What started off as a student project at the University of Victoria has grown into what is now the leading marketplace for experiential learning collaborations across North America. On December 13th, 2019, Riipen celebrates six years of learning and growth. In honour of yet another year drawing to a close, here are some highlights of Riipen’s key accomplishments of 2019.

Year in Review:

  • 64% increase in student experiences
  • 8,249 experiences delivered in Ontario
  • 14,651 total experiences delivered in 2019
  • Team Riipen Grows to 48 people! 
  • International partnerships in Australia and the UK 
  • Partnership with RBC Future Launch
  • $3.75M (USD) of New Funding 
  • Riipen wins gold at Reimagine Education Awards

As a result of funding received the previous year from the Government of Ontario, Riipen was able to deliver 8,249 online work-integrated experiential learning experiences delivered over 12 schools in 2019 which is a 64% increase in student experiences from the previous year. In 2019, Riipen delivered a total of 14,651 experiences and to date has enabled 40,000 students at 150+ post-secondary institutions to partake in 1.5 million hours of applied learning with 5,000 companies.

Team Riipen Grows:

Team Riipen grew rapidly in 2019; welcoming many new members and growing an astounding 92% from a team of 25 to a team of 48. With this rapid expansion, our Vancouver headquarters grew out of our coworking space and expanded to our very own Riipen office located in Gastown. Team Riipen also expanded into Eastern Canada where the team opened up a Toronto based office in the downtown core. We grew the team in Toronto from 3 people to 17 people.

International Partnerships:

In 2019, Riipen went global as we continued to expand our community and partnered with our first post-secondary institutions in Australia and the United Kingdom. The Riipen team welcomes the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology from Melbourne, Australia and the University of Southampton from Southampton, United Kingdom.

Partnership with RBC Future Launch:

In 2019, Riipen launched a national experiential learning partnership with RBC Future Launch. The Riipen platform was made available to 13 post-secondary institutions nationwide with the support of the RBC Foundation. Additional information including a full list of participating schools can be found in this press release and programming for the above schools can be found here.

RBC Future Launch and Riipen have also partnered to provide 33 charities and non-profit organizations with Riipen licenses. The selected organizations will have the opportunity to engage in projects that are relevant to achieving their business goals, connect with post-secondary institutions across Canada through their students, identify new potential hires or volunteers, and support Canada in building the new generation of talent with the right skills to succeed in the future of work.

Funding:

Riipen has closed a $3.75M (USD) pre-series A round of investment and welcomes Reach Capital, Strada Education Network, SEI Ventures, EduLabs Capital Partners, Entangled Group, Atrium, and Arizona State University Scale U to our wonderful community of mentors and investors. To read more about Riipen’s new round of funding, see this press release.

Last year, in 2018, Riipen had also received a $735,000 investment from the Government of Ontario. As a result of that funding, Riipen was able to deliver 8,249 online work-integrated experiential learning experiences across 12 Ontario colleges and universities. To read more about the Career Ready Fund and the Ontario Government’s investment, click here.

Reimagine Education Award:

On December 10th, 2019 Riipen traveled to London, England where we were awarded the Reimagine Education Gold Award in the category “Nurturing Employability.” The awards, known as the “Oscars of Education,” saw its most competitive year with over 1,500 applications from 39 countries in 16 different award categories. 

We are honoured that our project, “Building Ontario’s Inclusive, Online Work-Integrated Experiential Learning Ecosystem,” won gold in recognition of the work we have done with the MTCU and the Career Ready Fund. Read more about Riipen and the Reimagine Education Awards here.

Publications:

As Riipen continues to grow, we have been featured in a number of online publications such as Forbes, TechCrunch, and Bloomberg. See the featured articles below:

  • Forbes: “Hugh Grant U: What Colleges Can Learn From ‘Four Weddings And a Funeral’ 
  • Forbes: “The Need for Discovery Gap Years, Microinternships As Students Choose College”
  • TechCrunch: “The New Marketplaces Connecting School and Work”
  • Bloomberg: “RBC and Riipen launch national experiential learning partnership for Canadian youth”
  • Business Insider: “RBC and Riipen launch national experiential learning partnership for Canadian youth”
  • Betakit: “Vancouver EdTech Startup Raises $5 Million Pre-Series A”
  • EdSurge: “Riipen Raises $3.75 Million to Unite College Students and Employers Via Course Projects”

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2019 was an incredible year for Riipen and it would not have been possible without all of our amazing partners, mentors, and the amazing Riipen team. Thank you to everyone that has been part of our journey and continues to support our vision. We look forward to what 2020 will bring and sharing this next chapter with you all. Happy Birthday, Riipen! 

2 Comments

  1. Sue Olsen

    Congratulations on an amazing year!!!

    Reply
  2. Gilles Cloutier

    Congratulations for such an inspiring and promising initiative!

    Best to all the artisans of this success!

    Reply

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