Contributors 2018-04-23T12:29:51+00:00

Ray Burrasca, Founder

Ray Burrasca, is a 40+ year experienced legal and finance professional . In addition, he is the founder & organizer of, the first, oldest and largest organization in Colorado dedicated exclusively to crowd funding and, more specifically, how crowd funding can be used to help Colorado-based non-profits, artistic and other creative individuals, new products and businesses (and the entrepreneurs behind them), as well as the donors and investors who support them.

In addition to serving as’s organizer and primary spokesperson, Ray is Managing Director of Windom Peaks Capital, a small investment banking boutique located in Denver, Colorado, whose business is dedicated to, among other things, helping newly-formed companies secure the seed and early stage financing so necessary to their ultimate success.

He is a passionate champion of small business , both early stage and mature, and their needs.


Mike O’Donnell, Executive Director

Mike holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia.

He began his career in the United States in 1990 as the executive director of the University of Kansas Small Business Development Center and adjunct faculty before taking the helm of the certified development company located in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1997.

In 2000, the opportunity arose to relocate to Colorado and join Colorado Lending Source, which began expanding outreach and providing Colorado-based small businesses with better access to capital while maintaining the high level of service that banks and small business borrowers need to understand and access the US Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 program.

As the great recession began, Colorado Lending Source further expanded operations to encourage and assist community lenders make SBA guaranteed loans and also began providing direct loans to small businesses unable to access capital anywhere else utilizing the Community Advantage and Colorado Main Street small loan programs.


Marc Kaplan, Principal

Marc J. Kaplan is the principal member of Kaplan Law L.L.C., practicing primarily in the areas of Family Law, Plaintiff’s Legal Malpractice Litigation, Domestic and Civil Appeals. Kaplan acts as a mediator, special master and arbitrator in family law cases, and has served as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases for both Plaintiffs and Defendants. Kaplan is a Past President of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, a past Vice President of the Colorado Bar Association, served four terms on the Board of Governors of the Colorado Bar Association and two terms on the Executive Council of the Family Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association. Kaplan received his undergraduate degree in Public Policy Studies from the Institute of Policy Services and Public Affairs at Duke University, in 1979. In 1983 Kaplan received his law degree from the University of Denver College of Law, with a specialization in Advocacy Skills.

Kaplan has been selected for Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law. He has been certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Since 2006 Kaplan has annually been selected as a Colorado Super Lawyer and has been named one of the top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado by the American Trial Lawyers Association annually since 2009. Kaplan has also been a frequent lecturer and faculty member for legal education seminars, and has appeared as a legal commentator on National and local television stations.


Ian Kuliasha, Attorney

Ian helps businesses at all stages of growth identify and reach their next critical milestone—whether a seed financing, licensing agreement, or complex merger or acquisition. He has significant experience with entity formations, venture debt and equity financings, exempt securities offerings, stockholder agreements, equity incentives, technology licensing agreements, complex mergers and acquisitions (both domestic and international), and other general corporate matters. He enjoys working with a variety of clients, including technology startups, venture and private equity funds, natural food producers, precision aerospace manufacturers, and multinational healthcare companies. Ian began his practice at Cooley LLP during law school, and was a Managing Director of the Boulder-based Deming Center Venture Fund. He graduated from the University of Colorado Law School in 2014 where he was an editor on the Colorado Technology Law Journal. Ian received his BA in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee in 2007. He gives a damn about his family, skiing and playing hockey, nerding out with cutting-edge software and hardware, and life in general. He also gives a damn about making legal services more efficient, and more transparent.


Fletcher Richman, Platform Manager

Fletcher Richman currently serves as the Platform Manager for Boulder-based Galvanize Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund that invests in startups across the country. Fletcher is also the leader of Boulder Seed Angel Forum, a semi-annual event that brings together 6 of the best early stage companies and more than 50 active investors.

Fletcher received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering, Cum Laude, from The University of Colorado. As a student, Fletcher co-founded Spark Boulder, a co-working space for student entrepreneurs, which was supported by many community leaders including Brad Feld and David Cohen, the Co-Founders of Techstars, as well as TEDxCU, and several software startups failures he is very proud of. Fletcher also spent several years working as the Growth Engineer for PivotDesk, a Techstars Boulder graduate and one of Colorado’s most recognizable growing companies.


Ryan Clark, Educator

Ryan has taught for 8 years in Denver Public Schools. He is originally from the midwest, born in Indianapolis, IN and raised in Batavia, IL. He studied Social Welfare and Justice and Sociology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After graduation he worked as a reading consultant for Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes at their clinics in Memphis, TN and Miami, FL. He also trained teachers on their phonics and comprehension programs in the Johnson City (TN) school district. He missed working with students and went back to school to receive his Master’s of Education.

Over the past three years, he has worked to develop a personalized learning program at Palmer Elementary in Denver. They work to make sure there is no ceiling for any of their students and strive to meet each child at his or her level. He believes in a learning model that accounts for student interest, personal learning styles, and rigorous, real world problem solving.

Districts vs. Teachers: Who holds the power?


Brian Costello, Educator

Brian Costello is in his 7th year of teaching in Southern New Jersey. Brian started his career as an instructional aide before going on to teach Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grades for the past seven years. He now works as a middle school technology integration specialist. He is an avid writer, blogger, and Twitter user that has published his first children’s novel: Will McGill and the Magic Hat. Brian speaks at Educational conferences on topics including educational technology, leadership, communication, and professional development.

Districts vs. Teachers: Who holds the power?


Doug Robertson, Educator

Doug Robertson is an eleventh-year teacher currently talking at fifth graders in Northern Oregon. He’s taught in California, Hawaii, and Oregon in 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades. He’s the author of two books about education, He’s the Weird Teacher and THE Teaching Text (You’re Welcome), the editor of the CUE blog, and an active blogger. Doug speaks at teaching conferences including CUE Rock Star Teacher Camps, presenting on everything from technology to teaching philosophy (or teaching The Weird Way, to use his words). Doug is also the creator and moderator of #WeirdEd on Twitter, which happens every Wednesday at 7pm PST.

Districts vs. Teachers: Who holds the power?


Kathy Higgins, Instructional Lead Consultant

Kathy Higgins brings over 33 years in the educational field not only as an educator in the classroom but also as leader in the field of education working with and for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, school districts, and consulting for advocacy change with education. She works for Office Depot as an Instructional Lead Consultant educating, providing solutions and being a trusted resource and partner for school districts. Throughout Kathy’s career she has been an advocate for change to move students to the center of their learning. Her passion is to be a part of the change in the educational landscape by providing solutions districts can use to ignite learning. Kathy is currently responsible for the Midwest territory, including Arkansas and Oklahoma. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University and a Master of Science from Emporia State University and a member of the national honor society CHI SIGMA IOTA. She has been a national presenter for many years and published numerous articles focusing on positive change in education. Kathy was a recipient of a prestigious award as a teacher The Medical Society Award for Excellence in Mathematics. Kathy enjoys time in Kansas City running, eating Kansas City Barbecue and her family.

Teaching Soft Skills


Andrew Murphy, Educator

Andrew Murphy is a passionate educator that has been working in an elementary school setting within Denver Public Schools for the last eight years. He currently holds a fifth grade position at Cole Arts & Sciences. His love for teaching has only grown with the current push to more personalized learning though the use of technology, project based learning, and a competency based approach. Additionally, he is working with a small group of educators to develop a community minded school that pushes the boundaries of innovation in the hopes of elevating the possibilities for lower socioeconomic neighborhoods within Denver while creating students that are prepared to succeed within our ever changing world.

Learning of the Future