So right after Arctic15, we decided to take some of our speakers to the worlds most northern point with a permanent population - Svalbard. Basically to see polar bears, do some dogsledding and see the most remote Russian towns, including the worlds northernmost Lenin statue.
Yet, we were there looking for some sort of a wow-factor. We even created a fake picture of a polar bear using a stuffed toy (see below).
With 10 minutes left until take-off, there was no story. Then my internet went down on the phone. This was followed by all the screens in the airport changing to 404 error messages.
Imagine the following: you have a serious medical condition (could be epilepsy, a severe type 1 diabetes, or even an extreme allergy to nuts for example) and you get an attack that requires immediate emergency treatment.
You arrive to the ER and doctors are trying to figure out what’s wrong; the faster they’re able to give proper treatment, the quicker you’ll get better. Basically every second counts.
It’s been nearly a year since we last talked about the Finnish parenting start up Wauwaa. Then they had closed a seed round to launch an online platform for parents. It’s the success of that platform that has lead to this new round of investment, to improve the website and service to drive even more growth.
It's running season again, which is probably why MyNextRun is pushing us news that they've raised half-a-million, pushing their total funding to a total of €1 million. The company provides an aggregation and booking service for running events, allowing runners to find and book races ranging from quick and easy 5k's to ultramarathons.
MyNextRun is aggregating all the races it can find - even if the races aren't doing ticketing through MyNextRun's platform - which helps casual runners like myself to find new events, and helps MyNextRun play the long game of getting new races onto their platform by showing them traffic numbers.
To be a serious startup accelerator these days, it seems you've got to have some sort of partnership to capital. Tallinn's Startup Wise Guys, playing a central accelerator in the Estonian Mafia startup scene, has now partnered with Notion Capital, a UK based fund, to provide some follow-on funding to the accelerator's best teams and to help them get set up in the UK market.
We’re overflowing with amazing start ups here in Arctic15 and the task of profiling as many of the wonderful demo booth holders as we can may seem daunting to some. Not to our writing team however! It’s time to check out some more of the great teams that have gathered here.
Here’s round two of the Demo’ians: five more startups that are spreading the word about their companies to everyone at Arctic15.
Here at Arctic15 we’ve got a great bunch of start ups showing off their products and services, and it wouldn’t be fair to ignore them amongst all the excitement that our line up of speakers brings to the table. So over a series of articles prepare to meet the Demo'ians, some of the finest start ups around.
Since we profiled TransferGo in November life has been moving quickly for the boys from Lithuania. They got in touch during their launch into Norway to catch us up on what’s been happening in the world of digital remittance and tell us some stories.
Looking for a chance to meet big publishers? Are you on the look out for an investment in your mobile game or looking to spot the next best thing? Want to rub shoulders with hot talents in the mobile games industry?
If yes, then Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki just might be your thing.
The stages are live, the demo booths open and people are filling the hall at the Telakka Event Centre. As we step off the stage having opened proceedings and our first speaker, Trip Hawkins, talks on “The Big Idea” we want to remind you of what the conference has to offer and how to get the most out of it.
Whether you or your kids are participating in some form of organized sports, be it from soccer to sailing, it’s likely that you’ve run into some communication issues. Changes in schedule from the head organization affects coaches, which then affect sports halls and parents, who have other hobbies and scheduling issues in their lives. Back when I played little league soccer, I remember our team dealt with changes and issues in the schedule using a “phone tree” - where the coach would call a few parents, who would then call their designated two or three parents, who would then call who was on their list. It was a solution to the communication issue, but messy.
Nowadays email reigns supreme but it’s still one big step away from the core problem - the calendar issue of scheduling. Enter Hobbydeed, a platform designed to put a shared calendar at the core of this communication issue for teams and other hobby organizations.
When Nordic web, app, and game entrepreneurs talk about localization, they generally mean if their product was first in Finnish or Swedish, then they'll translate it by hand into English. Once English is onboard, our region's entrepreneurs seem to settle, thinking they've already hit one large market, and that it's too difficult to get their app or game into a language they don't speak.
It's true you can find success just focusing on the English-speaking market, but you're also fighting within the most contested market for services and games. But what about Asia, Russia, or the Spanish speaking markets, where localization can make a huge difference in downloads and usage? Rovio's Asian focus with Angry Birds prove that young, rapidly growing companies can prosper when they get localization right.
Thinking about localization can sound like it takes too much time or resources for an already busy team, but an app with a few hundred words can hit a new market in just 1 to 2 days if you use the right tools.
“When you sit your activity level is only 4% higher than when you sleep,” said Ida Mänty, Head of Design and co-founder of Cuckoo Workout, when I met her along with fellow co-founder and CEO, Veera Lehmonen, at their office in Espoo. I decided not to correct them on that statement, my activity level is barely more than the average sloth and 4% sounded way to generous a figure. Thankfully they weren’t referring to me, but to the average office worker, which is the massive pool they are targeting with their fun, office based workout routines.
Editor's note: Meet Spinverse at the Arctic15!
Many large corporations in Europe are going through a time of transformation. Economic circumstances drive corporations to reduce non-core activities and seek for more dynamic R&D network to meet the future needs from the markets. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs.
Spinverse Innovation Mill converts ideas and IPR into new start-ups by matching the corporations, entrepreneurs and investors. To date, new companies have been created from unused ideas and innovations from large established companies like Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Kemira, Metso, Rautaruukki and Wärtsilä. The results from Innovation Mill are of benchmark quality – since 2009 it has funded 109 innovations into startups who have created 650 jobs and received more than €80 million of funding.
The startup world is on its own in many ways. It is often chaotic, fast paced, high-risk and frankly on the verge of insane. Yet, these characteristics are exactly what makes it exciting. This is why people are willing to work 60+ hour weeks, with little to no pay. It is also why this often mysterious, somewhat dangerous and unpredictable atmosphere is able to deliver companies that grow at remarkable pace, pushing creativity, innovation and disruption.
Sadly, Finland is in the middle of something we could call an economic time out. Large companies are laying off employees and revenues tend to look grimmer than usual. In terms of employment and the flow of money, eyes are increasingly turning towards SME’s, which are still plenty, regardless of the difficult circumstances.
I remember when Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) said on The Social Network how facebook needed to stay “cool”. In other words he was saying that the blossoming mother of all global scale social media websites needed to stay clean of ads.
That didn't turn out well if we look at Facebook today.
When we started planning Arctic15, we wanted to invite a lot of investors but we did not quite expect this.
Today, we are happy to announce that we have over 75 registered investors. Considering that many startups are coming with 2-4 people, the startup to investor ratio is probably around one to four, which is great for both sides. This gives us one of the best startup-investor ratios at a conference in the whole of Europe. Of course you can help us out to give the investors a wider choice by registering your ticket here, and if you are an investor, you can improve our ratio's even more.
Finnish online banking startup Holvi has announced both a million-scale capital investment led by Austrian investment company SpeedInvest and a EU-wide concession from the Financial Supervisory Authority that will allow the startup to start spreading its services across Europe.