A regional startup blog focused on Copenhagen, Malmö, Helsingborg, and Lund has 'opened sourced' their news content, allowing other news sites, like ourselves, to republish their content freely. According to Øresund Startups founder Karsten Deppert, what they’re looking for to maximize the amount of information coming out of their region, and to help the nordic startup communities to connect with each other through information.
"I realized that getting a [publishing] cooperation going that would work and not cause any friction would be hard," says Deppert on their announcement. "So I decided instead that we should do a cooperation that is 'one-sided' – it requires only adjustments from one side to do it, and no deeper coordinations. From that came the idea to make this site, and the articles that we write, 'open source'."
Be prepared and be warned. This article is dangerous and might cause uncontrollable laughter, screen staring and you might even start questioning the meaning of life. We are going to be writing about GIF’s.
Yes, GIF’s, those small animated images that are looped and cause people to share them violently across the web. GIF’s make the internet go around, if you know what I mean.
There are cat related gif’s, meme gif’s, celebrity gif’s, fail gif’s and much more. They can make you laugh or run away in disgust. But one thing is for certain - they are viral.
Are you interested in getting paid to play games during work hours and receive free tickets to Dreamhack 2014? Does spending a summer by the beach in a beautiful Swedish town talking to companies about how they can better connect with gamers sound good to you? Well maybe you should take part in a competition being run Destination Jönköping in cooperation with Dreamhack and Science Park Jönköping called Best Gamer Job.
The internet has made nearly instantaneous access to information and communication a reality, but we cannot go as far as to say the same velocity of access applies for money. And money is what makes the world go around.
Let’s imagine a typical situation people might find themselves in.
Mr. A, who lives in Finland, wants to make a small sum of money accessible to Mrs. B, who lives in Japan. First of all, Mr. A and Mrs. B would need to have a bank account. This requires vast amounts of queuing, identifications, paperwork, signatures, codes and all sorts of annoyingly important stuff that needs to be done so that their bank can track, analyze and supervise every penny that goes through their accounts.
Did you know there was an online games retailer called Viagame that sold exclusively to the Nordics? I didn’t, and hearing about it made we wonder whether there was strong enough demand in such a narrow market to support a business like this. Especially when there’s so much competition in the field from the behemoth that is Steam, and other companies such as Good Old Games, Green Man Gaming, and Origin. Well Viagame, that brave company, have just announced their expansion into the Baltics and have launched stores in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Perhaps they have been thinking the same thing.
Editor’s note: This is post by Johanna Eiramo, one of our residents at the Minimum Viable Office and a marcomm specialist.
The big event tent in the middle of the Narinkkatori square in Helsinki shone bright in the signature pink of the Finnish mobile operator DNA on Thursday, November 27th. 450 The inside of the tent was buzzing with the energy of 450 Jolla fans, waiting patiently to get to buy their pre-ordered handset before the rest of the world. Many tried to play it cool, but the excitement was tangible.
Helsinki based startup, Smarp, is on the rise. With major client companies in Finland and the UK, Smarp's social business tools and services, and especially their SmarpShare - Service, have been in high demand.
It's a sweet idea actually. According to their researches, more than half of employees feel like they could publish company related content into their personal social media, such as LinkendIn, if only they were encouraged to do so from the highs of the chain-of-command. That's where Smarp steps in, in the form of a game of some sort.
Confession time. I’ve not seen the Northern Lights. I know I know, I’ve lived in Finland for a year now and still not made the long trip north to see them. Two things have put me off, one is how everyone complains about the cost of staying up in the Arctic Circle at this time of the year when all the tourists flood in, and the second is how it’s really down to luck whether you even get to see them. The thought that I might spend a lot of money to specifically go and see the Northern Lights and then come back without having done so discourages me from even taking the risk. Well it seems like Norway is trying to convince me, and you, to visit them and catch the Lights.
It may come as a surprise to the humble Danes and Finns, but they come in first and second as having the most positive attitude towards entrepreneurship in the world, according to the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report compiled by the University of Munich. The rest of the countries we cover were not present in the 24 countries the report interviewed.
Below is a quick copy of the report's findings. The percentage in parentheses is the percentage of people with a positive attitude towards self employment.
Last week came the announcement that Innovation Norway had appointed Alliance Venture Spring in Oslo and ProVenture Management in Trondheim to manage two new national seed funds. Each of the funds will be about 500 million Norwegian Krone, which works out at a little over €60M each, with a 50-50 split between private investors and the government.
While the ProVenture Management fund is targeted at the oil & gas industry Alliance Venture Spring has been tasked to manage the money that will foster new IT successes. Although the fund is based in Oslo it will have a nationwide reach. In other words small businesses located in other parts of the country will be able to benefit from the investment fund as well as those based in the capital.
Eskimi, the Lithuanian-founded mobile social network that's been booming in parts of Africa, has been making a few important partnerships lately. Most recently the company has partnered with Nokia to launch a new Eskimi app for the Asha range of devices, which will allow them to both provide a better browsing experience for their users, and allow their users to use less data (and therefore less cost) when browsing profiles of their friends and strangers, asking questions in an Ask.fm style forum, or using the company's virtual currency.
Mike Bradshaw and I are on a 4000km expedition covering Central Eastern Europe. 12 meetups and 7 countries in a Land Rover Defender to cover and help startups everywhere, in collaboration with EIT ICT, AppCampus, HankenES and ArcticStartup as our media partner. It is part of our continuing efforts known as The Travelling Salesman project, which started with a massive 13000km tour of the Nordics. Our first week is behind us and we have just passed through the three Baltic States and into Poland.
One of the core elements of the startup scene in the Baltics is the prevalence of the 48 startup programmes, ie. Garage48 and Startup Weekend. The idea is you arrive on Friday with possibly an idea, or a desire to participate with an idea (as a coder, designer or marketer). You then form a team to execute on that idea — essentially a company — and on Sunday there will be demo day for you to show what you've achieved and to pitch the company.
Assemblage aren’t afraid to use fighting talk as they launch the beta of their latest app Same.io designed to compete against the likes of WebEx, GoToMeeting and Teamviewer. Describing others in their field as “dinosaur competitors” and referring to “legacy applications” in their press release when talking about the products they will be facing in the market Assemblage know how to talk the talk, but can they walk the walk though?
Editor's note: this is a sponsored post by UK Trade and Investment
London and UK in general is often a very solid stepping stone for Nordic/Baltic startups. For instance Trasnferwise, Kiosked & Foodie.fm are good examples of startups that have established their second base in the UK. They go there to put their product to the test on the global but yet local market, but what else can you squeeze out of it?
The Nordics are spoiled with strong governmental support for entrepreneurship, especially with initiatives such as TEKES in Finland. However if you start digging into what you can get out of UK, you would be surprised to find that actually it is rather substantial. For some industries it is actually very lucrative, such as in TV & Film and very soon - gaming.
One of the most charming companies we came across at Slush this year was Gigglebug. Slightly confusingly it’s the name of the company, the central character they created, the children’s cartoon series they made, and the iOS app they published. However all share the same heart and soul, a passion to make children laugh and through laughter boost self esteem, deepen an inbuilt love of learning and discovery, develop problem solving skills, and help them bond with their peers.
With the company in talks to make more episodes and applications based on their creation and a plan to corner the preschool market by owning the theme of laughter and cheering up to become number one at making kids feel better, they have grand ambitions. How do they plan to get there?
Doing your grocery shopping online is becoming more and more common. Pretty much all of the major grocery stores have realized that investing in e-commerce means keeping up with today's markets and customer demands.
The benefits of online grocery shopping are many, both for the individual customers and the companies who provide the products. Customers can browse and search for their desired products easily and in the full comfort of their living rooms.
How do you measure if a startup is doing something truly exceptional? What are the metrics that you are going to use? I am not talking about direct economic value per say, but the human aspect, of being a startup that helps to solve a real-world problem and adds real value to the community. Would saving lives count?
On our recent trip to the Dublin Web Summit while eating pizza, we met Andraž Ogorevc, the founder and CEO of iHELP. As is common courtesy during such events, we had to ask: “So what do you do?” and as is also common - we did not expect to hear anything too mind blowing.
Startup Weekend kicked off events all over the world last weekend, so we stopped by their Helsinki event to see what the buzz was. In total, around 15 teams got together on Friday to throw ideas together, find customers, and then build and present the idea. The themes, if you could find a trend, were social networks, Ethiopia, and platforms designed to do virtually what Startup Weekend does in real life.
"The good thing was that we've gotten a lot of people involved that haven't been involved in an event like this before," says Laura Honkapirtti, one of the event organizers. Among them was two high school students who might have come to the event thinking they would just observers, but came up with an idea at the very end of Friday's idea pitching to form teams.
It is fair to say that Wi-Fi has changed the world. In fact we have become so spoiled by it that people are now getting stressed out if they do not have Wi-Fi on airplanes.
Oh and when it fails, it gets even worse. That dropped Skype call or a bad network connection at an event can make us really anxious. Now imagine if that Skype call was actually important, life or death kind of important. This is what happens everyday in Hospitals, where they increasingly rely on technology. You would be surprised to find out that nowadays even some IV pumps are “online”. Nurses and doctors use tablets to communicate with each other and their patients. Some hospitals have emergency buttons operating through Wi-Fi and in others nurses have voice-over-ip devices connected to it. So in that kind of environment - you can not afford any networking errors. In fact, it becomes mission, and life, critical.
iOS games are becoming more and more sophisticated. While the popular puzzle arcade games such as Angry Birds and Plants Vs Zombies are pioneers of their devices, the advancement of touchscreen games is starting to compete with the quality and graphics of traditional video games. The softly detailed pastel world of Angry Birds and say, Clash of Clans, can hardly be compared with console games such as God of War. They compete in two completely different categories.
Yet, recent gaming industry has provided touchscreen devices with such feats of design such as Infinity Blade III and Horn. These games have changed our image of what touchscreen games can and will become: Highly playable full-scale adventures with stunning graphics.