What was the next best thing to do, if you weren’t ready to set up your own company? Go and join some existing, ambitious startup and learn like never before. At the dawn of Startup Life in Silicon Valley program, then an Aaltoes Board member Lauri Lehtovuori founded Enternship, a more accessible option if you weren’t quite ready to pack your bags and head to Silicon Valley. An back in 2011 – there really was no point in doing so, as Helsinki startup scene had just took off and stuff happening here at home sure was as ambitious as in the Valley.
For the Summer 2013, we changed the name of the program to Startup Sauna Internship, and matched over 20 interns to startups in Helsinki area. In the few recent blog posts, we’ve taken a look at their updates. This post however, is a summary of our 35 Summer ’11 and Summer ’12 interns.
Jyri Tuulos – Enternship ’11 – Tinkercad
Jyri Tuulos – Enternship ’11 – Tinkercad
Mira Meriluoto – Enternship ’11 – Oncos Juho Salmi – Enternship ’11 – Microtask Anni Rautio – Enternship ’11 – Flowdock Maksim Luzik – Enternship ’11 – Kiosked Katja Jokinen – Enternship ’11 – Valoya Otto Olsson – Enternship ’11 – Blaast Pauliina Mattila – Enternship ’11 – Tinkercad Thomas Hutton – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink Petteri Noponen – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink Aleksi Keränen – Enternship ’11 – Audiodraft Tuuti Piippo – Enternship ’11 – Grey Area Heikki Laaninen – Enternship ’11 – Rovio Antti Nikander – Enternship ’11 – Rovio Anastassia Ovtchinnikova – Enternship ’11 – Rovio Sarah Franco Alves – Enternship ’11 – Blaast Lari Haataja – Enternship ’11 – Kiosked Karla Asikainen – Enternship ’11 – Mendor Patrick Obolgogiani - Enternship ’11 – PowerKiss Roope Nortia – Enternship ’11 – Tuubio Olli Gunst – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink Eero Vassinen – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink Reina Magica – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink Palash Mukhopadhyay – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink Anna Figur – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Asema Electronics Nikhil Thomas – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Tribe Studios Kathryn Robinson – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Playmysong Riku Lindholm – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Mendor
Jyri’s path has had many crossroads with the recent startup boom in Finland: this UX designer / product guy started at Flowdock worked on the design and front-end, and then moved over to Tinkercad (now Airstone), a tool for designers to quickly generate ready-to-3D-print CAD models. After his Summer at Tinkercad, it was time for Jyri to start a company of his own: he moved over to San Francisco, and started Bitdeli with his brother Ville. Bitdeli was acquired this year by Adroll, where Jyri now works as a senior software engineer. He holds a B.Sc. in computer science and a MA in New Media from Aalto University. He lives in San Francisco. Follow @jtuulos on Twitter.
Mira was a perfect match for Oncos: a final year chemical technology and bioprocess engineering student from Aalto University and research scientist at Haartman Institute at University of Helsinki. At Oncos, a maker of oncolytic viruses for cancer treatments, Mira took a role of process development scientist. Inspired by her time at Oncos, she submitted her masters thesis on process validation of oncolytic adenovirus production at Aalto in 2012. Currently, she lives in Helsinki and works in Jätkäsaari, where Oncos offices are located.
Juho’s story is a brilliant example of an impact startups may have on people. Juho got his first dose while participating the first ever Summer of Startups in Summer 2010 in the original Living Canvas team, and in summer 2011 he joined Microtask where he worked on Digitalkoot project – a mission to digitize old Helsingin Sanomat news. He took a spin in student politics – first in the board of Aalto University’s Guild of Automation and Systems technology, and in 2012 in Aalto University Student Union board. In the beginning of 2013 he returned to the startup world, this time empowering people to find meaningful work via entrepreneurship though the PopUp Company project. Follow @juhosalmi on Twitter.
Flowdock. When a history of the Finnish startup scene in 2010s will be written, this company’s part is integral. So many special people have worked there – some stayed and some moved on. Not that Anni wouldn’t have had a strong track record already: this CEMS master student had worked both at Kone and Vaisala. She ended up working on all aspects on Flowdock’s business over the Summer, and turned into an Aaltoes & Slush.active later. She had fallen in love with South America already, so after completing her M.Sc. at Aalto University Schoool of Business, she moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and started working at a local media agency. At the same time, she started to organize Conexión Startup meetups. She is also a Rails Girls active Currently, she works as a product manager of Lemon Wallet, a Palo Alto based payments company. She lives and works in Buenos Aires. Follow @annirautio on Twitter.
Maksim’s passion is user user experience design, and that’s what he got to do when first joining Kiosked in Summer 2011. At the time he had just completed his bachelors in computer science at Aalto University School of Science. Masters came along in 2013, with a bit of studies in strategy and work psychology. Currently, Maksim is working at Kiosked, as they’re growing steadily and serious about their mission of turning web sites in marketplaces. He lives in Helsinki.
What do luxury cruises and LED greenhouse lamps have in common? Well, Katja if not anything else! This M.Sc. student joined Enternship program and Valoya, the company behind the next generation greenhouse lighting, where she worked on their sales and marketing. She graduated with M.Sc. in international business and continued at Valoya as a business planning analyst. She lives in Helsinki.
A bachelors degree in economics and finance from Aalto University and a B.Sc. in computer science from University of Helsinki made Otto an ideal candidate for any startup. Blaast agreed, and Otto joined them as a business analyst. He stayed nearly two years and graduated with his M.Sc. in Economics at Aalto University. Currently, he works at marketing consultancy Dagmar and lives in Helsinki.
Don’t let Pauliina’s study background in wood engineering make you think she wouldn’t be startup material: Tinkercad – the company behind the amazing web tool to make ready-to-print CAD models for 3D printers – saw her as a great product manager. She ended up doing everything from market research to software development and partnerships, and stayed at Tinkercad until Fall 2012. Since then, she has been completing her master’s studies in International Design Business Management program and doind research at Aalto Design Factory. She lives in Helsinki. Follow @Paumattila on Twitter.
Quoting Thomas: “I want to be out there, in the field, looking at how things work, how people react and build something spectacular from that.” That was exactly what was ahead of him, when he joined Thinglink, a company building an image engagement tool that makes it easy to add clickable tags to any image on the web and share them on social networks. He had just graduated with an MA in industrial design from Aalto University School of Art and Design, and during his 1,5 years at Thinglink, he worked on their user testing, graphic design, and service experience design. He left in Fall 2012, he joined Lumenor, who later changed its name to OUT OF THE DARK GROUP, importer of quality international brands to Finland. Currently, he works there as a brand and marketing manager. He lives in Helsinki. Follow @thomas_hutton on Twitter.
Thinglink was serious after they got involved with Enternship in Summer 2011. Petteri, an information networks student from Aalto, was the next to join them as a software engineer. Startups weren’t completely new to Petteri, though. He had also spent the previous Summer building Flowdock. While at Thinglink, he worked both the the image tagging tool and the web front-end. He stayed at Thinglink another six months after his internship. Currently, he is finishing his studies at Aalto and working at Futurice. Follow @noppet on Twitter.
By the Summer 2011, Audiodraft, a music crowdsourcing platform with a truly global community, founded by Teemu Yli-Hollo, Arto Tolonen and Tommi Koskinen in 2010, had grown to the point where they were to hire a community manager. Aleksi, a musician himself, was up for the task. Since then, he has spent most of his time as a musician.
Who said startups are only for engineers? Tuuti is an artist, journalist and an independent writer; interested in everything in the intersection of art, technology and science. She had a BA in journalism, and she had already set up Aino newspaper for Aalto University Student Union, before becoming a Grey Arean at the time when Shadow Cities was being prepared for its global launch. During her time there, Grey Area launched Shadow Cities in US and Canada, South America, Europe, several Asian countries and Oceania. Tuuti worked primarily on marketing, media relations and research. She also produced the Shadow Cities Webstore, organized events and participated in community management and mapping new cities. She left Grey Area in October 2011, wrote a book on failure. Currently, she is working at BetterDoctor in San Francisco, where she also lives. Follow on Twitter.
Back in 2011, Rovio wasn’t yet one of the biggest entertainment brands globally. Ok, it was well under its way there, and growing rapidly. Heikki joined there first as a sales and marketing coordinator on their licencing, and since then we’ve seen Angry Birds brand being licensed to infinite amount of companies and products. Heikki graduated from Aalto University with an MA in creative business management in 2012, and continued working at Rovio while its licensing business reached explosive growth. Currently, he works there as a licencing manager. He lives in Helsinki.
There was no doubt that Antti was a startup guy, as had just graduated fromthe M.Sc. in Entrepreneurship program at Aalto University School of Business. His previous working experience wasn’t really entrepreneurial, though: or what do you think about internships at Kemira and the Ministry of Employment and Economy? Rovio in 2011 was definitely somethng different: he started as a project manager and – having just graduated – stayed at Rovio. He lives in Helsinki.
Bring ‘em on, those angry birds! Anastassia’s journey at Rovio seems like a one typical for a startup company. You wear many hats and jump to a new role if needed. She started as a HR intern, then worked at HR full time (at the time when the company grew from few dozens to few hundreds). In September 2012, she jumped into Rovio’s retail sales, where she works now. She holds a CEMS M.Sc. from Aalto University School of Business. She lives in Helsinki.
Sarah flew over to Blaast from London. Originally from Brazil, this super-talented designer/animator had worked for few years in different agencies in London, working with brands and offices like Superfad, Earth, The Guardian, Google, Sky Arts, Desigual, and Disney Channel. After her time at Blaast, she left to work at the fashion company Desigual, as their animation and model maker. She lives in Barcelona.
Lari has been an integral part of the Helsinki startup beginning since 2009, when he started his industrial engineering studies in what was going to become Aalto University. He already had worked as a web developer and was about to go into iPhone when he was hired by Kiosked as a developer intern. He stayed at Kiosked for 1,5 years and immediately after, joined Startup Sauna and Slush where he both acted as a CFO and lead developer. He never stopped working on his own projects. While working on Slush, he became familiar with Holvi, a Helsinki-based banking startup. Eventually, Holvi recruited Lari as their mobile developer. Currently, Lari is working at Holvi, studying at Aalto and Living on Otaniemi campus. Follow @lhaataja on Twitter.
Mendor, a maker of discreet, easy to use, portable all-in-one blood glucose meter and web-based software application for the daily management of diabetes, was the first hardware medtech company on Enternship. Karla, was a near-graduation marketing student from Aalto University School of Business, interested in sales, partnership and internationalization of firms. There’s your match right there. Karla joined Mendor in Summer 2011 as their Account manager, and worked on their entry on several EU markets. She finished her studies, and wrote her thesis on the market entry strategies of de novo entrants in regulated industries – lessons learned directly from her work at Mendor. She’s still working there and living in Helsinki.
After learning a few tricks at the sales powerhouse Trainers’ House, this business school student from Aalto got into startup world. Powerkiss, the company hailing from Aalto Venture Garage and building wireless charging solutions for consumer electronics. After the summer working there on business development, Patrick soon founded a company of his own – a workplace wellness company Spiritia. Currently, he is also working at the startup Uplause and finishing his master’s thesis for Vantaa Innovation Institute.
Would you want to join a company founded by few students for a few weeks earlier? Tuubio, founded by Aaltoes team members was up there to revolutionize the radio industry was growing and Roope did not hesitate to join. He was an active member of the computer science guild at Aalto University School of Science, and after joining Tuubio, worked there until the end of 2011. Since then, Roope has been active in Aalto University Student Union while continuing his studies. He lives on Aalto’s Otaniemi campus.
Olli truly was a startup guy. Coming from Hanken, and having being frustrated with the non-existent entrepreneurship culture there, he had co-founded HankenES with few other students. He also founded IncSpark, a company developing an online collaboration tool for companies and organizations. While at Thinglink, Olli designed marketing materials and user interface elements, did market research to support business development efforts, web development and translations services. After his internship, he stayed at Thinglink for another 4 months as a new partnerships manager. Currently, he is working at the waste management startup Enevo on their international sales and marketing. Olli lives in Helsinki. Follow @olligunst on Twitter.
Yet another Thinglinker. Eero had a background of sociology studies at University of Helsinki, but came to us from Aalto University School of Business. He had a broad experience from banking, public affairs and journalism, before joining Thinglink as a business development trainee. After Thinglink, Eero went back to journalism as he joined ThomsonReuters as their Helsinki correspondent, covering markets, politics, and current events in Finland. Currently, he works at Yle, anchoring, reporting and producing News in English. Follow @eerovassinen on Twitter.
The future of entertainment is in games, which brought a digital film and new media student Reina from New Zealand to study game design and production at Aalto University School of Art and Design. After one year of studies, Thinglink hired her as a game and interaction design intern, focusing on gamification. After the internship, she’s been a prominent figure on the Helsinki gaming scene and worked at International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Finland.
Have you seen Thinglink being used? Then you must have encountered some design work of Palash. His internship project was an extension of the Thinglink core service to include a NFC offering through interactive tagged posters. Later on, during his 2 years at Thinglink, Palash was responsible for design across service. He has studied microbiology and communications design before coming to Finland and Aalto. He graduated with a MA in New Media in 2013. He lives in Helsinki. Follow @m_palash on Twitter.
Anna was about to finish her studies when she joined Asema Electronics as a communications and marketing intern. Asema, a long-time resident at Aalto Venture Garage and later Startup Sauna, was just in the middle of contractor negotiations, so Anna helped also on subcontractor negotiations and product development, taking care of purchases related to materials, designing marketing and product materials in both print and electronic format and writing product documentation. After her internship, Anna went over to the traditional design house Iittala, where she currently works as an sales advisor.
If you had been born and raised in New York city, and started at New York University’s traditional business school with an interest going to work in finance in 2008, you see a possibility that something might not go just as planned. Nikhil, started to go into startup events in the booming NY tech scene, worked at Lean Startup Machine and co-founded one company. When he heard of Startup Life, he applied and was hired the Finnish gaming cmopany Tribe Studios. That Summer chaged his life, and he decided to learn how to code. He got in the Flatiron School and did just that. Currently, he’s working as a software engineer in New York at a Swedish software company Universum.
In addition to Nikhil, Kathryn was the other American summer intern of Startup Life Helsinki 2012 batch. Being passionate about music and having a journalist internships behind her, this Tufts’ University literature and communications graduate made a great match for Playmysong’s marketing internship. She joined in June 2012, and continued working for Playmysong after her Summer internship after she got back to the States. Currently, she is working at National Council on Family Violence as a communications specialist. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Riku was an Aaltoes board member and determined to go and work for a startup for the summer 2012. That determination paid off, as Mendor, the maker of discreet, easy to use, portable all-in-one blood glucose meter and web-based software application for the daily management of diabetes, hired him as a sales and marketing intern. Since then, Riku has been working on various aspects on Mendor’s sales and business development, including new market entries. At the moment, he’s living and studying in Singapore, where he is an exchange student at the National University of Singapore. Follow @RikuLindholm on Twitter.
Mira Meriluoto – Enternship ’11 – Oncos
Juho Salmi – Enternship ’11 – Microtask
Anni Rautio – Enternship ’11 – Flowdock
Maksim Luzik – Enternship ’11 – Kiosked
Katja Jokinen – Enternship ’11 – Valoya
Otto Olsson – Enternship ’11 – Blaast
Pauliina Mattila – Enternship ’11 – Tinkercad
Thomas Hutton – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink
Petteri Noponen – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink
Aleksi Keränen – Enternship ’11 – Audiodraft
Tuuti Piippo – Enternship ’11 – Grey Area
Heikki Laaninen – Enternship ’11 – Rovio
Antti Nikander – Enternship ’11 – Rovio
Anastassia Ovtchinnikova – Enternship ’11 – Rovio
Sarah Franco Alves – Enternship ’11 – Blaast
Lari Haataja – Enternship ’11 – Kiosked
Karla Asikainen – Enternship ’11 – Mendor
Patrick Obolgogiani - Enternship ’11 – PowerKiss
Roope Nortia – Enternship ’11 – Tuubio
Olli Gunst – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink
Eero Vassinen – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink
Reina Magica – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink
Palash Mukhopadhyay – Enternship ’11 – Thinglink
Anna Figur – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Asema Electronics
Nikhil Thomas – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Tribe Studios
Kathryn Robinson – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Playmysong
Riku Lindholm – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Mendor
George Lu – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Supercell Arttu Peltonen – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Drawelements Lauri Andler – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Ovelin Kimi Ylilammi – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Grey Area Hugo Cárdenas García – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Kiosked
What should you do if you’re studying at Stanford and want to get into the hottest gaming company on Earth? Come to Finaland, of course! As Supercell was just about to open their San Francisco office, George ended up staying in Finland only for a couple of weeks before hitting the ground running in SF as Supercell’s user acquisition intern. After summer, George returned to his studies at Stanford. He is also volunteering at the Stanford University’s FM radio station, broadcasting across the Bay Area on 90.1 FM and across the world at kzsulive.stanford.edu.
Arttu was a third year student at Aalto University, majoring in Media Technology when he joined drawElements, a company that concentrates on GPU benchmarking software, as a Startup Life Helsinki intern in Summer 2012. His role was about software development with C++ and working on graphic APIs and their functionalities. After his internship, he stayed at drawElements, where he is currently working as a software engineer. Currently, Arttu his finishing up his master’s studies at Aalto after an exchange semester in New Zealand.
Lauri had already startup experience after having been one of the founders of the internet radio startup Tuubio. After Tuubio closed down, Lauri wasn’t ready to abandon the world of startups, but joined the Startup Sauna alumni Ovelin instead. Ovelin is known for their fun and educational games that teach you to play guitar. At Ovelin, Lauri has been developing their games on Unity, Andriod and web. He is still working there, finishing up his studies in automation and systems technology and living on Aalto University campus in Otaniemi.
Kimi had a strong quantitive skills and backgound in software development from the games companies Digital Chocolate and Red Lynx, before joining Grey Area, the maker of Shadow cities for the Summer 2012. At Grey Area, he worked as their metrics analyst. He left to continue his systems sciences studies at Aalto University School of Science. This summer, he has been working at Google at their London office.
Hugo was studying computer science at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid before coming to Aalto on exchange at Computer Science and Engineering department in 2011. He graduated in Spring 2012, and decided to stay in Finland after Kiosked, recruited him as a web developer. Currently, he works at Kiosked and lives in Helsinki.
George Lu – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Supercell
Arttu Peltonen – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Drawelements
Lauri Andler – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Ovelin
Kimi Ylilammi – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Grey Area
Hugo Cárdenas García – Startup Life Helsinki ’12 – Kiosked