From 0 to 100K learner experiences

Team Riipen is thrilled to announce that we have hit a huge milestone: 100,000 learner experiences delivered! 🎉We want to thank all of the educators, employers, and learners who are a part of the Riipen community for your contributions, feedback, and support. We couldn’t have done this without your dedication, commitment, and passion!Join us as we look back on this amazing journey, celebrate all that we have achieved, and look to the future!
October 19, 2021
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Team Riipen is thrilled to announce that we have hit a huge milestone: 100,000 learner experiences delivered! 🎉

We want to thank all of the educators, employers, and learners who are a part of the Riipen community for your contributions, feedback, and support. We couldn’t have done this without your dedication, commitment, and passion!

Join us as we look back on this amazing journey, celebrate all that we have achieved, and look to the future!

Starting from zero

Conceptualized as a capstone entrepreneurship project at the University of Victoria, Riipen’s Co-founders Dana Stephenson, Dave Savory, and Jordan Ell set out on a mission to end underemployment. As students themselves, they wanted to address the ultimate graduation conundrum: you can’t get a job without experience, but you can’t get experience without a job.

The Riipen marketplace was conceptualized to be two-sided, so both educators and employers can submit their courses and projects, respectively, and then “match” with each other based on relevancy. This is to ensure that learners are exposed to opportunities that would be most relevant to their future career path.

Since then, the Riipen marketplace has grown exponentially as we welcomed thousands of academic and employer partners to the platform. Today, Riipen projects are virtually accessible to learners in 9 countries on 4 continents, becoming one of the largest online experiential learning marketplaces in the world. There are currently over 400 post-secondary institution partners and more than 17,000 employers from businesses and non-profits on our platform.

Riipen Ecosystem Metrics

Here we grow

100,000 learner experiences equates to 7 million hours of experiential learning! That’s a huge number, but what does it really mean? Here are a few comparisons to help put these numbers into perspective:

  • Disney World Magic Kingdom, the happiest place on earth, delivers 100,000 guest experiences on its busiest day of the year (Christmas) - that’s a lot of experiences! 
  • In the past year alone, we have sourced and delivered more work-based learning experiences than the top 5 post-secondary schools for internships and co-ops (incl. Northeastern) combined!
  • 7 million hours is just shy of 800 years - that’s enough time to build the Great Pyramids 40 times over!
  • 7 million hours is the full-time workforce of 3,500 people, putting the labour value Riipen has provided to employers in the same league as Snapchat, DoorDash, or Dropbox’s workforce!

Over the course of the last year, the demand for remote and project-based learning opportunities increased drastically in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Riipen’s existing technology allowed us to form partnerships with government and industry organizations to effectively deliver virtual internships and projects to learners of all backgrounds at an accelerated pace and scale.

In 2021, we saw an 88% growth in the number of learner experiences delivered compared to 2020. As a result, we delivered almost 50% of our total 100,000 learner experiences this year alone!

88% in Learner Experience Growth 2020-2021

Want to learn more about the innovative programs we were able to launch and how they're continuing to grow beyond the pandemic? Get in touch and we would be happy to show you!

A real impact

Each Riipen learner experience is not just “busy work”, but an opportunity to better prepare learners for the future of work, help businesses grow, and increase accessibility for marginalized communities. We are proud of the fact that over 90% of Riipen learners responded in their post-experience reflections that they have improved their career readiness and hands-on soft skills including communication, professionalism, critical thinking, and creativity.

For small businesses and non-profit organizations, experiential learning projects provide access to resources and the fresh perspectives of learners at the forefront of innovation. Riipen, as an online experiential learning marketplace, also expands equity for learners from underrepresented groups such as individuals in rural and remote communities or those with other barriers to traditional models of experiential learning.

Here are just a few highlights from the 100K learner experiences delivered through Riipen:

  • From Intern to Full-Time Hire. Liana Evans, a computer science student at Queen’s University, worked with Mesh AI as a User Experience Intern through the Riipen Level UP program. After completing her project, Liana was offered a full-time permanent position with the company and is now their Chief of Customer Success.
  • Improving Website Accessibility. The Women’s Economic Council (WEC), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Canadian women achieve economic security, worked with students from Capella University’s IT Graduate program. Over five months, these students audited the WEC website and provided recommendations to improve accessibility and sustainability.
  • After running a pilot program with Riipen, Arizona State University surveyed 88 of their students with results telling us a great deal about the skills developed by students through an experiential learning experience. The results were very telling with two-thirds of students indicating that they now have a clearer idea of the type of career they would like to pursue, that they are aware of the type of work that might be best for them, that they have more confidence in finding a job they like, and ultimately feel better prepared for the workforce as a result of this experience.

Let’s also hear directly from some of our learners, educators, and employers about their Riipen experience and the value of experiential learning:

Learner Testimonials

See more testimonials by visiting Riipen’s Wall of Love.

Looking ahead

Whether you have been a part of the Riipen community for years, recently joined, or are looking to expand your experiential learning opportunities, this is an incredible achievement and we are thrilled to be sharing this moment with you all!

Now, on to our next milestone of 1 million learner experiences by 2025, we look forward to celebrating with you again!

Curious about what Riipen can do for you? Visit our website to learn more or book a custom demo below. Connect with Riipen on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to stay in the know!

Riipen Level UP program is funded by the Government of Canada's Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiatives program. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

Get in touch

Join the celebration!

Celebrate this incredible milestone and show off your contribution to the 100K by downloading one of our 100K social graphics and sharing it with your network!

Be sure to use the #Riipen100K hashtag and tag us @Riipen. You can also tag the partners, mentors, and professional connections you've made through Riipen projects!

For additional guidance on how you can take part in this celebration, see our 100K Social Media Toolkit.

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