Blackboard Founder Plans to Alter Course of eLearning History Again, Through Leading Open Source Initiative.
Stephen Gilfus re-enters market and plans to release an Open Source enterprise learning platform to the global education community.
October 15th, 2013 (Educause Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA) – Stephen Gilfus, Chairman of Gilfus Ventures and CEO of the Gilfus Education Group announced today from the Educause Annual Conference that his venture firm will pick up the Learning Management System (LMS) industry, shake it up, and set it down five years into the future by acquiring Drupal based LMS provider Adrenna Inc. in a private transaction that will make Adrenna Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Gilfus Ventures.
The acquisition marks the re-entry by Mr. Gilfus into the mainstream LMS industry since his departure from Blackboard roughly five years ago.
Mr. Gilfus, who co-founded Blackboard Inc. in 1997, while an undergraduate at Cornell University, pioneered the LMS industry by serving as the companies’ product and business strategist as well as a principal designer of Blackboard’s platforms and products. His work with educational institutions, leading industry publishers, technology partners, industry investors and learning standards bodies helped facilitate the development of both the online learning and global education technology markets.
In contrast, his goal this time is to distribute a consolidated platform that provides greater flexibility and functionality to education organizations, and facilitates collaborative educator innovation by distributing Adrenna’s innovative learning technologies for free to higher education and K-12 education institutions.
“After strategically assisting several leading industry LMS companies over the last few years I wholeheartedly felt like something was radically missing from the market. It is as though the LMS industry took the last half decade off from innovation and evolution.” said Mr. Gilfus, “Current industry players, like my former company Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Instructure, Moodle, Sakai and a plethora of other companies, have not had the luxury of creating a scalable platform built on one of the world’s leading Open Source platforms, Drupal”. “In fact these legacy companies and have been increasingly challenged trying to consolidate and scale legacy as well as modern technologies into single platforms.”
Adrenna’s leadership will benefit immediately from its new relationship through the Gilfus Education Group’s Executive-in-Residence program. eLearning industry veteran and a Gilfus Education Group Managing Partner Tom Winterstein has been named as Adrenna’s interim Chief Executive Officer and will execute against Mr. Gilfus’ vision by operationalizing the growth and development of Adrenna’s academic distribution goals and ambitions.
“Adrenna is committed to leveraging Drupal, as it continues to evolve as one of the fastest growing Open Source content management systems in Education.” said Mr. Winterstein, “Our focus is on facilitating innovation around the entire student lifecycle, including analytics, dynamic dashboards, retention and increased engagement, not to mention adaptive learning and microcredentialling.”, “Thankfully several of the world’s easiest, compelling, and most fun-to-use websites are built on this flexible, powerful and scalable technology and the Drupal community has a tremendous amount of expertise to offer in supporting continued innovation and advances in educational technology. We can design and deploy innovative concepts in weeks, leveraging Drupal, that could take other companies months or years.”
Mr. Gilfus chose to unveil the acquisition at the EDUCAUSE 2013 annual conference (October 15th through 18th 2013) in Anaheim, CA so that conference attendees from colleges and universities can obtain an exclusive look into AdrennaLearn. Mr. Gilfus will be attending the conference to meet with educators, students, administrators, IT professionals, publishers, and members of the media at the Gilfus Education Group/Adrenna booth #1223
The exact timeframe for the AdrennaLearn Open Source distribution has not been set but it is expected to be available for download during the first quarter of 2014.
ABOUT GILFUS VENTURES
Gilfus Venture Partners, LLC (GVP) formed by Stephen Gilfus a founder of Washington, DC based Blackboard Inc. was created to stimulate and advance the development of internet leveraged ventures. The group provides three core services to early and mid-stage entrepreneurs and other Private Equity, Venture Capital Firms. The Group is primarily interested in three types of companies: Education and eLearning, Social Networking as a key element and Niche/ Boutique Businesses.
ABOUT THE GILFUS EDUCATION GROUP
With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Gilfus Education Group delivers education innovation by bringing refreshing clarity and a pragmatic approach to academic and corporate enterprises through educational, technology, and business consulting. The company provides a wide array of services to clients across the United States and around the world, offering insightful and diversified expertise to the education industry. Since 1997, the Gilfus Education Group team has served thousands of universities, colleges, schools, academic content providers, and education and technology companies in meeting their mission‐critical planning and technology needs. The group consists of individuals of the highest caliber talent and experience in educational research, strategy, planning, and technical implementation services representing capabilities for meeting organizational objectives and compliance, evaluating education quality and outcomes, and supporting technical integration, infrastructure, and delivery.
Adrenna is transforming the way organizations approach training, education and learning by providing innovative learning technologies and immersive content solutions for Education and Workforce including K-12, Higher Education, Corporate, Government, Healthcare, Union, and Associations. Some of our clients are providing eLearning capabilities to hundreds of thousands student/learners.
We are a group of fun and passionate individuals dedicated to our craft and providing innovative eLearning solutions to global education and training. Our open and advanced technologies create a foundation for organizations that understand what it takes to support existing methodologies while remaining competitive