Herizon year 2023 in review

Started as a side hustle at Icebreaker.vc, and now we’re making real waves.

Herizon year 2023 in review

What a year for Herizon! Started as a side hustle at Icebreaker.vc, and now we’re making real waves.

133 people landed jobs through Herizon in 2023 – that’s 233 since I convinced Anni and Reo to join my crazy growth-hacking experiment by sourcing them from local Facebook groups.

Thanks to Viivi and Meri-Kaisla for making this happen. After matching and training the first 100, that’s definitely the hardest part of keeping the employment success rate exceptional, and couldn’t be more proud of the current team for real jobs (133!!), excellent partnerships (KONE, Solita, Slush, etc.) and hosting incredible 137 events for highly educated immigrants to help them to integrate and land a job. Can’t wait to see what 2024 brings to our NGO with a startup twist!

I’m going to end this post with a humble brag to myself: A year ago I could’ve never ever imagined succeeding in NGO fundraising which at some point seemed an impossible task (especially for a startup hustler like me who absolutely didn’t understand it at all), but after knocking over 100 doors I landed the first grant and eventually raised €185K. Everything is possible when you test and iterate.

We have runway until the end of next year so the ROI calculation of sponsoring us most likely looks like <€1000 / employed immigrant. Calculated by the average salary of the employed person (€3K) the impact is almost €400K /month in new salaries paid for formerly unemployed people during this year. As a startup hustler, I think it’s a pretty good start, but we can do better.

Herizon 2023 in numbers

Our main goal is employment so let’s start with employment numbers:

  • 133 employed individuals (233 total since the beginning)
  • 501 learning community members (added +16 during holidays)
  • 1000+ Discord members (extended community)
  • A total of 71 nationalities in the community

Hosting events is a big part of a sense of belonging in a new country. We hosted 137 events including coworking, LinkedIn bootcamps, online networking, guest speakers, and learning Finnish groups. Event partnerships include the Cities of Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa, adult education Haaga-Helia, Xes, and Hive, and organizational collaborations with Slush, KONE, and Solita with several others.

We identified an opportunity for mentorship and launched the mentorship program during the Fall. As a result, we got to 33 mentors <> mentee matches including 32 mentors and 33 mentees. Our mentors come from amazing companies including Klarna, Hyper Island, Lifeline Ventures, Hoxhunt, Columbia Road, and several others.

We couldn’t do it without our partners. In total Herizon received €185,000 extending our runway with the current team to October 2024.

Key learnings and opportunities 2023:

  • LinkedIn bootcamp helps 5/20 participants (active individuals in the group) attract job opportunities within the cohort. We will search for opportunities to attract more immigrants in Finland to join the workshops.
  • Event partnerships with organizations are a big motivation boost for international job seekers. We’re looking for more collaborations during 2024.
  • The job market is broken and finding open positions is hard. Most of the positions LinkedIn bootcamp participants attract are not in open search. Companies don’t identify what they need and information is too scattered. We aim to start fixing this in 2024.

Thank you for this year and enjoy your holidays!