You know what I miss as a Brit living in Finland? I miss pub culture. I miss popping down to your local with a couple of friends, having a pint or two, catching up and generally just relaxing in a warm pleasant local surrounded by locals who feel like an extended family. And I’m not the only one inconvenienced that, as Sori Brewing’s story shows.
Arctic15: Exit Path still looms high on the horizon as the preparations for our third edition of ArcticStartup’s own conference become ever more frantic. While the main event is just around the corner, it’s time to take an evening off and hit the buzzing Turku region with its lively and diverse startup scene.
First we went around the Baltics and had an amazing time meeting the wonderful startup communities in Vilnius, Tallinn and Riga. Then we swung over to visit our Nordic brothers and sisters in Stockholm and Oslo (Copenhagen we haven’t forgotten you, we still plan to visit.) Finally we're going around Finland, we visited Tampere last week and we'll be in Turku and Oulu soon. But how could we go to all those wonderful places, see so many awesome people, and not bring the party back to Helsinki? Our home and the host city for Arctic15. Of course we’re going to party here!
SimpleSite, as the name suggests, is a platform dedicated to make it easy for SME’s and individuals alike to create their own websites. The Danish company began its journey quite some time ago, 2003 to be exact. That hardly makes them a young startup anymore, however success stories from our region are always pleasant to catch up on.
The Arctic15:Exit Path conference is just around the corner, and we have our pitching finalists but need your help to narrow down the choice to 15 companies that will attend the main event.
To do so, just vote for your favorite at the bottom of the article, and if you leave your e-mail you will have a chance to win a ticket to Arctic15:Exit Path, The Exits Workshop or one of our T-Shirts. Of course you could get the ticket right away too, as the Early Bird deal expires in less than a week.
We share an office with the Finnish branch of iZettle and I think we need to start charging more for rent.
The company just announced today that they've just raised an impressive €40 million in Series C funding in a round led by Zouk Capital, with participation from Dawn Capital and Intel Capital, and Series A and B investors Creandum, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Northzone and SEB Private Equity. The credit and banking institutions that have some stake in the card payments-for-smartphones solution also participated, including American Express, MasterCard and Banco Santander.
About a month ago we heard the news that Finnish early-stage investor Inventure is launching a seed program run through the Nordics and Baltics with the hire of Ekaterina Gianelli. Digging into it a little more, their groundwork is set up with a focus on technology, software and next generation of digital services, and is really kicking off their program with the Health & Wellness Seed Day, organized in co-operation with HealthSPA and AppCampus already on May 14th in Helsinki. To apply, send an email to Gianelli's address in the link.
One thing is certain; if you’re an engineer working with machinery involved in aircrafts, power plants or anything in between, there simply is no room for mistake. A single, incorrectly manufactured part can end up costing the lives of many, lead to huge financial losses or cause horrific environmental catastrophes while the list of possible tragedies goes on.
“Hi my name is Mark. I’m looking for €300k for a 20% stake in my company.”
Dragons Den and Shark Tank have for long been the only way to get an idea of how entrepreneurs actually raise money. Unfortunately, for the entrepreneurs, it could not be further from reality. Negotiating a term sheet for an investment is a long, drawn out fight of wording and compromises.
We met Mantas Ratomskis, CEO of Eruditus, at the first Arctic Evening we hosted in Vilnius, Lithuania back in mid April. He introduced us to his team’s product LoomiDeck, an enterprise social network for collaboration and project management, which is gathering good feedback and users.
Last week I was up in Trondheim, Norway and caught the tail-end of their Startup Weekend. They had only enough people for about five teams to come together, but just the buzz around all these new ideas coming together was awesome to be a part of, if only for a moment. Luckily our Helsinki readers can participate in a Startup Weekend coming up over the 54 hours of this weekend.
This iteration of Startup Weekend Helsinki is focused on sustainability and the bioeconomy. They're looking for multidisciplinary teams - like coders, designers, idea people, business people, and basically anyone to come together and put together the products and services for the future of sustianibility and the bioeconomy.
Danish startup Playday are behind a successful SaaS workforce management program which is the leading software of its type in the Nordics. Now as they look to expand their operations worldwide and capture a huge, unexploited market they’ve partnered with venture capital firm Creandum to get the investment and expertise they need to realise their vision for growth.
ArcticStartup has as deep roots to Oulu as an expat can get- our Editor in Chief studied at the University of Oulu for two years, making him well versed in the bar scene. And as attendees to Midnight Pitch, we saw a ton of cool startups- especially in the hardware scene.
We've counted something like over 100 conference badges in our office from over the years, so we've learned what works and what doesn't when getting noticed at the event. We want to share our knowledge of how to hustle at an event (and share some beer) with the Oulu crowd.
TrademarkNow is the latest startup to pop up in the Helsinki startup scene. Their trademark checking tool has already cleared more than 5000 unique trademarks which, according to the company, translates into clients saving up to 10,000 working hours, or in other words, $3 million in unnecessary operational costs.
This effectiveness has not gone unnoticed; today TrademarkNow announced the closing of a successful $3,5 million funding round led by European VC Balderton Capital.
"Do you hear me at the back?... Yeah, alright, okay." Everyone knows this annoying phrase interrupting almost any meaningful event. And if you have ever been speaking at any of those events, you also know how awkward it feels when you are not even sure if the audience can hear you.
Most of us got used to live with this, while some went out looking for solutions. About a year ago three ambitious Latvians - Lauris, Agnis and Martins decided that there must be a better way. Having supplied schools with audiovisual equipment for about 4 years, they found an inherent problem at the very core of their business. Theoretically, the industry was considered to provide audio-visual solutions, while practically almost all focus was on visuals, with almost no products developed for audio.
Online advertisements are a tricky thing. When you think about it from the potential consumer’s point of view, it's mostly irritating, as it can make whatever online content you’re enjoying messier and less credible, perhaps even more so when the advertised products have nothing to do with your own interests.
Then again, if looked upon from the content manager’s POV, online ads are a necessary evil, without which revenues could be close to nothing. The owners need some carrot in order to keep websites up and running, but there has to be a balance; Too many ads simply won’t do (unless you don’t care about reputation).
The two Swedish men behind the social mobile application Skout, Christian Wiklund and Niklas Lindstrom, current Skout CEO and CTO respectively, are busy being businessmen in the toughest digi- and tech-startup hotspot of Silicon Valley. Just recently they acquired Nixter, a nightlife application that has its origins in Chile, but which currently operates in the coastal US metropoles of Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
Finnish mobile gaming company Boomlagoon announced today it has raised a solid $3.6 million (€2.59 million) in funding in a round led by Northzone with additional investments by Finland's Inventure and 360 Capital Partners. This also joined Jari Ovaskainen and London Venture Partners, who previously invested in Boomlagoon.
Boomlagoon's previous title was Nobel Nutlings, a physics-based racer where you had to pilot some silly beavers to complete courses in all manner of wooden logs and cars. The feeling when opening up the app was that it felt very "Angry Birds" in the artwork style, and in the three stars you received when you successfully completed the course. The similarities in artworks style were for good reason - the team was from three ex-Rovio employees and cofounder Tuomas Erikoinen was behind the artwork of the original Angry Birds characters.
ArcticStartup is organizing our third Arctic15 event, a premium start-up / networking conference which will take place on the 27th-28th of May 2014. We need YOUR help to make it happen!
We’ve built an impressive line-up of speakers from near and far, and guarantee that our guests will find plenty of like-minded individuals to mix with.
It’s time to stop and take a moment of silence for the fall of another promising startup. ReadMill, the Berlin-based ebook reading app with Swedish founders for iOS and Android, announced in April that it will be closing and shutting down on the 1st July.