Which is no small feat, let’s be real...
After a couple of ‘minimal screen’ weeks, lots of time with my springer spaniel, (🐶@pippathe.pupper, you’re welcome) and with the Aussie sunshine blazing outside my window, I’m really proud to share some of the big milestones and smaller moments from the past 12 months at HEX.
If 2020 was about running on adrenaline to stay alive, then 2021 was all about consolidation and building new foundations – setting the business up for a truly global future.
We’re still incredibly passionate about educating and empowering the next generation of new economy leaders. We firmly believe that our students will build businesses and influence change – so that tech better serves people, planet and society in the (near!) future.
Against the background of a recovering economy, we’re teaching our students the skills of leadership, tech, ethics, financial literacy, futurist mindsets, and innovation. We do this so they will thrive and have courage in this collaborative, ever-evolving workforce. In time, our students will change the face of leadership completely.
In 2021, we channeled our wealth of insights from the past few years into our new vision for education, HEX Ed. An ‘innovation gap year’ which is inclusive, encourages exploration, and comes with a built-in global network.
To do so, we had to walk a tightrope of delivering the awesome HEX programs we are known for – while also building completely new business functions and products.
I’m so grateful for and in awe of my team for yet another huge year. As a founder, I know I have a deep sense of responsibility to our mission and often stretch the team to seemingly impossible goals. So I want to thank them for their capacity for new ideas, their elastic brains, their humanity, and their passion for the students we serve.
🎓 In 2021, we directly educated and empowered 743 students through HEX programs, and impacted thousands more:
🎯 We delivered 28 x innovation programs & events for partners like Haileybury, beaton, Allens, City of Melbourne, SouthStart (3100+ learners).
👾 We launched two digital products, HEX Ed (innovation gap year) and HEX World (global community infrastructure).
🏅 HEX was recognised again in industry awards including SmartCompany’s SMART50 (shortlisted in 4, won 1).
🇮🇳 We were selected for Global Victoria’s EdTech Mission to India.
💜 We also rebranded, and we love our new look, thanks to Melbourne-based agency heapssmall.
🍾 We grew our team from 5 to 11, including folks in regional NSW, Christchurch, New Zealand and Kolkata, India. (I’m proud to say we now have four talented HEX Alumni on the payroll – talk about ‘drinking your own champagne’!)
🏠 We moved into HEX HQ within Neighbourhood, a cool warehouse space in Fitzroy, Melbourne which used to be a shoe factory. Graffiti and laneway vibes included.
🧠 We launched an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and a paid Pandemic Leave Policy to support the emotional and mental wellbeing of our team.
🤩 And we’re currently hiring a full-time Growth Marketing Manager, so if you know anyone, send ‘em our way!
At the end of last year, we set our sights on three key goals: Product, capital and partnerships. (You can hold me accountable by checking out my 2020 wrap up post!).
So how did we go?
All in all, I’d say we did ok.
“HEX as always, you know how to bring the energy and really get your students to shine.
Lauren Morrey, Director, Innovation Capabilities, Victorian Government Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
“Thank you for providing incredible learning opportunities for our next generation of global citizens.”
Dimity Hyde, Global Mobility, Griffith University
“Came in knowing little about starting a business. In a single week I was pitching my business idea to real investors. Best learning experience I have ever undertaken, couldn't recommend something more than this.”
“Student engagement and testimonials have been off the charts! I haven’t seen as much enthusiasm and positivity on any other program for a long time.
On behalf of Study Melbourne congrats on creating something very special and offering something unique to students that contributes in so many ways to their wellbeing and resilience, through social entrepreneurship.”
2021: Consolidate insights. Build new foundations
2022: Change the conversation. Play a bigger game.
In 2022, you’ll see HEX everywhere. With fresh capital, a fresher vision, and our industry and uni-backed product which is a fraction of the cost of a college semester, we’ll be stepping out of build phase and talking the talk.
As more and more high-school leavers choose to ‘Start with HEX’, HEX Ed will provide a pipeline of future-ready talent to world-class universities (like University of Wollongong), employers (like Atlassian and Canva), and startup accelerators (like Berkeley SkyDeck and Antler).
A big shout out and thanks to Chris, Jac, John, Katy, Eleanor, Alfie, James, Shirley, Ian, Luke, Georgie, Matt, Kim, Eva, Sarah, Jim, Allison, Will, Scott, Caitlin, Paul, and all the mentors, advisers, alumni, interns, friends and supporters who had our backs this year.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
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