TechCrunchTalk Nordic was held yesterday in Stockholm. The event was sold out and gathered many familiar faces from the startup and VC communities for panel discussions, presentations and pitches followed by drinks and networking.
The panels and presentations had a good mix of representatives from the entire region and discussed topics covering the Nordic and Baltic startup and VC culture. In my opinion the most memorable message sent was by Pär-Jörgen Pärsson from the VC firm Northzone Ventures. He presented some hard figures and facts just to state how the Nordics is the best exit market in the world with 36% exit rate, Skype excluded. So – the startups in the Nordics rock!
The Five Startup Pitches
The program also promised fresh-faced startups pitching – and to my pleasent surprise I found two new ones. The recent Mini Seedcamp Helsingborg in mind, I was though a bit anxious to see how these five ones would handle their “three minutes of fame”. Considering all the applause from the audience I wasn’t the only one being slightly impressed by the performances delivered! So, who were these well rehearsed teams then we had on stage?
Langofone was the first newcomer out with their mobile phrasebook application. Langofone offers the user three functions: Phrasebook, Quiz and Translate. The application suppports all J2ME versions and an iPhone app has been submited to the Apple appstore and should be downloadable as we speak. The application is free for download and the revenue stream consists of new content being sold on top of the preloaded content. The company claims their USP to be the app itself together with the content. With competitors on the market offering similar services, I’d like to see more unique functionality such as translation of by user recorded content. Phrasebook is today available in seven languages and new ones along with new content are to be added constantly.
Filehill were the second new face presenting their marketplace for digital content, targeting the real enthusiasts on the very end of the long tail. While eBay have stopped managing digital content, there’s still the giant Amazon left to compete with. Filehill didn’t seem too worried about them hence offering local niched marketplaces with platform especially designed to trade digital content, such as reports, playlist, sewing patterns to name a few. Filehill has been in a beta for a year now and is to launch in two weeks. If they manage to solve the copyright issues following digital content, I can’t see why the long tail approach couldn’t bring a positive outcome.
Yubico with it’s mission to make Internet identification secure was well presented by it’s CEO and Founder Stina Ehrensvärd (also on the investement panel). Being a profitable company it now has over 3000 customers in 60 countries and has caught the interest of the banking sector. Miikka has also already taken a closer look at Yubico and its product offer.
alaTest can hardly be considered as a newcomer having already been around for four years. It’s a product review aggregator service that Miikka wrote about earlier this year when they won the Red Herring Global 100. The company reached its break-even last year and is not seeking for funding, but new innovative ways to take the service to next level, e.g. interact with blogs and social media content.
Bluewalks, a online service to create and share walking tours, who also pitched at Mini Seecamp Helsingborg did an even more excellent pitch this time. Sze Min Lek was well worth all the praise and applause. Read what Miikka has to say about the Bluewalks 🙂
On Twitter And Video
Not only was there frequent twittering going on, the whole event was streamed live using Bambuser – peaking at total 800 users! And don’t worry, in case you were not amongst them, you’ll find all the video here. Don’t also miss the expert panel with Joakim Jardenberg, Annika Lidne and Martin Palacios summing up during the breaks and in the end!
I think we all once again can agree on how important these kind of events are for the startup ecosystem. It’s about building relationships, thus we need to meet.
Thanks Mike and TechCrunch Europe!