Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Education in Colorado

As the next election cycle in Colorado gears up, I’ve been jumping up and down reminding everyone who cares about politics that the solution to the “growth of the technology industry in Colorado” is to improve our education system.  Our current governor has done everything he can to ignore education and at least one of our potential gubernatorial candidates can’t spell the word education.  Colorado has an excellent entrepreneurial and technical base – we just need much more supply at both the K-12 and college levels.  This isn’t a quick fix – at 20+ year view is required.

I think CU Boulder is the best college in Colorado and the one most likely to have a huge impact on the region in the next 20 years.  It’s always great to see additions to the faculty that have a clue about entrepreneurship and technology.  Phil Weiser – an Associate Profession in the School of Law with a joint appointment in the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program has been doing a great job as head of the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program.  He sent me a note over the weekend that Vic Fleisher, a law professor at UCLA and a blogger at Conglomerate with a deep interest in entrepreneurship, has just joined the faculty at CU Boulder.

I don’t know Vic, but given Phil’s note, I hope to meet him soon and welcome him to Boulder.

  • Yes, yes, thousand times yes!

    Colorado is not the only region that dreams about being second Silicon Valley (or getting closer to it). Just a week ago I read an article in Ottawa Business Journal about making Ottawa region a bigger technology hub. In a nutshell, people that make this advancement their goal do not have a clue how to do that.

    All they say about education is that “we got to make sure our universities and colleges have a stable economic base”. While this is important, it is not enough. Even community colleges in Canada are equipped and funded better than leading Russian universities. Yet Russia consistently makes it to the top 5 in mathematical olympiads and does very well in ACM programming contest. It’s unlikely that Russia will ever supplant India or China as technology outsoursing market leader – it just cannot provide workforce numbers of that scale. However a lot of companies, including such household names as Intel and Motorola opened R&D centers in Russia.

    In Russia, there are many schools where emphasis on mathematics (or physics, or chemistry, …) is put in high school or even in secondary school (i.e. when kids are 10 yrs old). Some schools are affiliated with universities so classes are held by university professors.

    I believe it is very important to put complex math earlier into education process in selected schools and make closer ties between universities and high schools.

  • Dave Jilk

    I had a thought this weekend that there should be a “Colorado Institute of Technology.” Given the attractiveness of the region to the technically inclined (“geeks like to hike”) it should be possible to get critical mass. Of course, easy to say, not so easy to do. Note that some would claim that School of Mines fits that bill, but I don’t think it does.

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