VELA Closes Out 2022 with $4.48 Million in Funding for Education Entrepreneurs

Grant Recipients Are Transforming Education Through Permissionless Innovation and Expanding Their Programs To Support More Learners and Families

January 25, 2023 – An inspiring group of 62 grant recipients are starting the new year with $4.48 million in funding from VELA Education Fund. Education entrepreneurs from 27 states will be able to reach an additional 2.5 million learners and families with VELA’s Next Step and Bridge grant funding. 

VELA’s Next Step grants provide up to $50,000 in funding to members of VELA’s community whose community-centered innovations are expanding to meet the growing demand from learners and families. In November 2022, VELA awarded 53 Next Step grants totaling $2.48 million, reinvesting in VELA entrepreneurs who are ready to expand local programming to meet the needs of learners and families or who are collaborating with other VELA grant recipients to maximize their reach and impact. Next Step grant recipients include:

VELA’s Bridge grants provide up to $250,000 in funding to entrepreneurs who have achieved proof of concept, are prepared to bridge to wider adoption, and are ready to collectively build cultural awareness and acceptance of innovative and permissionless learning options. In December 2022, VELA awarded nine Bridge grants, totaling $2 million to the following organizations:

“We are inspired by the innovation we are seeing across the country and the entrepreneurs who are bravely and creatively expanding access to nontraditional education opportunities,” said Meredith Olson, President of VELA. “Our Next Step and Bridge grant recipients are not only growing to meet the demand from families nationwide, they are also building the resources and tools that will continue to support an ecosystem of innovation.”

VELA plans to announce new funding opportunities in 2023, including the reopening of their Micro grant application. To stay up to date on new opportunities, sign up for their newsletter.


About VELA Education Fund

VELA is a national nonprofit fund that was established in 2019. VELA invests in everyday entrepreneurs – students, parents, educators, and community leaders – who are envisioning new approaches that meet learners’ and families’ needs. VELA does not dictate solutions to its grantees. Instead, VELA trusts grantees to identify what their communities need and how they can best meet those needs. To date, VELA has awarded more than 2,000 grants totaling over $24.2 million to support non-traditional education models. Recipients reside in all 50 states and three U.S. territories. Visit to learn more.

Meredith Olson, President of VELA Education Fund, is available for interviews. If interested in pursuing a story, please contact Lisa Cohen at