Over the holiday, I was reflecting on where we were one year ago. We had just started designing and developing Couragion. And now a year later the team is busy working on our next two releases. One release is a big product line extension for our iPad app and the other is a new analytics app. What’s different about this R&D is that it is being supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant that we’ve been awarded. Heck Yeah (and a nod to our recent coverage in the Denver Post)!
We’ve felt many moments of pride throughout our first year of being in business – from the first time we saw the app icon on our iPads or in the app store, to standing in front of a full classroom of engaged kids who were sharing what they learned about themselves by using our app, to being accepted as presenters at the 2015 Colorado Science Conference. This is yet another crowning accomplishment to kick off the year.
When we set out in the summer to apply for the grant, people kept advising us to hire a grant writer. But being frugal and in bootstrap mode, we buckled down and got it done ourselves. As first time grant writers, we learned on the fly and submitted a purpose-driven application. Feedback from the review panel repeatedly highlighted a major strength as “a qualified research team with the right domain expertise”. Besides qualified, a great word to describe our amazing team is ‘undaunted’.
Having the support of the NSF brings enhanced meaning to our work and further validates the journey we’ve begun. The funded project mission is to improve both the awareness and perception of careers that require science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competencies. Cheers to being undaunted in an even sweeter ‘16!