Bridging the Gap Between College and Career: Interview with Dana Stephenson, Cofounder of Riipen

Message body: “Hi [insert name here], I’d like to join your LinkedIn network.”

Slightly different bits of scripts, flipped and switched for each of LinkedIn’s 390 million+ members: The inbox fodder of a company that was maybe little bit late in their app redesign, a company synonymous with the term “professional social media,” a company acquired for 26.2 billion dollars at the beginning of June.

LinkedIn has reach, there’s no denying it, but the networking titan has been missing out on a key demographic, a demographic that is entering the job market further behind the eight ball than it has ever been in history; college students.

Grads may enter the job market with a 4-year degree and no real path to employment. The student may have an internship listed on their networking profile, but the fruit of their work is summarized down to a title, a span of time, and a handful bullet points. Riipen seeks not only to provide tangible examples of their work within their respective industry, but to provide the opportunities themselves through direct integration within the classroom.

“Riipen is a web platform that enables post secondary schools to provide meaningful project-based experiential learning at scale,” says Dana Stephenson, cofounder and Chiief Connectiing Offiicer (see what he’s doing there?) of Riipen.

“The way we do that is by helping professors match their classroom assignments to companies, so that students can graduate not only with the transcript for their degree, but with the real world experience to help them land meaningful employment upon graduation.”

EdTech Times’ Hannah Nyren spoke with Dana more about the company’s beginnings and product in the interview below:

EdTech Innovators: Meet Dana Stephenson, Cofounder of Riipen

Dana tells us how—and why—he and his cofounders started their edtech startup while they were still in college.

EdTech Innovations: Riipen with Cofounder Dana Stephenson

Dana tells us about the development of the product and what we can expect from Riipen in the future.

Sam Benson Smith

Sam Benson Smith

Sam has covered education, travel, and sports for Off Assignment, CLNS Radio, and Bibliophile, former 2 time JV volleyball captain, onetime water park mascot.