2020: Top 10 moments from a really strange year | Adventus IO
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2020: Top 10 moments from a really strange year

adventusio-team-collage-during-covid
Last year we imagined the future. This year we built it.

The journey of this year was nothing like any of us had imagined.

At the start of the year, we were two years into our journey to help international students to make confident decisions through a trusted marketplace that connects the world’s institutions, recruiters & service providers.

We had less than 100 people and our platform hadn’t launched yet.

Despite the uncertainty of this year, we made it to the end and far exceeded our expectations. Here are our top 10 moments:

1. We started the year with an ambitious new direction

Our leadership team in December 2019 planning for 2020

This time last year, the leadership came together to envision the future and examine what the international education sector really needs to thrive.

Over 3 long days we debated, we modelled, we mind-mapped.

We challenged ourselves to think deeply about the core obstacles our customers face and how we can help turn them into opportunities for their growth and success.

What resulted was a robust strategy with ambitious goals that set the tone for what 2020 could be.

Our vision is to transform how the world accesses international education. The seeds for that vision were sowed here.

2. Then COVID hit, so we adapted

Our last day in the office together in March 2020 before COVID lockdown

Initially, there was confusion and uncertainty. But when it was clear our world of work was going to drastically change, our leadership team came together to create a plan of attack.

Thankfully, much of our original strategic planning remained intact. We’re a SaaS-based Edtech helping bring the international student recruitment sector online, so our platform became more relevant than ever.

But we had to think about our people. At this stage, we had 100 people across 14 offices in 8 countries. We had to ensure we could transition them into the new world of work safely.

3. We embraced working virtually and found new ways to have watercooler connections

Our first priority was making sure our people were safe and set up with the right tools to work from home comfortably. Then we made a commitment to avoid any COVID-related job losses (we succeeded!).

Next, we knew how important connection is to our team. The prospect of losing it during one of the most uncertain years many of us have experienced was tough on everyone. But we adapted and developed a host of new activities to stay connected and keep sane.

  • Adventus.io Got Talent, our very own virtual talent show
  • Virtual drinks
  • Zoom trivia
  • Themed Zoom meetings
  • Virtual picnic
  • New Slack channels: #Adventusdailylife #Music #Recommendations #Cricketfanatics #AFLfanatics

4. Our virtual launches were a hit!

After close to 2 years since our founders developed the idea, we officially launched in June of this year. We had initially planned a large-scale in-person launch roadshow. But the world changed, so we adapted.

Our team rapidly pivoted to create a remarkable interactive virtual experience. We rolled out these platform launches to thousands of international student recruitment agents across India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Australia.

40+

Regional platform launches

4,000+

Recruiters registered

5. We doubled in size

We started the year with less than 100 people. We end it days away from reaching 200 people across 8 countries.

Our Technology & Product team alone doubled in size!

6. We developed a new set of values

This year more than ever, having values that guide how we interact with each other and make decisions has been essential.

We celebrated fortnightly with everyone able to nominate their peers as our exemplars of our values – our Champions.

We even awarded our inaugural annual Champions in our end-of-year Global Town Hall. Congrats to Ruwani, Loshana, Shelane, Mansi, and Vasu.

Everyone’s contributions this year have been remarkable!

7. The platform is breaking new ground for the industry

We’re on the road to redefine the international student recruitment sector. Despite the unexpected obstacles of this year, we made remarkable progress.

These are just some of our product milestones:

  • Self sign-up and subscription system, including 100% commission delivery
  • Scaleable multi-tenant ordering infrastructure
  • Application management tools: Document Manager, Single Application, Scholarships, Commission Directory, Quick Uni Finder, Student Portal
  • COVID-ready flag: tagging all of our course inventory with how institutions are responding to COVID
  • Reimagined our UI/UX: creating a beautiful platform experience that is a pleasure to use
  • Institution Marketing: a suite of on-platform marketing products to help institutions target their marketing efforts like never before

8. We surpassed our goals…by a lot

1,800+

Recruiters signed from leading and emerging source countries

840+

Institutions signed across the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Asia

$6B+

Gross Tuition Value on platform

9. The market took notice

It’s not why we do what we do, but it was nice to see the hard work of our team to get industry recognition and a global audience.

10. We threw an epic virtual party

After an unparalleled year, we needed to left off some steam.

So we threw an epic end of year virtual party across multiple timezones in 8 countries with 160+ people.

We dressed up, made food, and had spectacular performances from the team – Bollywood dancing, sweet rendition of Little Drummer Boy from Sri Lanka, traditional dancing from Pakistan, soulful cover of Adele from Vietnam, a Baari song cover, and so many more.

Our Regional Manager in Vietnam, Dean, hosted possibly the most competitive round of Kahoot! ever played, and proved himself as our new Chief MC Officer.

It was well deserved celebration of our diverse team to close out a strange but rewarding year.

Last year we imagined the future. This year we built it. Next year we scale. Stay tuned…

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