OUR TEAM

Juan Cruz Baldassarre

CEO and Founder

Speaks: fluent Spanish and English; basic Portuguese and Italian

Juan Cruz is the creator of LANGA. Ever since he was inspired by the idea, he’s been busy assembling a team of artists, scientists, and engineers to help bring LANGA to life. Active since the good old “dot com” days, Juan Cruz understands the challenges of bringing leading edge technology to the general market (including over 120 science simulations for K-12, and over 30 hours of interactive knowledge for corporate training). He brings his personal passion for language learning and proven creativity skills to LANGA as its evangelist and visionary. He is the CEO of Copernicus Studios Inc, an award-winning, best-in-class kids animation studio in Nova Scotia for over 10 years. Past and current TV clients include BBC, PBS, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros, and Disney.

In addition to his hands-on programming experience, Juan Cruz’s background includes over a decade of visual effects and compositing. Highlights include visual effects for international stars like Nelly Furtado, “Weird” Al Yankovich and Jack Black.

Murray Bain

Art Director

Speaks: Monolingual (English)

We don’t want to age Murray before his time, but an animation “veteran” like Murray is a huge asset to our team. His most recent achievements include a Daytime Emmy Nomination and he directed a Super Bowl ad that was featured on 11,000 screens across the US and 3,000 3DS theatrical releases.

Besides his film, TV, and web experience, Murray has worked in all forms of animation production: paper, digital, “tradigital”. While working with Juan Cruz at Trainingscape developing interactive films for corporate training, he mastered actionScript programming. Later, in 2002, he single-handedly developed first person games using Flash.

Murray’s ability to jump from drawing to programming demonstrates his in-depth understanding of storytelling and game mechanics. Both are invaluable for LANGA’s aim to blur the edges between interactive and linear, entertainment and education.

Ryan Cameron

Learning Platform Architect

Speaks: English. Sort of knows French by virtue of being Canadian

Ryan brings more than a decade of designing multiple award-winning and industry-recognized learning experiences, from Fortune 100 corporate employee training to educational experiences for millions of children across the globe for some of the world's most famous and recognized brands such as Deloitte, Pepsico, Petco, Caterpillar, Golden Books, and Random House.

At LANGA, Ryan contributes to the design of the learning management system with the goal of measuring the efficacy of each kind of game versus more traditional methods—information crucial to the developers, scientists at the Dal Neurocognitive Imaging and Research Lab, and designers for strategic planning, and also the end users for understanding their own progress and being motivated by their own success.

Ryan can be easily identified as the guy in the turtlenecks and cords (usually black).

Mike Smallhorn

Senior Developer - Voice Tech and Games

Speaks: Barely speaks English

Perhaps we’re crazy for putting someone who barely speaks English in the role of Senior Developer in charge of developing LANGA’s speech recognition technology and building grammars (truth be told, we hired him for is ravishing long locks).

He earned his cred working on indie and mobile games for almost six years, while keeping busy as a programmer and game designer with “real” companies (to pay the bills).

He’s our go-to tech guy for when we need to add fancy features to our plugins, develop prototypes, and improve the backend (the stuff you’ll never see).