What is Start Me Up?

We’re a travel education company that focuses on programs that combine in-demand skills learning with adventurous travel.

By running structured programs, we provide participants with an engaging, eyeopening, safe and supportive educational experience.

What is the aim of the program?

The aim is to equip young people with in-demand skills and experience that will fast-track their careers – in an amazing location.

Working in conjunction with leading entrepreneurs, we have run programs across three continents for students and graduates from Ivy League and Russell Group Universities including Cornell, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge and UCL.

How long are the programs?

Our programs range from 16 days to 2 months in length.

What determines the length of the program?

In our experience, most people want to fit in as much learning as possible into a short timeframe because many people on gap years or vacation breaks want to allow time to travel and explore before and/ or after the program. 

When do your programs take place?

We take participants on throughout the year, although our busiest periods are June, July and August.

Where do they take place?

We work out leading co-working spaces (featured by the likes of Lonely Planet, Forbes, The Guardian and the BBC) in popular tourist destinations like Bali.

Why Bali?

Bali is home to a unique startup ecosystem. It has been studied by academics from Harvard and Edinburgh University. You can read about the growing number of entrepreneurs here.

What is a co-working space?

A co-working space is like a shared office space where lots of different entrepreneurs and freelancers work under one roof. Hubud, one of Start Me Up’s partner co-working spaces, was recently named as one of the top ten in the world by Forbes.

Who is behind Start Me Up?

Start Me Up was founded and is run by Clare Harrison, a future of work enthusiast and former business editor with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University. The program has been developed in conjunction with an experienced educational board comprising PhD students and experts from industry from over five countries.

What do the fees cover?

The fees cover 24/7 support, accommodation, airport pickup, access to a co-working space, training and workshops provided by tech professionals. We also pay full-time coordinators on the ground to find opportunities and provide ongoing support in the countries where we operate.

What should I wear?

Generally, we operate in hot countries, so T-shirts and shorts or lightweight clothing are best. Startup founders in tropical countries tend to be very casually dressed. As a general rule, it’s best not to dress in a way that may offend people in the country you’re visiting.

Do I need to bring a laptop?

You need to bring a laptop. We can’t provide a laptop but we can provide somewhere to securely store it at night.

What happens when I arrive at the airport?

You’ll be met by a driver and/or a representative from Start Me Up who will be clutching a sign with your name on it (and our logo).

Do I need to speak a different language?

Our programs are English-language and so we require a high standard of English proficiency.

Where will I stay during the program?

We provide you with accommodation. You’ll be staying with other participants on the program and you’ll live close to the co-working spaces where you’ll be working from.

When do I have to pay for my placement?

You need to pay a deposit to secure your place. Places are competitive, so you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared before you apply. The remainder of the balance is due one month before you start the program. 

What happens if I want to cancel my placement?

All deposits are non-refundable, but if you need to cancel and you give us sufficient notice we can look at moving you to a different placement in the future as long as it’s within the same year.

What is the weather like?

Bali, our main destination is warm throughout the year. The rainy season runs from November to around March. From May to October, the weather is dry and the temperatures hover around the 30-degree mark.

What kind of training will I get on my placement?

We run orientation and on-boarding before you begin your internship. We also run workshops such as ‘introduction to programming’ or UX in busier months. There will also be workshops put on by other startups and professionals throughout your stay that you are welcome to attend.

Can I connect with others before the placement starts?

We can connect you with others ahead of time if you want so you can plan trips and excursions during your time away.

Startup Internship Program FAQs

(please scroll down for Gap Year Program FAQs)

What kinds of startups do you work with?

We work with travel, tech, events, education and e-commerce startups. In fact, we’ll work with any sector, although certain destinations are stronger for some sectors than they are for others. Many of the startups we work with are remote startups that can be run from anywhere. People who work for the startup may work from diverse locations as part of distributed teams.

What will I do during the program?

When it comes to the type of work, it varies depending on the startup and the student. During the application process, we’ll ask you what you want to learn and source suitable projects. We’ve had students getting involved in programming, business development, marketing and communications, analytics, branding, and UX. The startups, the projects, and the business areas are diverse.

Does everyone who applies get placed with a startup?

We have a reputation for working with top graduates amongst the startup community, so we have to be picky about who we select for our program.

When will I find out about the startup we are being placed with?

We aim to let everyone know around four weeks before the start of the placement date.

Will there be other participants around?

We typically take five and ten interns a month so you are part of an intake.

What happens at the weekend?

You are free to spend your weekends as you please. Activities could include white water rafting, surfing, diving, swimming or volcano trekking.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount you spend is up to you. You can eat for as little as $5-10 a day if you eat at local restaurants. You will be centrally housed so you can walk from your accommodation to your placement.

What should I do about visas?

Some are available on arrival and others need to be applied for in advance. We will advise you on the appropriate visa for the duration of your placement.

How will I get rewarded for this internship?

We offer access to mentors and instructors and access to workshops. Our startup mentors are very generous with their time and startup mentors invest considerable time and energy in getting new recruits up to speed.

What is a typical day like?

Every person has a unique experience but we believe you get out what you put in. Your working day is usually a mixture of tasks for your startup and workshops. We expect interns to work in the region of 35-40 hours per week from around 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and there are always lots of social events that you can get involved in.

How do I find out more?

Sign up for more information using the form below, and we’ll be in touch!


Sign up for more information

Sign up and we will send you an info pack with details of internship options and locations.

We will use your e-mail address to send you information regarding start me up opportunities. We respect your privacy - your email address will *never* be shared or sold to a 3rd party.

Gap Year Program 

What skills will I develop during the program?


We focus on creative and entrepreneurial skills. Students work on a diverse range of projects and learn everything from making websites to marketing and presentation skills.


What does a typical day look like?


Not all days are the same. Some days will be spent on a field trip or on an excursion. We kick off with breakfast around 8tam and the first workshops typically begin around 9.30am.


What will the weather be like?


The weather in Bali is tropical and the average daily temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). There is no monsoon season in Bali but there are two main seasons, dry and wet. The wet season still offers plenty of sunshine but sees afternoon showers. [October to February (Wet). March to September (Dry)]


What happens at weekends?


At weekends we run excursions. These could include visiting little-known beaches or taking part in a surf camp.

How much spending money will I need?


Because all meals are included you will need very little spending money.


Can I connect with others before the placement starts?


Yes we will make a cohort group so you can talk to others who will be arriving at the same time as you.

Can I also take part in the Startup Internship Program?


Yes. If you’ve done the Gap Year Program you are entitled to apply for the Startup Internship Program.