In this week’s post we get to know Tomi Kalmi, Startuplifers alumnus currently working as a Full-Stack Developer at Compound.
In 2019, Tomi joined Chartmetric as their Software Engineer through Startuplifers. Chartmetric is a music analytics platform trusted by the biggest companies in the industry such as Universal Music Group, Sony, and Warner. The company was founded in 2015 by Sung Cho with the goal to create the best data analytics tool that the music industry has ever seen.
Before Startuplifers experience, Tomi studied at Aalto University and pursued a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering as well as MSc. in Computer Science. He worked as a Software Developer at Futurice where he participated in multiple client projects.
When an opportunity opened at Chartmetrics, he was excited about the new challenges that the role would offer: “At Chartmetric I will be working with one product instead of doing several projects for different clients, so that’s something new I’m excited about”, Tomi said before taking off to San Francisco.
It has been a while since Tomi returned back to Finland. So how does he reflect back on her Startuplifers experience? Let’s find out…
10 Questions with Startuplifers Alumni
What's your name?
How did you first hear about Startuplifers?
I first heard about Startuplifers back in 2016 through my colleague Emmi, who eventually became a Startuplifer herself too.
What motivated you to apply?
I had wanted to come live in the US ever since I was a teenager, and planned on going there as an exchange student. Unfortunately, the university of my choice (the Ohio State University) didn’t accept exchange students from Aalto, so I figured Startuplifers would be the next best thing.
Which company did you join through Startuplifers?
I joined Chartmetric, a music data analytics company, in 2019.
What is the biggest learning you have gained from working at a startup?
Just how much ownership of their work everybody in a startup has. It’s a small team and the company’s success is truly tied to the effort we put in, so everybody’s real motivated to do their best. Another thing that was eye-opening to see was just the sheer amount of money floating around Silicon Valley startups and how chill everyone seemed about it. That’s the one thing I’d like all entrepreneurial Finnish people to see — dare to dream big and set your goals high!
Name one cool/crazy/amazing experience while working through Startuplifers?
I got to go to CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference 2019 in Austin, TX through Chartmetric, which was a pretty sweet experience. There were some cool talks (including Questlove!) at the conference and it’s a real nice city with all the BBQ, live music, and bat watching. Highly recommend visiting there!
Describe your Startuplifers experience with few words.
Eye-opening, unforgettable, fun, exciting.
What would you tell someone who is thinking of applying to Startuplifers?
Highly recommend doing it! There’s plenty to see and experience in the US, and it can be a great opportunity for you career-wise.
Did Startuplifers experience help you in your career development. How?
After Startuplifers, I landed a job at another startup in San Francisco, which I don’t think I would’ve been able to do without the experience I gained while living there. Knowing people in the area and understanding the local culture can open many doors for you.
What do you do now? What's next for you?
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