CORI Innovation Fund leads investment in Calypso Continuing Education
The CORI Innovation Fund (CIF) announced an investment in Calypso Continuing Education (Calypso) of Randolph, Vermont, an education technology business that has created a platform for continuing education as well as a library of educational content.
CIF is a Qualified Opportunity Fund of VTTA member Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) that invests in high-growth technology companies supporting job creation and revenue generation in small towns across America. CIF is leading this funding round in order to provide Calypso with capital to expand its online educational offerings into new verticals. Calypso is headquartered in an Opportunity Zone located in Randolph, Vermont, one of the communities in CORI’s Rural Innovation Network.
Calypso has developed an asynchronous online learning platform for the remote delivery of educational content software as a service. The company’s first market is continuing education for recertification of real estate appraisers, which is a regulated marketplace. The platform and educational system can seamlessly adapt to myriad online learning applications. Calypso plans to enter the market for continuing education for licensed real estate agents at the beginning of 2022. The company employs cutting-edge technologies not only in instructional development, but also in innovating marketing, sales and regulatory outreach programs.
“Calypso has enjoyed significant growth in the online continuing education market for appraisers. We are excited to invest the proceeds from this partnership with CIF into new verticals starting with continuing education for real estate sales professionals,” said Francis X. “Rich” Finigan, Calypso’s chief executive officer.
“With a healthy position in their existing market of education for appraisers, Calypso has created an effective and affordable platform for the online delivery of continuing education. We look forward to seeing the Calypso team adapt their offering to new verticals and continue their rapid growth,” said Jay Bockhaus, managing partner of CIF.
Calypso is the eighth tech startup to receive seed funding from CIF and the third located in Vermont, joining Arsana Health and Voi, both of which are based in Springfield. The investment represents an important step for what the Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation is trying to achieve in the region.
“GMEDC is excited by this announcement for many reasons … potential for job creation, increased visibility for tech opportunities in a rural area, and a home-grown example of what those possibilities look like — seeing is believing. We are working to create a regional innovation hub in Randolph, to support the evolution of the tech sector in central Vermont, and the CIF investment in Calypso validates the opportunities we see for this sector in our region,” said Erika Hoffman-Kiess, Executive Director of GMEDC.
About Calypso Continuing Education
American Continuing Education Institute, Ltd. d/b/a Calypso Continuing Education (Calypso) offers an online platform for continuing education and creates a library of educational content. The first market the company has pursued is required continuing education for certified real estate appraisers. Calypso is only one of three companies in the U.S. that has been accredited to deliver the mandatory standards online refresher course approved for appraisers nationwide. The company is entering new markets including the Realtor® recertification market as well as non-regulated courses. Calypso is based in Randolph, Vermont.
About the CORI Innovation Fund
The CORI Innovation Fund (CIF) invests in growth businesses located in Qualified Opportunity Zones in the U.S. to enhance economic growth and job creation in small communities. CIF seeks out attractive technology-enabled operating businesses in rural geographies that are under-served by traditional venture capital institutions and identifies, funds, and supports the best tech entrepreneurs American small towns have to offer. For more information visit http://www.corifund.com.
About the Center on Rural Innovation
The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) was founded in 2017 to address the dramatic opportunity gap between rural and urban communities that grew out of the Great Recession. CORI is committed to advancing economic prosperity in rural America through the creation of inclusive digital economy ecosystems that support scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation. To do this work, they partner with their sister organization, Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI), a taxable nonprofit corporation using data-driven strategies, leading-edge geospatial tools, and digital economy expertise to advance their shared vision for rural equity and opportunity. For more information visit www.ruralinnovation.us.