The cosmetics industry is obviously tested and controlled by regulatory bodies, but for many people just a "this probably won't cause acid burns" stamp by the EU or the FDA doesn't go far enough. I have an ex-girlfriend that obsessively checked shampoo and conditioner labels in stores, looking for the no-go ingredients she considered unhealthy to put on her head. To understand which chemicals to avoid, she used message boards and even a physical book about healthy cosmetics, but in 2014 for her current boyfriend's sake there's got to be a quicker way to get her in and out of a cosmetics store rather than digging through the 20 lines of small print latin words on the backside of every bottle.
She's not alone. As we've gotten a better understanding of "every-day" chemicals' effects on the human body, there's plenty of reasons to avoid certain ingredients. Some people may be avoiding allergens, others don't want to be around carcinogens, and others don't want chemicals that act as hormones or toxins to get in contact with them.
A year ago we had a quick look at the green tech crowdfunding boom that included three startups from the region who were all aiming to bring home growth technology into more widespread consumer markets. Since this type of technology was and still is quite new, the cool idea of growing tomatoes in your kitchen with a simple click can encounter some credibility problems once it runs face to face with common sense.
Turns out common sense might be wrong.
Think back on all the conferences you've attended. What specifics do you remember? Of course you might recall an exceptionally inspiring talk, or maybe you remember a new contact you met or some crazy demo stand. But one thing we've noticed: You always remember the food and your experience getting it - good or bad, long line or quick and easy. We've attended countless conferences at ArcticStartup, and our brain is a useless encyclopedia of conference food.
Coffee Stain Studios is the Swedish indie game company behind the first person tower defence games Sanctum and Sanctum 2, the first of which climbed up from top 10 to being #1 on steam sales back in the summer of 2010.
What you may not know though is that Coffee Stain Studios, which is a respectable and serious company, is also behind the rather peculiar Goat Simulator, which has ranked the top 10 steam sales for quite a while.
With early-bird tickets running out tomorrow at midnight we're announcing the program of Arctic15: Exit Path. Below you'll see the schedule of the value-driven talks we're providing to keep you occupied between your meetings and networking, although perhaps the easiest way to digest it is to run to Arctic15.com/schedule where you can hop between there and our speaker bios.
We've titled this year's event "Exit Path" compared to our past events, because as writers we love a narrative, and have tried to position our speakers talks on the main stage to progress through every stage of a company's lifecycle - from how teams came together, getting that first funding, gaining traction, raising an A Round, and then growing and scaling up to an exit. Like all good stories we're going to get lost in some other anecdotes, but that's the top-down view of our vision.
It’s been a long time since we last covered Finnish games developer Star Arcade, March 2011 to be precise, so we caught up with the 26 person team hiding out in Jyväskylä to find out what they’re up to these days.
Four weeks ago Sweden saw the birth of a potentially very interesting new platform, Sportswik. After talking to the founder, I think the platform could provide an innovative solution for thousands of little league and small time/scale sports teams who are struggling to stay funded and raise awareness
Sportswik is what you could think of as an online sports media magazine that hosts coverage for all those who lack the attention from larger media providers. The content is crowdsourced by the readers themselves, taking advantage of the massive availability of smart mobile technology.
We typically never just re-publish what someone sends us, and Georgia is far from "Arctic" but we got such a crazy email after meeting Georgian game developer Sanders Kvlividze part of the Estonia-based accelerator, Gamefounders, that it sounds better coming straight from him.
Kvlividze writes to us,
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.