Pushing aquatics forward

On a mission to make private lessons a flexible and accessible option for everyone.

About Us

In 2015, we made it our mission to help the world learn how to swim by providing private lessons that are more affordable, accessible, flexible, and effective. Today, we build technology that helps swim instructors leverage their experience to better serve their communities as recreation entrepreneurs.

We connect thousands of swimmers and instructors, while providing under-utilized pools for them to have lessons in, creating an entirely new personal swim instruction industry.

Our Story

As former lifeguards, co-founders Kiel Olver and Amie Nguyen each spent over ten years teaching public swimming lessons in their hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. They learned that while being an instructor was fun and rewarding, being a learning swimmer was really frustrating; classes were packed, progress was slow, and waitlists were in the thousands, causing the process of registering for lessons to be more like buying concert tickets than signing up for neighborhood classes.

After teaching, Amie worked in marketing with a sports tech startup. Kiel went to engineering school, where he met Sean Hudson, a fellow engineering student and experienced web developer. The three became fast friends, and they formed Propel with the mission to break the status quo in the aquatics industry.

The Problem Today

The way people learn how to swim has fundamentally never changed. Swimmers spend most of their time fighting off the cold while waiting for their turn. With Propel, we asked ourselves, what if it was always their turn?

Amie Nguyen

Toronto, ON

Amie is the co-founder and CMO of Propel. She oversees Marketing & Community, Instructor Talent, and Venue Recruitment.

“My mission in life is to give everyone in the world the opportunity to learn and play sports because of how much it has impacted my life for the better.”

Sean Hudson

Squamish, BC

Sean is the co-founder and CTO of Propel. He leads Engineering, Payments, and User Experience.

“Nothing drives me crazier than a bad user experience. Building Propel allows me to make great solutions and hopefully help people live better lives.”

Kiel Olver

Toronto, ON

Kiel is the co-founder and CEO of Propel. Kiel sets the company’s strategy and oversees Design, Communication, and Policy.

“I believe positive disruption should empower consumers, advance workers rights, and make better use of existing infrastructure – all at the same time.”