AUSTIN, Texas — Interplay Learning, a training technology company, has announced a $1 million investment led by Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) with participation from Tech Coast Angels – San Diego (TCA-SD). The growth capital will enable Interplay to accelerate its move into delivering 3D simulation-based and virtual reality training for middle-skills and professional trades.  Interplay said it already has a leadership position in delivering 3D interactive training to the education and professional markets for numerous trades including HVAC, electrical, energy auditing, and manufacturing.

“As baby-boomers in the professional trades retire, the United States faces major workforce shortages in middle skill fields. Plus, in rapidly growing markets like solar installation, workforce training is creating major industry bottlenecks,” said Doug Donovan, CEO of Interplay. “Interplay addresses these issues head-on by developing and delivering online, simulation-based training that is both scalable and effective.”

This funding announcement comes on the heels of Interplay winning a $1.25 million cooperative award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. The award will fuel the development and launch of a first-of-its-kind online solar training platform featuring 3D simulations and an intelligent system of learning to accelerate skill building for immediate on-the-job results.

Interplay said it has been developing technical training simulations for five years and its products have been used by more than 30,000 students and professionals. Donovan added, “Learning a trade has changed. Vocational programs and unions play a smaller role across the country. Company owners and equipment manufacturers are forced to provide training if they want to meet market demand.  What we’re talking about here is a serious pursuit. These are the middle-class careers that are the backbone of America.”

Interplay sees virtual reality (VR) playing a bigger role in trades training in the not too distant future. 

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Publication date: 10/25/2016

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