What Will You Remember 2015 For?

To reminisce over the past year, we gathered together our team’s thoughts on what will we remember 2015 of. Here’s our look on global news and trends – as well as local phenomenas in the Northern Europe.

1. The Year Of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding was a huge theme for 2015. We at ArcticStartup ran one big campaign on Indiegogo with CoFounder magazine, and gathered together over €17 000 thanks to our supporters!

In general, crowdfunding became a mass market phenomenon in our region – with some big success stories such as Bold Gadgets, Oura Ring, Solu and Flic.

2. Virtual Reality Gets Bigger

There has been advances made in VR this year on motion tracking, weight, and peripherals – which means that 2016 will be full of VR. There’s already startups working on bringing VR into different areas like real estate, car sales, video production, games and more.

HoloLens announced that they’re coming out first quarter of 2016 for the developers. Photo: Microsoft

3. Governments Want To Work With Startups

In 2015 we’ve also seen a trend with governments looking to startups to solve technical issues within their systems and a willingness to work with them including startup accelerators and new grants.

Though there’s an ongoing discussion about how much monetary support governments should give to companies – there’s also a huge potential for cooperation – to develop more user-friendly and innovative services together with startups. That’s why we should also concentrate on creating opportunities for these parties to cooperate.

4. Insect Food Discussion Heats Up In Europe

Selling and marketing insects as groceries is still forbidden in European Union, but companies such as Finnish Entocube have started the discussion about sustainable food production with insects. Entocube, providing farming solutions of crickets, has the goal to end world hunger by providing an affordable source of protein.

United Nations estimates that over 2 billion people eat insects every day, and we’re looking forward to hear if Europe will follow with opening the regulations. Before insects can be placed on the market, they must pass a safety assessment and the sale and marketing of the insects must be authorised by the European Commission.

5. New Level Of Community Spirit In Helsinki

Through the launch of #Helyes startup meetups in Helsinki, the tech community of Finnish capital has become more unite. Also Zalando opening its tech hub in Helsinki this year has been important case for the community, since the company has become in a short period of time a significant organiser of meet-ups and various tech events.

Right now the city of Helsinki wants to turn an old hospital to a startup hub in the city centre, which would bring the startup community even more close to each other.

6. SpaceX Rocket Lands Successfully

SpaceX landed successfully with Falcon 9 rocket on December 21, which is a major landmark for the company developing reusable rockets.

And we’re again one step closer to affordable space traveling!

7. Open AI Research Gets Support

The non-profit artificial intelligence organization behind OpenAI.com received in total $1 billion funding from Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, Amazon and YCombinator this year.

“Our goal is to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return,” is stated on the company’s mission and we’re looking forward to hear how this project continues in 2016.

8. European Refugee Crisis – And How The Startup Communities Reacted

More than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015, and that has created issues in several countries. Instead of treating rapidly increasing immigration as a problem, the startup community around Europe started to develop solutions for the refugees to help them adapting in the new culture and environment.

There’s examples that have helped refugees in Europe such as Finnish Startup Refugees –program, fintech startup Moni, information application Funzi and a service bridging people giving and receiving help Zharity. Also Swedish state-run “Korta Vägen” (‘Short Cut’) program is already showing great examples on how foreign graduates have entered the Swedish job market this year.

9. Print Is Not Dead

We introduced CoFounder magazine – the only startup magazine in Europe – in late 2014, but it was really born as a magazine over 2015. This was the year’s biggest project especially for our magazine’s editor Tarmo Virki.

“I was in charge of putting together four magazines over the year and did also personal shipping across the world, which was a fun experience. So I was actually mailing the magazine everywhere and driving boxes of magazines also all the way to Hannover in March, which was an epic 1600 kilometer overnight drive,” tells Tarmo.

10. The Year Of Clear Vision

At ArcticStartup, the year 2015 will also be remembered as the year of creating us a clear vision. In 2016, we’re working even harder to help the Northern European startup community to flourish by keeping “helping to build communities with uncapped opportunities” as our guideline.

How about you – What will you remember this year for?