OneMind Dogs picks up funding from Lifeline

It's a sign that dog agility training is a growing market (or that we might be running out of startup ideas), OneMind Dogs announces today it's raised funding from Lifeline Ventures after previously raising funding from Gorilla Ventures. The company is said to have picked up around €400,000 and produces training videos for dog owners accessible by a €39.90/month plan.

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Highlights From the 1st Web Design Hackathon in the Baltics

Editor's note: This is a guest post contributed by Trackduck

It looks like 2015 will continue with the theme of the Baltics as a design and development hotspot. This weekend the first of its kind web design hackathon YourDesignWorks took place in Tallinn. Workshops and mentors covered the whole process from fundamental design thinking to executing a visually attractive solution. Over 40 people took part and created 19 awesome projects.

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Is Meta right about Smartwatches?

Personally, I don't wear a watch. My generation was the first to stop needing one thanks to the clunky Nokias always accessible in our trendy cargo pants, but with smart watches in the news more and more, it seemed like time to start paying attention to them. With no romantic idea of a watch as a reference point, Bill Geiser the CEO of Meta Watch, was making a lot of sense when we sat down to talk about the market at Slush.

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CES 2015 best drone/robot - Latvian AirDog

Latvian AirDog, the extreme sports filming drone whose US$ 1.3 million Kickstarter campaign in July 2014 made it Latvia's biggest Kickstarter project to date, unveiled its latest prototype at world's biggest technology and innovation exhibition 'Consumer Electronics Show 2015' (CES 2015) in Las Vegas on Jan 7-9. As Engadget polls closed today, AirDog was announced the winner of best robot/drone title and landed second in 'Best of CES 2015 Awards' overall poll.

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Estonian AdCash raises €20 million as their first investment

When we first discovered AdCash back in 2013, nobody knew the company but they were already doing €25 million turnover, doubling their turnover each year from six million in 2011 to twelve million in 2012. It was a big discovery for the Estonian Startup Scene.

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New year, new email client? Here's what's up-and-coming from the North

A new year means starting fresh, like getting that inbox count down to zero for once and for all. Seeing those emails piling up into the 1000's is no time for self-reflecition: It's time to get angry at your current email client for letting you get to that point.

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End of the sommelier - Vivino crowdsources the best wine

If you're turning your holiday champagne diet into a chardonnay cleanse, you might be interested to know that Danish startup Vivino has crowdsourced a list of the best wines selected by their users. Vivino has been steadily gaining more and more traction - this past year their users have left 13 million ratings for over 3 million different wines, giving a good crowdsourced directory of ratings that doesn't rely on just one sommelier's tastebuds. I don't know if I've ever seen a democratically selected wine list, so let's throw some attention towards it.

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Finland's Startup Scene goes to the movies in 3 upcoming titles

I can't tell if it's a good thing or not, but Finland's movie scene seems to be transitioning from "cut a hole in the ice and drown yourself" style dramas to corny plots 13-year-old boys probably think are awesome, including titles like the zero budget Star Wreck parody, 2010's Rare Exports (Evil Santa uncovered by archeologists under a Finnish mountain), and 2012's Iron Sky (Nazis on the dark side of the moon).

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How To Blog: Five Honest Tips & A Survey

Editor's note: this is a sponsored post for PR Newswire

Blogging and content marketing is basically getting your startup closer towards your goals through the use of any media type. It is no longer a “new” thing, nor is it the holy grail of success. Yet, it is a big part of the strategy for many companies that we cover and we applaud those that manage to do it well. The problem is, they are few and in-between.

Most startup blogs or content marketing attempts are not too different from the corporate blogs that you want to shoot yourself reading.

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Will 2015 be a complacent year for King and Supercell?

When going through the year's archive for a wrap-up article, one headline from February that felt like Groundhog's Day was about the Nordics' dominance on the Top Grossing iPhone charts. There the Nordic titans King and Supercell were leading with Candy Crush and Clash of Clans, followed by premium app Minecraft Pocket Edition going up and down as presumably more and more middle schoolers got iPhones as presents.

A year later we could copy paste the same article and play it off as a new one, with King and Supercell dominating with their main apps, trailing in the top 10 with their secondary titles, and Minecraft playing catchup. The Nordic countries have been extremely successful at maintaining their position on the app store charts, almost to a downright boring degree from a tech writer's perspective. There's no horse race for the leading poll here, just a general curiosity who will fill up the rest of the charts.

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Guest Post: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Editor's note: This is a guest post by Jukka Laakso, CEO of Rival Games posted originally to the Rival Games blog.

Year 2014 just came to an end. It is time to lay the cards on the table.

First of all, everything I discuss here is based on my personal experiences from the past year. I’d like to point out that there are some excellent investors in Finland, who are quite different than those discussed here. Likewise, everything you’ve read/heard about the Finnish game industry as a community is true: industry veterans offer their help and guidance to new entrepreneurs to an astonishing level of detail and involvement. Without them, we wouldn’t be here. I’m trying to continue that same tradition.

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Fifth Corner partners with Jamie Oliver for YOU-App

It was tough to know what was going to come out of Health Puzzle, the Helsinki-based app developer working somewhere in the quantified self and health area to unify your data together. The company originally came out of AaltoES' Summer of Startups batch in 2012 and since has stayed up there in the Helsinki startup scene's consciousness without any releases. With the launch of Apple's Health app it was easy to assume Health Puzzle would be one of those companies that would fizzle out with a giant player like Apple having the mission to unify data, but in 2014 Health Puzzle spun off a new company, called Fifth Corner Inc., of which Nelli Lähteenmäki is still CEO.

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What happened in 2014? We go through the archives

What even happened to Nordic and Baltic startups in 2014? We decided to dig through the ArcticStartup Archives to see what news pieces seemed like they should be remembered going forward. Take a minute to take in these headlines broken down month by month:

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Here's four teams that won Venture Cup South. Find out what they do

Many things matter in entrepreneurship. But when you believe in your idea and have it accepted by others, you get great inspiration, like from nothing else, to move forward with your project and achieve new heights. And that’s exactly how the four winners of regional Venture Cup South must feel, who apart from inspiration also received some solid money prizes – 20,000 SEK for a win in one of the categories and 100,000 SEK as an overall competition winner.

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Poll: How are you spending your holidays?

Christmas has come and gone, but today we want to hear how you're spending your holiday season. We put together a super quick poll to ask how much time you're dedicating to your startup over this Christmas, and also giving you a chance to brag about any cool gifts you got to fellow tech nerds.

Submitting the form lets you see the responses (Google forms have come a long way), but we'll wrap everything up nicely for you in a recap. And happy holidays from ArcticStartup!

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A Chance To Help During Christmas: Latvian Startup Founder Battling Cancer

With Christmas approaching tomorrow and the giving mood and campaigns of many organisations large and small reminding us to be good, we have taken up our own ArcticStartup do-good challenge to turn the Christmas hype into real impact for a fellow founder from our own startup community. The founder of Latvian Repairy Maxim Fjodorov is currently battling a nasty form of cancer, lymphoma, occuring in lymphatic system.

The Funderful team led by  Maxim's fellow SSE Riga graduate Raimonds Kulbergs has launched a fundraising campaign earlier this year to help maintain his treatment. Thanks to Martins Zutis, Dmitrijs Dementjevs Dedelis and Gediminas Uzkuraitis the platform was set up within a month. Maxim's university's Alumni Association helped to spread the word. While the campaign is still active and has helped cover medical expenses for Maxim up till now, more help is needed. We believe Christmas is a good time to tell Maxim's story and ask our community to help.

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Save The Date For The Next Level of Arctic15: May 26th - 27th

It’s Christmas time and we are ready to announce the next Arctic15 event, so you can start preparing. The event will take place on the 26th-27th of May 2015 in Helsinki, Finland. In early January, we will release the first batch of tickets, to get those at the very special rate - sign-up here. And don't forget to mark your calendar, you can download the calendar file here, for convenience. We will also give away two tickets to those that sign-up between now and the January release.

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Tellybean announces strategic partnership with Philips TVs

With the holiday season coming up, a lot of us are thinking about how we should have kept up with our relatives better the rest of the year. One "excuse" for me not getting in touch with my older relatives more often is that I don't use the phone for long-distance calls anymore. Getting in touch with my parents in the States, I used Facetime or iMessages, and occasionally I'll drop some money into Skype to call the land-line phones of my grandparents.

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The Baltic States: The New Hotspot of Tools for Developers & Designers

Editor's note: This post is by Edmundas Balčikonis, CEO of Trackduck

Don’t let be fooled by sweeping generalisations that the Baltic region is only famous for talented, educated programmers and Skype. State of the art SaaS startups are originating and growing in the Baltic States making the region a hot-spot of tools focusing on web/mobile development and design. Here is a list to prove that.

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Hailing a taxi isn't the only way to travel - Cabforce sees success with Pre-booked

The tech world is all hyped up about hailing a cab these days, but that's not the only angle to taxi travel. Helsinki-based Cabforce's service is all about plugging you into on-the-ground taxi travel with the rest of your travel plans.

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