Frozen-rails-2014

Finland's 2B Euro Tax Money R&D Investment Generates 3M Euros In Licensing Revenues

Writing this directly from back seats of the Kasvufoorumi event organised by the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association while it's still going. While there are a lot of traditional presentations from companies and organisations involved in this ecosystem, there was also a presentation by Pasi Sorvisto, Juha Ruohonen and Pekka Roine that really caught my eye.

The study titled The Value Creation For The Research-Based Ideas revealed very interesting numbers and the honest true state of the Finnish so called "innovation system". Based on the executive summary of the presentation it has managed to coin the state of our innovation ecosystem the best I've seen so far.

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HackFwd Has Come To Finland

If you are a tech geek with an idea for a B2C web service living somewhere in Finland, there are few funding options at your disposal. Most probably you'd apply for public funding from Tekes, but that needs to be supported with additional private funds. You might take a loan or raise capital from other sources or, like most tech geeks currently, you'd raise the money by subcontracting or free-lancing. However, there is a new pre-seed funding that has recently come to Finland - HackFwd. The fund was started by tech geeks for tech geeks. The term 'geek' is used in this context very proudly because it portrays how passionate the people in question are about hacking and programming.

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ArcticEvening Tampere - December 2nd, 2010

On December 2nd, we'll be organising an ArcticEvening in Tampere to get all the entrepreneurially minded people together to talk about angel investing. We'll be putting together a show where we'll have startups pitch (3 startups) at the event and also have a few angel investors at the venue to give quick feedback. We'll also have a panel discussion with the angels to talk about the activity of angel investing in Finland. In this post, you'll be able to register for the event free of charge and also submit your application to the pitching part. We'll be choosing 3 companies from the pool of applicants later on.

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Lessons From Norway


Editorial note: This is a guest post by Kristoffer Lawson, the Travelling Salesman. He's on a 10 000 kilometre drive to meet Nordic startups. ArcticStartup is supporting the project, by covering his travels and findings.

With another week on the road, I have to say that the exhaustion is slightly getting the better of me. While it has been a joy to visit this beautiful country, so many things have also gone wrong, from missed meetups to losing a fuel cap, that the stress is beginning to show. Oslo thankfully gave me a chance to recuperate a bit, for a couple of nights, but it also added stress of its own, as I will mention a bit later.

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Business Models For Music That Make Artists Happier

Editor's Note: The guest blog is by Oscar Santolalla Obenhausen. Oscar holds M.Sc in Computer Science at the Helsinki University of Technology, with the specialization in Mobile Computing and Security and currently works for Tuxera.

Music CDs are becoming obsolete in digital music’s favor (especially MP3 files). Today it is very easy to find free streaming, to buy lots of music for a comparatively small price (Spotify, Nokia comes with Music), or to pay only ten Euros per album (iTunes store, Amazon.com). Music seems to inevitably become free, or nearly free. What’s more, online music sites are full of integration capabilities with social media. This creates a delightful environment millions of listeners.

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ArcticEvening Helsinki - You Guys Rock!

Last night's ArcticEvening was definitely one of the best we've managed to organise. I think we managed to nail a couple of things right; fantastic speakers and a great atmosphere among the crowd. The evening started off with sponsor messages from Culminatum, Microsoft and Veraventure. Microsoft is basically looking for 5 companies that leverage the cloud that they could help promote and take global. Veraventure disclosed in the evening that they will be making 24 early stage investments in Finland next year if they find good deal flow - another fantastic opportunity right there. The event was the official after party of the IBP Camp Helsinki, and you can read the transcript of the live blogging that took place in our previous post.

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Live Blogging: IBP Camp Helsinki

We'll be testing something new today as we'll be live blogging the IBP Camp Helsinki from Korjaamo. The event will feature really interesting speakers such as Andreas Ehn and Timo Soininen. IBP Camp Helsinki's official after party, ArcticEvening Helsinki will take place starting at 6pm. We won't be able to live blog that, but this is something we'll test for the future too. Do take part in the conversation and let us know if you'd like to ask us any questions from the speakers.

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Runet: 5 Top Russian Websites

Russian internet market is scarcely covered outside of the country but it's not for the lack of news. The main obstacle is language: most online services are oriented towards domestic market and are hence mostly in Russian. Another thing is innovation: there are few companies (if any) that have come out of Russia with truly ground-breaking ideas - most of the services are copies of similar American websites. Nevertheless, the number of internet users is growing together with the size of their pockets. Hence, a number of companies managed to build impressive userbases, make big bucks and dodge the competition from abroad.

According to the latest numbers released by TNS Russia and comScore, the top websites are:

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Robert Scoble Interviews Finnish And Latvian Startups (Video)

Lots of activity taking place today. A few weeks ago 10 startups with the help of Aalto Venture Garage flew to Silicon Valley to network and raise awareness of the Nordic and Baltic startup ecosystem. That trip already bears fruit in the form of Robert Scoble interviewing some of the startups and the purpose of their trip.

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Wordpress For Symbian^3 Now Available in Ovi Store

Nokia just announced on their Conversations blog, that Wordpress app for Symbian^3 is now available in the Ovi Store. The app has been written by both Nokia and Wordpress developers using Qt. Nokia has had some Wordpress apps available before, but now they've come out with a Qt version that can be used on newer phone models leveraging the platform and according to the project head Anssi Mäkelä, it is blazing fast.

Anssi Mäkelä stated, “First we made a clear decision to cover most of the current and upcoming platforms, so it was pretty obvious that to meet this demand Qt was the only way to go. This app is extraordinary when it comes to performance, especially on latest Symbian^3 devices its unbelievably fast and responsive to your commands.”

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ArcticEvening HKI Tomorrow, With A Surprise!

One more night! ArcticEvening Helsinki will take place tomorrow, starting at 6pm (Korjaamo, Töölönkatu 51). The event is sold out, but we wanted to let all the people coming know that we're having a surprise guest speak in the event. We won't disclose anything yet, but this is world class stuff! And this is on top of our fabulous speakers already, that we've managed to get for you - Ulla-Maaria Engeström of Thinglink and Jussi Laakkonen of Applifier.

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No More Unknown Calls - Meet TrueCaller

Ever had that problem where someone calls you and you don't know who it is? Check. Ever had that problem when someone calls you from overseas and you don't know who it is? Check. If so, you should definitely give TrueCaller a try. It's a nifty little app created by Alan Mamedi and Nami Zarringhalam, two Swedes who also are the founders of TrueCaller, a Swedish startup.

The idea for TrueCaller came more or less to Mamedi and Zarringhalam through the above mentioned thinking. They knew there were some international players in the market that offered a service like this, however they nevertheless decided to go on with their idea.

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Reuters: Skype IPO To Take Place In 2011

According to Reuters and its sources, Skype IPO will take place in 2011. Skype is still assessing a number of factors before making the decision to go ahead with the IPO. Last month, Skype named Tony Bates, a former Cisco executive its CEO. Bates is expected to make the decision on the IPO once he gets more acquainted with the staff and the products.

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Microsoft's New Azure Datamarket Has A Lot In Common With Icelandic Datamarket.com

Last Friday, Microsoft's new Windows Azure Datamarket caught a lot of press as they launched. TechCrunch wrote about how Bing favored the site in their results while Google buried the service altogether. However, there is a company with a datamarket.com -domain in Iceland. That domain holds a service, which resembles the Windows Azure Datamarket quite dramatically. We wrote about Datamarket back in May so it has been around for a while.

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Contextual Advertising In Russia

Begun.ru is Russia's biggest contextual advertiser. It was launched in 2002 and six years later was approached by Google with an acquisition bid of $140 million. The deal did not go through, allegedly due to a blockage by Russian anti-monopoly authorities, but the site lives on independently. Begun's active advertisers increased this year by about 10 000 putting it at almost 40 000 unique monthly visits; its ads reach almost 22 million people. The number is quite considerable for Russia, where only 30% of the total population (or around 40 million people) uses Internet. Begun has been quite busy past couple of months coming out with three new features: static and flash ad banners on videos, embedded ads on satellite and cable TV channels and a mediaplanner tool that helps estimate advertising budget for the month.

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Nokia's Ovi Store Statistics In October

Nokia has released some very interesting Ovi Store statistics in Forum Nokia. It basically tells us that while Nokia may be lagging a in the smart phone business, it's creating a very strong presence globally through its apps. The macro numbers are impressive; they support over 135 devices, they're available in 190 countries in 30 languages. Also, the Ovi Store has content from 90 different countries. What makes the Ovi Store more interesting than the App Store, is the fact that you can bill your end customers in a variety of ways - mobile billing works with 99 operators in 29 countries and credit card billing works in more than 170 countries.

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Tales Of A Travelling Salesman

Editorial note: This is a guest post by Kristoffer Lawson, the Travelling Salesman. He's on a 10 000 kilometre drive to meet Nordic startups. ArcticStartup is supporting the project, by covering his travels and findings.

I've now been one week on the road in my expedition to find the world's most arctic startups. I'll be honest: it feels like much longer. I am now on my way to Trondheim from Tromsø and have added over 2500 kilometres to the trip meter of the trusty Land Rover. It has given me a unique perspective into the lives of the real travelling salesmen. Each night I have slept in a different location. Each day I've driven for hours on end, with my life travelling with me. Weather conditions have varied from sunny and green, to icy, dark and snowy. I've crossed the Arctic Circle twice and even entered Sweden by mistake.

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Flocking Flockler

Flockler is a new start-up from Tampere, Finland, that offers a Twitter-like  online publishing platform with two products: Reporter and Deal Flow. The Reporter tool allows professional or citizen journalists post short news stories that appear in a feed on the newspaper's webpages. Other users can share, 'like' and in the future comment on each story. Savon Sanomat is currently using the tool for its Kiekkoviisaat service where hockey fans post latest sports news. Aamulehti uses Flockler to run its Nettikampa tool where journalists post various 'soft news'  content from the web. Flockler's second product, Deal Flow,  helps small businesses put an online ad to their local newspaper: the short text also appears in a feed on the paper's webpages.

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LucSens Helping You Out In Asia

LucSens, a Finnish startup, specializes in augmented reality and computer-vision programming. Their products include iPhone applications helping you have a better time in Asia. By better time, I mean you're able to understand the language. They have five applications in their portfolio, but only two are out in the App Store at the moment. Lost in Japan and Japan Goggles are the applications that are out and China Goggles, Lost in China as well as Taiwan Goggles are still in the making.

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Holy Schmoly! Finnish PM Gets Startups' Anxiety

Helsingin Sanomat ran a story on Mari Kiviniemi, the Finnish Prime Minister, who has expressed her thoughts on European state of affairs regarding digital media. She states that, "it's no co-incidence that the digital superstars, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, are all from the US, where they share a large, functioning domestic market". What she's saying here is that the European non-functioning markets should be better built for both consumers and online companies generating value.

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