Today, 9/30/2022, we are officially closing our internship placement business. It wasn't easy, but we decided to shut down after diligent consideration.
The story of creating a global internship platform started when I met Prerna Hatyal at the PATA Annual Summit in Cebu, Philippines, in May 2019. She was my tourism student mentee from India. She told me about the difficulty of gaining global work experience in her country. It sparked me to build a solution connecting students to worldwide internships virtually.
Fast forward almost three years; we have turned this idea into a reality without raising a dime of outside capital. Through the pandemic, we interviewed over 2,000 candidates and helped 700+ students across 33 countries get virtual internships from our network of 123 employers.
We started with our roots in the travel industry. We helped many hospitality & tourism students pivot during COVID-19 by training them for remote work. 70% of our interns were female from underserved communities in emerging markets. The internships at Talent Basket created empowering and life-changing experiences for them.
Our graduates enjoyed successful early careers, including entry jobs at well-known companies like Meta, Klook, Accenture, Vodafone, and many other exciting ventures. We could not be happier to see their growth and accomplishment, knowing that we were a significant part of their journey.
However, a mission-driven business needs to back by a sustainable revenue model. Our "tech-enabled recruitment" has many complex challenges to scale and achieve profitability. It is also difficult to maintain the consistent quality of our placement when 38% of our employers reported issues during the internship, which resulted in high churn. Macro factors in 2022, like the tech market hiring freeze and the workforce moving back to the office, also negatively impacted our business.
Shutting down and letting go of many outstanding, hard-working team members is never easy. However, we cherish this collective experience as a community and celebrate our learning and success instead of a bitter ending. We will forever remember the Talent Basket global youth movement from 2019 - 2022 and be proud of it.
So what's next?
Personally, this is not the end of my entrepreneurship. It is liberating to get back to the drawing board again to figure out what's next from zero to one, learning from all the mistakes last three years. Stay in touch and keep updated on what's next at Talent Basket by subscribing below. Thank you again for all of your love and support.
Sincerely, Jason Lin Co-founder/CEO, Talent Basket