Last night we held ArcticEvening in Tallinn, Estonia in co-operation with Connect Estonia, so we could bring part of the Finnish startup scene to meet the Tallinn scene. This is a great way to get people from different scenes to meet and find new opportunities to work together beyond national borders. The night was a success. We had a four startups presenting, Scred, Edicy, Snoobi and Nutiteq. The audience put the startups to test during the Q&A, but for the most part the startups surviced well.
The panel was equally good. Sten Tamkivi, Allan Martinson and Taneli Tikka gave the audience what they came for - a very interesting and thought provokin take on the current economy, the startup ecosystem, most interesting companies and events of 2008 and what they predict will the ones to follow in 2009.
What stuck with me was Allan's remark that you should look beyonnd just the Internet for new business ideas. The focus has been so squarely on the Internet for the past few years that the biggest opportunities might now be on the edges of the Internet where the Internet meets the real world, or in totally different areas, like for example the food industry that's trying to cope with the EU legislation. Similarly, after I grilled Taneli for a while to reveal the areas he is looking most closely at, he mentioned the fast improvements in the genetics industry and the possibilities to link the social web to the improvements in that area. Similarly, Sten made us think beyond the 'Skype as phone' concept talking about mobility and how Skype is looking at possibilities of introducing an Open API.
A great evening, that we want to build on also in the future. Look out for more ArcticEvenings around the Baltic and Nordic countries.