The idea of your own tech pet has been around for decades. From Tamagotchi to Zoomer robotic puppies, every once in a while we designed and redesigned our ideal best friends. But have you ever thought it could also fly and easily follow you during skiing, biking, surfing, climbing and also film you wherever you go? A bunch of tech-savvy Latvians from Jelgava have created just this. And by wherever, they really mean – wherever.
Passionate about action sports and savvy in unmanned flying objects, the founders of AirDog aimed to create an ideal friend for extreme sports activists. The gadget is beautifully simple – all it takes to bring it to action is strapping the programmable remote on owner’s wrist or helmet. This is the only time you touch the remote – AirDog does the rest all by itself. The drone takes off, follows you, films your every move and then lands back – all completely autonomously.
It's been a while since we've written about the great Groupon-esque land grabs and wars that seemed to take over the early part of the '10s. As Groupon started becomming an everyday noun in the U.S., Europe was battling over who could become the regional champion with enough eyeballs to dominate the '75% off spa packages' space.
An interesting competitor that played the game a little differently was Denmark's Bownty - a startup that played aggregator to all the smaller Groupon-style companies in the market, and brought all their deals under one roof. What Kayak was to airlines, Bownty was to Denmark's and the region's Groupons.
There’s a certain point in fitness training after which getting higher results becomes increasingly difficult. From there on, attaining physical goals will require more dedication and rigorousness but that alone might not be enough: planning and insights into your own training will help you better understand which aspects of training you need to pay more attention to.
Thanks to technology, this no longer means you’ll need to hire a personal trainer that will stand by you during exercise while taking notes and telling you what to do. Portable devices, such as the wristband launched by PulseON, can do the same analysis by measuring your heart rate during training and afterwards transmitting this data into a mobile application that translates it into tangible information.
The Nordics and Baltics are chock full of companies trying to solve the problem of the "fit". Newest among them making some traction is Fitbay, a Copenhagen-based startup that's received €1.47 million in funding from Steadfast Venture Capital and Creandum. In January the company raised €290,000 from Jesper Buch.
What Fitbay does is it gets you to input your body type into their system so they can only show you clothes that fit that gorgeous shape of yours (it's true, ArcticStartup has damn good looking readers). To make their system better, they ask you to plug in some clothes you own where you like the fit - so if you've got some t-shirts that really make you feel like you're a greek god or some dress that makes your feel like a beautiful princess or whatever, then Fitbay can show you other clothes that will also fit like that.
How do you think the app landscape (and the use of your phone) is going to change when nearly everyone has the tools and resources to build their own apps? That's what struck me after trying out Appgyver's new toolset, dubbed Composer, which brings down the required skill level needed to start making apps.
More beautiful apps are coming our way: Oslo-based Outracks Technologies announces it has raised €2.59 million from Northzone and Alliance Venture. The company produces cross-platform content creation tools, most notably its Realtime Studio creative tool suite and IDE, which allows programmers to create multi-platform apps and visuals using HTML5 and WebGL. Realtime Studio is currently in closed beta, but this investment suggests that they'll be pushing to get Realtime Studio into businesses and freelancers' hands soon.
Helsinki-based health & lifestyle start up Yoogaia has set out to bring balance into peoples lives through a platform that offers online Yoga classes. Taking advantage of the wide availability of stream capable devices, Yoogaia aims to make Yoga practicing more easily attainable and affordable for those who have troubles including the ancient form of meditation into their busy week schedules or have no access to classes in their near proximity.
Oulu-based Indoor Atlas, the indoor positioning startup, announced yesterday that it had raised €3.3 million in funding from Mobility Ventures and KoppiCatch, as well as Vera Ventures, Finnvera and Tekes. Indoor Atlas is one of the hotter startups in Finland thanks to their unique technology which allows for the down-to-the-dot positioning of a phone by picking up the magnetic signals of the building or earth unique to where the phone is. Current solutions, like GPS (and assisted by WiFi), are about as accurate as you can throw your phone.
Would you trust an app and thermometer to have sex without rubbers, pills or coitus interruptus as a way to prevent unintended pregnancies? According to Swedish startup Natural Cycles, there’s a 100% natural and 99.9% proven method to prevent pregnancies - once you use their app to get the timing right.
We've been thinking too much about events lately, and decided to buzzfeed together a post about the type of people you see at every Finnish startup event. Have any more suggestions? Let us know in the comments.
1. Finnish Game Dev
- Used to work at Rovio (previously at Digital Chocolate)
- Wearing hoodie from current game company
- Working on F2P character-driven iPad game
- Carries stick to beat away investors
The Norwegian social delivery service Easybring has announced that after a successful launch in its home country it will be bringing its cheap environmentally friendly platform to the rest of the world.
The London-based startup with Estonia's Skype roots, Transferwise, announces it has raised $25 million from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, Sir Richard Branson and other investors. The company hints it will be using the funding to expand consumer awareness of their product, which allows consumers and businesses to exchange and send money cross border using much cheaper exchange rates than what banks offer. Since launching, Transferwise has raised $33 million.
As Trendsonline reported, the Danish government is planning to introduce new tax deductions which favor startup investors as a part of the 2020 plan. A new company tax deduction will make it easier for small enterprises to obtain venture capital by making the company more attractive for investors in the project proposals and business plans.
MAG Interactive, the Swedish creators of the hit wordplay game Ruzzle, have a lot going on these days after raising a $6 million funding round last November. They have now launched Ruzzle Adventure on iOS and Android in hopes of taking what worked with Ruzzle in more of a single player setting, where rather than just throwing static boggle-like word puzzles at you for you to compete against your friends, the game takes on the "Adventure" storyline where you progress through stages, with each stage segment unlocking something new to throw into the word puzzle. In the gameplay, swiping words takes their letters out of the puzzle, with new letters for the game board dropping down from the top.
Summer has opened it’s doors and the sun’s shining outside (at least it was earlier today). Friday work hours are getting closer to the finish line with every passing minute and you’re probably thinking about your soon-to-come weekend activities.
In the meanwhile, let’s take a quick look at the jobs the region has to offer. Remember, we’re only scratching the surface here, to see the full list of the available job offers, head on to our jobs board.
A panoramic gaze around you spoke for itself: the large space was packed with audience, only a few vacant seats within the rows of chairs left scattered here and there. A good deal of people had found their spots alongside the mezzanine that encircled the room from above, leaving the spiral staircases that connected the two levels equally occupied. All eyes we’re fixed on the stage.
That was pretty much the description of how the Startup Sauna Spring ’14 Demo Day looked like at the startup sauna co-working space two days ago. Just like the first batch announcement four years back, this Spring's demo day included keynotes, pitches and of course a steady flow of beer.
In the small university town of Trondheim, Norway, some NTNU students formed a gaming company, Dirtybit, and managed to capture some lightening in a bottle with FunRun - the multiplayer side scrolling racing game that got over 40 million downloads and topped App Store charts. In FunRun you had to pilot your cartoon character on a sidescrolling racetrack while dodging barriers in the road and attacks from other players. The game was unique for allowing real-time multiplayer racing, something not really seen in 2012 when the game launched.
On Tuesday evening ten start ups from across Europe gathered in Espoo, Finland, for the second of eight pitching competitions organised by EIT ICT Labs. ‘Idea Challenge’ is the title under which the competitions take place and each event has a specific topic. Finland’s was ‘Smart Spaces’, and the ideas on display were varied and fascinating, with the judges having a tough time picking the eventual winners.
Movies are going online, games are online, social interactions are going online. Why should sports be any different?
Editor’s note: this is a sponsored post by UK Trade and Investment
What’s the worst possible working space you can think of? I'm thinking Ricky Gervais’ The Office, but hey there's plenty of workspaces that fall under the no-good category.
One thing's for sure, London has plenty of bad but also plenty of amazing offices.
Last time we dug into how you should spread your wings once you set foot on London ground with your startup, so this time we felt like it's time to take an actual peek at the impressive office alternatives you can get with money, brain or a combination of those two.