Are you thinking of the next move in your life and career? Looking for an opportunity to learn the latest tech and to skyrocket your self-confidence? How about a startup job in San Francisco? Before moving forward, let’s just have a short chit chat first and introduce you to our program and where Startuplifers is coming from.


Building a community of Nordic techies, future-builders and world-changing startups


The Startuplifers internship program started in 2011. A group of students from Aalto University’s entrepreneurial community believed that the best way to improve entrepreneurship and economy in Finland is to change the way young people perceive entrepreneurship.

To complete this mission, we send talented Finnish and Swedish students to fast-growing startups in the San Francisco Bay Area to experience the world’s most important startup hub. The goal is to help students learn, get inspired and find the confidence to one day create world-changing innovations themselves. And that’s why we do it all non-profit.


“The goal is to help students learn, get inspired and find the confidence to one day create world-changing innovations themselves.”


The “Lifers” – our alumni – have done just this. They have become entrepreneurs, influencers and true professionals in their fields. Nowadays our alumni community consists of over 200 Lifers, who get together frequently to remember the times in the program, to have fun or to learn something new together.

We have established a firm community also in the Bay Area, where we have constantly had a representation of at least 30 Lifers. Our community makes sure that you’ll have the support any time you have the need for it!


Startuplifers BBQ party with Meru Health in Palo Alto


With Startuplifers, you get to develop the technologies of tomorrow. Here are some of our partnering companies:


 Applied Intuition provides advanced simulation and infrastructure tools for the autonomous vehicle industry.

 Their stack includes e.g. C++, PhysX, AAA, and ROS.

 Founded by Qasar Younis, whose previous startup TalkBin was acquired by Google where he then went to work as the Group Product Manager. After that, he acted as the Chief Operating Officer for Y Combinator, one of the world’s best startup programs. Company’s investors include Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape) and Mike Maples (seed investor in Twitch and Twitter) among many others.


 Arch provides a device-to-cloud platform and partners with industrial thought leaders to define and implement cutting-edge IoT systems.

 They use technologies such as C, Python, Flask, Docker, Angular, Ionic, Postgres, and NoSQL.

Started by Stanford Engineering PhDs and growing out of non-profit work in Africa, Arch is a venture-backed company working with top Fortune 500 customers to retrofit industrial machines with IoT to drive efficiency, transparency, and next-generation intelligence.


 Coinbase is an online platform that allows merchants, consumers, and traders to transact with the digital currency.

 They develop the product mainly with e.g. Golang, React, Ruby, Docker, Sinatra, Rails, Postgres, MongoDB, and Redshift.

 The engineering teams at Coinbase are all about continuous learning. They continuously dive into the computational, financial and economic theory to better understand the engineering problems at hand.


 Focal Systems is focused on the development of applications for retail shops. They offer Focal Tablet, an application powered by artificial intelligence, that enables retail stores to manage their stocks and obtain information about customer engagement.

 Their stack includes e.g. Python, MongoDB, Docker & Kubernetes and Keras & TensorFlow.

 The team consists of Stanford PhDs and Masters students with backgrounds from Apple, Google, and Facebook, specializing in state-of-the-art machine learning and computer vision – the same technology used by Amazon Go, Google’s self-driving cars, and other applications.


 Lumi Labs is a technology incubator that focuses on the development of consumer media and artificial intelligence.

 As a super small startup studio, they are using any technologies needed to spin out the next big things in their fields of focus.

 The small founding team consists of Marissa Mayer, one of the first employees of Google and also the ex-CEO of Yahoo, and Enrique Muñoz Torres, previously a Senior Product Manager at Google and SVP for Search and Advertising at Yahoo.


 Stripe builds economic infrastructure for the internet. They combine economic infrastructure with a set of applications for new business models like crowdfunding and marketplaces, fraud prevention, analytics, and more.

 Their product is mainly put together using Ruby, Python, CoffeeScript, Scala and Go.

 A working environment with super experienced but down to earth colleagues and founders. Teams work really hard but valuing people is what Stripe’s all about and as they put it: “We want to work in a company of deeply good people who treat their colleagues exceptionally well. No matter how talented, we won’t hire jerks.”


Webflow is a web design tool, CMS, and hosting platform in one. They empower designers to create beautiful, responsive websites—without writing a single line of code, or relying on a developer.

 Their stack includes e.g. GraphQL, node.js, React and OpenResty.

 The company’s core philosophy is all about learning together. They don’t care about degrees or GPAs. Instead, they value the ability to learning and trying out new things to get the most important tasks done.


Would you like to know more about the startups’ jobs and technologies you could be building? Go see the complete list of our partnering startups on our Jobs page, read our position blog post and subscribe to our newsletter to hear directly about the new companies and positions in San Francisco.


How about the destination then?


 The San Francisco Bay Area


San Francisco downtown captured from Stripe’s lunch balcony


The San Francisco Bay Area has been the number one place for the latest tech for a long time and continues to do so. It’s the place where many of the world-changing technologies are first introduced to large markets. As our alumna Pauliina put it, in San Francisco, you can’t avoid being influenced by futuristic, tech-driven and even utopian thinking.

In San Francisco, you’re constantly surrounded by extremely intelligent people aspiring to become the best in their field. In such an environment, it isn’t too hard to put your own learning curve to a whole new track!

“In San Francisco, you can’t avoid being influenced by futuristic, tech-driven and even utopian thinking.” –Alumni ’18


Workshopping together with our community in San Francisco


Each Startuplifer has a unique story and experience


Here’s what some of our alumni have to say:


“I worked in the Scala team under developer productivity. I did open source work to improve the build tool we were using for Scala and worked on some internal scala libraries. I got to work with many experienced engineers that had previously been at many of the big companies in San Francisco like Facebook, Twitter and more. Stripe is not really a startup anymore but it was super exciting to experience how a successful and rapidly growing company in San Francisco works. I applied and got the job on my own but got good support by the Startuplifers network while in San Francisco.”

Johan Jern, Stripe


“I worked on the customer facing web application, and because of our small team, I had major ownership on it. Basically, all OneSignal dashboard feature requests and bugfixes were assigned to me. It was thrilling to continuously ship code to over 110,000 clients as feedback quickly found its way back to me.”

Juuso Haavisto, Memebox & OneSignal


“At Coinbase I did UX design and web design for Coinbase’s consumer product and marketing website. I also spearheaded Coinbase’s user research initiative by organizing and conducting user testing for their web and mobile products.”

Satu Peltola, Coinbase


“Being a member of Metabase’s hyper-technical team was a fascinating experience. I deeply enjoyed the level of autonomy and social support I received during my internship. I worked on almost all aspects of our frontend and got my hands dirty with the Clojure backend as well! My proudest achievement was coming up with a novel way to do frontend testing which had a huge positive impact on the stability and reliability of our product.”

Atte Keinänen, Metabase


“I developed a number of features including internal tools for automation of logistics, inventory management, customer support issues tracking and resolution, data collection and visualisation for sales lead generation. My responsibilities spanned research and architecture of new features, database schema design, full-stack development, test coverage, user feedback collection and adjustments based on it.”

Kate Dorrer, Crowdmade


“Startuplifers changed my life upside down. You know those stories where farm boy from nowhere becomes the leader of a rebellion? I feel like that guy. The biggest difference is my self-confidence which rocketed through the roof during the year.” –Alumni ’15




Ah, and the applying process. Here’s how it works!


After you send your application, it typically takes approximately 3-4 months for you to actually get on a plane. The time can vary a lot depending on the companies recruitment processes and the time it takes us to find you the perfect position. You can also read about our alumna Kate’s journey to her internship in San Francisco here.



Send us an application and get feedback. If you are accepted to our talent pool, we’ll help you perfect your CV and LinkedIn. Now you are ready to land the job of your dreams!


 Get connected with startups

Whenever we find a position suitable for you and your personal preferences, we share your profile with the startup and let them get to know you.


 Shine in your interview

The startup wants to interview you! We’ll help you prepare for the interview and support you throughout the process.


 Land the job of your dreams

The startup wants to hire you! We’ll go through the contract together, to make sure everything is fine.


 Begin the experience of your lifetime

We’ll start the visa process, buy the flights and connect you with our community. Time to start the adventure!


In addition to our own match-making process, you can also increase your chances of getting hired to startups in our destinations. Go check out our blog post on how to land your dream job abroad yourself!


That’s just a small bit of everything this program has to offer you. Feel free to reach out or dive deeper – you can get involved directly by applying or shoot us a message if you have any further questions about working at a startup in San Francisco.

After all, we’re here to help you grow as much as possible and to help you make the most out of your first career steps in tech!