Cloud computing solution enables learning by simplifying access to technology so that every student can explore, learn, and succeed.
Richmond, Virginia, June 23, 2022 — Virginia Venture Partners, the equity investment program of Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), today announced an investment in Propeller (formerly eLumin). Mclean, Va.-based Propeller provides education solutions that simplify access to technology and enable learning for all students. This funding will enable Propeller to expand its mission of improving digital equity in education and increase access to technology through cloud-based solutions.
Access to the right technologies prepares students with real-world and career-ready skills. Propeller works with both higher education and K-12 institutions to provide virtual desktops and services to power today’s resource-intensive applications. Education providers can manage student access to specialized software, curricula, or other resources based on major, course, class section, or other criteria. Propeller Virtual Desktop access is transparent to both students and faculty via single sign-on from existing student portals or integrations with Learning Management Systems (LMS) using Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI).
Designed with technical and research-intensive disciplines in mind, Propeller’s Learning Lab brings a physical lab experience to any device. Students can also provision, reboot, and reset their own environments with the click of a button. Secure, scalable, and ideal for simulations, Learning Lab brings hands-on learning to students in technical programs without straining instructors and IT departments.
“With Propeller and our work to address the equity in access gap, students are now able to gain access to a variety of subjects and technologies that weren’t available to them before. When designed and built with intention, Virtual Desktops can drive student engagement and increase outcomes,” said Greg M. Smith, CEO, Propeller. “With Propeller, educators reclaim valuable time for teaching by not having to provide “tech support” in addition to their day-to-day learning objectives. When students can learn using virtually any device, from anywhere and anytime, barriers are broken down and every learner has the same opportunities. We thank VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners for their support.”
Propeller will leverage this investment from VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners to provide educators, IT administrators, and faculty with thought leadership and guidance on how cloud-based technology can advance equity in learning and help bridge the digital divide. The funding will also be used to grow Propeller’s engineering team, accelerate product development, and expand awareness of its innovations, which have the continued support of trusted advisors and industry experts.
“The Propeller leadership team works tirelessly to ensure that students are given the tools they need to enhance their ability to explore and to learn. Their services and products are set apart from other virtual learning platforms by letting students use complex applications on any device, anywhere, with no software installation,” said Tom Weithman, VIPC Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director of Virginia Venture Partners. “VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners is proud to invest in Propeller, and we look forward to their continued growth and positive impact on our education systems.”
About Virginia Venture Partners
Virginia Venture Partners, formerly CIT GAP Funds, is the equity investment program of VIPC that makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean energy, and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating a significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception in 2005, Virginia Venture Partners has deployed $32.4 million in capital across more than 250 portfolio companies, including 17 companies in designated Opportunity Zones. Virginia Venture Partners’ investment decisions are guided by the Virginia Venture Partners Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel has drawn from the expertise of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel, and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit www.virginiaipc.org/vvp.
About Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)
Connecting innovators with opportunities. The nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), VIPC is the commercialization and seed-stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure, and policy initiatives to support Virginia’s innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and market development strategies. VIPC collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy.
Programs include: Virginia Venture Partners (VVP) | Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) |Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Smart Communities | Unmanned Systems | Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) | Federal Funding Assistance Program (FFAP) for SBIR & STTR | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit www.VirginiaIPC.org. Follow VIPC on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
As education IT veterans, our founders want all students to thrive beyond the bounds of a traditional campus and the confines of limited resources. We believe that technology should never get in the way of a school’s or a student’s ability to grow and engage with the world. With smart cloud computing, we saw an unmatched opportunity to help make better virtual learning possible for students on the devices they already have, freeing K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities from costly and burdensome software and hardware.