The fastest way to find a startup job
is to take self-initiative

Startuplifers alumni

Startuplifers On-Demand

Didn’t find a fitting position this time? No problem, Startuplifers on-demand helps you to land a job in any startup. Once you’re hired, we will handle your visas and flights.

The On-demand program provides a shortcut to students and recent graduates who want to kickstart their careers at a startup. If you are eager to work at a startup in Silicon Valley or another hub in the US, but you have not found a suitable position on our jobsite yet, then On-demand is for you!

How does it work?

Find a startup that excites you

Contact the startup on your own

Join our workshops and get support for your application/interviews from Startuplifers

Excel in your interviews and get hired

Contact us and become a part of our Startuplifers Community

Forget your visa and flights - we take care of them!

Have an experience of a lifetime!


With On-demand, you get to take a more active, personalized approach to your U.S. startup job search compared to the other path, where you apply directly to open positions. On-demand allows you to hunt for your dream job at your dream startup, while we offer support and take care of your visa and flights.

The great education system fosters innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset in students. Students in Nordic countries have commonly gained work experience in their own field, often abroad or in a very international setting. Startuplifers alone has sent over 250 talented people from Finland and Sweden abroad. Silicon Valley companies know the benefits of hiring Nordic talent (if not, don’t be shy to highlight the benefits mentioned above) and they are happy to hire more!

Students and recent graduates from Finnish or Swedish universities or universities of applied sciences. You must be pursuing or have pursued a degree from these institutions (i.e., no exchange studies).
If you are uncertain whether your university qualifies, please reach out to us.

  • Find a company/position that excites you (requirements for startups), for example, on AngelList or Crunchbase.
  • Apply for an open position or contact the company directly with an open application (tips for applying). Take part in our events to get even more tips for your job hunt!
  • Got a job offer? Fantastic – contact us and we will guide you through the process!

The rough estimate is 2,5 months. It can be more, it can be less.
There are 3 steps to the process, and their timelines do not overlap:

1. Preparing the J-1 documentation and training plan, in conjunction with the J-1 host company. This will take a few weeks.

2. The DS-2019 (which is needed for the J-1 visa appointment). This takes up to one month.

3. The J-1 visa application appointment in the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki. You can check the estimated wait times here.

  •  Any U.S. startup that fulfils the following criteria:

    • 1-300 employees (CIEE requires more than 5 local employees to get the visa, but this can be figured out with fewer people as well, if everything else is ok)
    • Growing early-stage startup companies that have their own scalable product/service
    • No consultancies, creative studios or agencies

      The startup pays a flat finders fee of USD 6500 (incl. visa, flights, legal services). 

You can find open startup jobs, for example, on AngelList or Crunchbase

 Any tech/business/design jobs at U.S. startups that fulfil the startup criteria mentioned above.

  • The visa we are able to facilitate for on-demand as well as all other positions we recruit for is the J-1 visa. This will be valid for 12-18 months, depending on your student status and work experience:

    1) INTERNSHIP (INT) type; max 12 months (+ max.  2 months grace period) – for this category, the applicant should be:
  • a university student OR
  • recently graduated (within one year)

2) PRACTICAL CAREER TRAINING (PCT) type; max 18 months (+ max 2 months grace period) – for this category, the applicant should be:

  • a university graduate with at least one year experience of work from the field they graduated in and what the internship is for, OR
  • have at least five years work experience from the field they are planning to complete their internship in.

This means thatif the job contract exceeds 12-18 months, you will need to apply for an alternative visa later, e.g. H-1B.

  • Yes, it’s possible to aggregate several work experiences (of different employers) to meet the 1 year work experience requirement, as long as

    • the totality of the work experiences aggregate to 52 weeks of work at 40 hours/week.
    • 1+ years of that work is related to your proposed J-1 traineeship.

For the applicant (you): USD 160 Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee.

For the startup: a flat fee of USD 6500. As a non-profit organization, Startuplifers charges for the costs that arise from the J-1 visa process, legal services (U.S.-based immigration lawyyer), and flights.  It is a good idea to inform the company about this cost early on in the recruitment process, ideally in writing.

Your visa and flights are covered by the company. We will facilitate the process. Salary is subject to negotiation and varies across different companies and positions. You should expect a salary of USD 5000/month at a minimum  (e.g. junior developer) in San Francisco. However, many will receive a higher salary based on their expertise. Also, bear in mind that the salary can be increased over time depending on your performance. With this salary level, you can be sure to be able to cover living expenses in San Francisco.

You may be able to start the process while you are overseas, however, generally you have to be outside of the US when applying for a visa. Also, you will have to visit a US Consulate (e.g. in Helsinki) for a visa interview when you reach that point in your application process. Please contact us for more information.

Read more about Startuplifers On-Demand

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