofit Pitch contest last year with a $10,000 grant through our Anchor Point Foundation and are happily doing it again this year. This and other Social Impact Track events are working to engage the broader startup community and expand Startup Week beyond just high-tech startups.
If you are around Boulder next week or want to see the Boulder community at it’s finest, check out the BSW schedule and join in on the fun.
JumpCloud, one of the fastest growing companies in Colorado, is looking for awesome Developers, QA engineers, DevOps admins, and Customer Success Engineers. Over the next year, they are planning to hire 50 people for the engineering team and about 70 across the entire company.
JumpCloud is focused on delivering cloud-based directory services via a SaaS model. They are trying to solve some very difficult problems around identity, authentication, security, and cloud scaling.
JumpCloud’s mission deeply resonates with me because they are disrupting a two decade old monopoly in directory services and giving IT organizations freedom of choice with their IT solutions. It’s an exciting space and we (Foundry Group, OpenView, and Techstars Ventures) are betting that the JumpCloud team has the winning approach.
Since 1994, I’ve worked with the CEO, Rajat Bhargava, on eight companies and I’m psyched about the company and culture that the team is building there.
If you are up for a new challenge leveraging modern technology platforms at a well-funded startup in Boulder, drop the JumpCloud team a note or feel free to email me and I’ll connect you up with them.