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Last night’s ArcticEvening was definitely one of the best we’ve managed to organise. I think we managed to nail a couple of things right; fantastic speakers and a great atmosphere among the crowd. The evening started off with sponsor messages from Culminatum, Microsoft and Veraventure. Microsoft is basically looking for 5 companies that leverage the cloud that they could help promote and take global. Veraventure disclosed in the evening that they will be making 24 early stage investments in Finland next year if they find good deal flow – another fantastic opportunity right there. The event was the official after party of the IBP Camp Helsinki, and you can read the transcript of the live blogging that took place in our previous post.

First on stage we had Jussi Laakkonen, who told me earlier that we were extremely lucky to have him there as he had turned down a TEDxHelsinki invitation for earlier that day to attend our event. And lucky we were, the man was on fire! One comment after the event I received was that it was like watching a movie, what’s going to happen to the main character – is he going to make it? I think that’s one of the best comments I’ve heard regarding events, thank you. Jussi ran us through the Applifier story with all the steps from Everyplay to Applifier and what actions he took where with the company.

After Jussi’s talk we had Ulla-Maaria Engeström talk about her company, Thinglink. Thinglink also started off earlier with a wider angle, but subtracted a lot of features they had planned to come out with and moved forward with image tagging. Ulla-Maaria explained how she had been inspired by a chat with Jimmy Wales in a bar about linking things together and what that could enable – this sparked the initial idea and she moved forward with the project. It was also great to hear comments about scaling a business in Finland from someone who moved here from the Valley – not the usual way to try and grow your company.

All in all, the talks went in to the late evening and that’s what we want to see: the audience enjoying themselves while living and breathing entrepreneurship. If you’d like to go through some of the tweets of the evening, you can do so with the #arctic hashtag. Karri Saarinen, our tech guru took some photos of the event and they’re up on Flickr.

Finally, it was a bit nerve racking to organise an event at the same time TEDxHelsinki took place as well as a bunch of other events oriented towards the similar type of crowd. However, at least one tweet confirmed that we did manage to put on a good show for you (and in no way do we want to brag too much about this, but we’re really really happy about the feedback)! 🙂


Culminatum / IBP
International Business Program is a Finnish nation-wide program offering help to startups get off the ground and internationalise. The project consists of 3 stages: Internationalization Clinics, Internationalization Camps and Go-To-Market-package. The Project is coordinated by Culminatum Innovation Oy Ltd.

Culminatum Innovation Oy Ltd is a development company owned by the Uusimaa Regional Council, the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, and the universities, polytechnics, research institutes and business community of Helsinki region.

The main function of Culminatum Innovation Oy Ltd is to manage the Centre of Expertise Programme within Helsinki Region over the current third programme period 2007 – 2013. This programme promotes utilisation of the highest international standard of knowledge and expertise in business, job creation and regional development.

Windows Azure
Windows Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Windows Azure platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage web applications on the internet through Microsoft® datacenters.

Veraventure Ltd is a Finnish venture capital investment company serving as the hub for public early-stage venture capital investments. Veraventure makes direct investments in innovative Finnish start-up enterprises showing growth and internationalisation potential. Investments are made through Seed Fund Vera Ltd. Veraventure also aims to develop regional venture capital investment activities by operating as a fund of funds and investing in Finnish regional evergreen funds. In addition, the company manages a business angel network known under the name of InvestorExtra. Veraventure is a part of the Finnvera Group.

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