It takes more than an idea to build a successful company.It takes leadership, a mix of resources, investment capital, and most importantly, people. Victoria’s Redbrick serves as a great example. In 2011, the company started out asan intimate, red-brick office of software developers — and has since grown into a global portfolio of disruptive tech-first companies that are engaging audiences around the world.
What do they do exactly? The innovators and investors atRedbrickacquire products that they scale into disruptive digital companies.One of these products is Leadpages, which Redbrick acquired this past March. It’s a no-code website builder enabling entrepreneurs and small-business marketers to easily build and publish websites. As a result of the acquisition, Redbrick’s annual revenue run rate increased to an impressive $80M in 2020.
To accelerate the company's growth, Redbrick has hired 37(!) co-op students over the past two years. And to help them offset the hiring costs, they've received $24,300 in support from Innovate BC's Tech Co-op Grants Program. We talked to Isla Swanwick, Redbrick’s People Operations Coordinator, to learn more about their company and find out about their experience working with co-op students.
Q: Why do you hire co-op students? How do they help your company?
Isla: We hire co-op students because we believe it greatly benefits both Redbrick and the students that we hire. Our co-op program provides students with valuable work experience as they’re able to find practical applications for their education. Our students are treated just like full-time employees, and they get to work on real products. 11% of our current workforce are former co-op students who completed their studies and came back to work full-time for Redbrick. That is another reason why we value the co-op program so much.
Q: What’s next for Redbrick? Are there any big projects on the horizon?
Isla: Redbrick is always working on projects to push the boundaries in the tech industry. We encourage new ideas and innovation from every team at Redbrick which means there are always new things to come for us. After acquiring the US company Leadpages, we have an additional 40 enthusiastic people on our team!
Would your company benefit from the Innovate BC Tech Co-op Grants Program? We’ve increased the funding amount, so now your company could receive up to $20K a year – just for hiring co-op students.