Small and medium-sized businesses looking to address the talent gap can turn to Riipen’s Level UP Program for access to fully subsidized, remote paid internships

July 26, 2022

July 26, 2022 – Vancouver, BC – In light of the changing nature of work and challenges around sourcing talent, Riipen’s Level UP program has expanded to support 18,000 new fully subsidized, remote paid internships for small and mid-sized companies over the next two years.

“Businesses can access project-based paid placements at no cost,” says Dana Stephenson, Co-founder and CEO of Riipen. “Level UP’s remote internships can help businesses reduce capacity strain, boost productivity, and increase access to innovative thinking, while still giving post-secondary students from anywhere in the country flexible opportunities to earn work experience, gain professional mentorship and develop the entrepreneurial mindset sought out by recruiters from all fields.”  

“The transition from school to work can be a challenge, especially for young Canadians from marginalized communities,” says Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth. “The youth in Riipen’s Level UP Remote Internship program gain the skills and experience to find rewarding careers in fields that they are passionate about. Programs like Level UP are able to leverage technology to make sure that everyone, regardless of their background, has a fair shot at success in the job market and beyond.”

All project communications and tracking can be done online through the Riipen platform, so students and companies can collaborate from anywhere and not be held back by geographical barriers. The Riipen team works with employers to help structure their immediate business needs into a fully scoped project that can be completed within 80 hours over a two- to eight-week period. Importantly, internships come at no cost to businesses and they are not held up by applying for wage-subsidy programs as students are compensated a $1,400 stipend directly by Riipen.

“Our small culinary medicine company took advantage of the program and brought on two students to take part in an 8-week remote student internship,” says Dr. Anthony Marotta, CEO of Vancouver-based Peqish Food Company. The two students, who study at universities in Ontario and Saskatchewan, were selected by the company from a pool of Level UP applicants and were hired to develop a marketing strategy and awareness campaign to promote healthier eating habits to younger Canadians. “We were so impressed by the quality of the work that we hired both students once their internships were completed—despite neither of them being located anywhere near Vancouver.”

FirstScreen, a small health software company out of Ontario, also brought on remote interns to assist with marketing, privacy needs and software development through Riipen’s Level UP Program.  “The work was excellent and really helped our company on some key projects where we were facing capacity issues,” says Susan So, CEO and Co-Founder.

Riipen’s Level UP Remote Internship Program is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiative, and has recently tripled its funding to an additional $36 million. 

Employers and interested parties can learn more, check eligibility and register for the program below.

Sign Up for Level UP

Dana Stephenson, Co-Founder and CEO of Riipen, Susan So, CEO and Co-Founder of FirstScreen, and Dr. Anthony Marotta, CEO of Peqish Food Company are all available for interviews.


About Riipen: Launched in 2017, Riipen is the world’s leading online work-integrated learning platform, connecting educators and learners with employers through highly flexible and scalable WIL solutions. On a mission to eliminate underemployment, Riipen has built a robust marketplace of over 410 higher education and training providers and 22,000 employers, delivering over 135,000 Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experiences to help learners enhance their skills, build their professional network, and accelerate their path to a meaningful career. Using technology and marketplace dynamics to break down traditional barriers to WIL access, Riipen brings the Future of Work to diverse learners of all backgrounds. Learn more at

Media Contact:

Patrice Oliveira

Phone: 416-865-7857

Level UP is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiatives program