According to recent research from the Strada Institute for the Future of Work, nearly two-thirds of recent graduates are now underemployed (working in jobs that don’t require a degree).
Research also suggests that a lack of access to real-world experiences, such as internships, may actually perpetuate equity gaps in the workplace.
Riipen is the developer of a platform that enables students at post-secondary institutions to connect with real-world projects from companies.
Today they announced a $5 million pre Series A investment from impact investors Reach Capital, along with Strada Education Network, SEI Ventures, EduLab Capital Partners, Entangled Group, Atrium, and ASU ScaleU.
Founded by undergraduate students Dana Stephenson and Dave Savory in 2015, Riipen now serves more than 5,000 employers and 40,000 students at 150 colleges and universities globally.
Riipen’s unique platform does more than simply match college and university students with employer projects, enabling faculty to embed employer-created projects into courses and activities.
Employers, from IBM to the YMCA, have used the platform to conduct research on emerging markets, build their talent pipelines, and strengthen their brand among students and young professionals.
Small and mid-size businesses tend to provide real-time projects, while larger companies have begun to re-use the same projects in a bid to test dozens or hundreds of students and recruit top performers.
Riipen will use the new funding to diversify its offering in order to reach more students as well as expand globally.