Wrist-ready wellness apps are launching for Apple Watch

Apple Watch retail sales started today and once again Apple enthusiasts (as well as app developers) around the world are more than thrilled. The watch has been referred as Apple's “most personal device yet”, and it aims on integrating itself into the user’s lifestyle.

Finnish Fitness track app Fjuul is one of today's launches for Apple Watch. Sascha Wischek, CEO and Founder of Fjuul, is excited to be in the front line, but for them the launch is start for something bigger. Wischek reveals that they're developing their app to be even more rich with the content in the next few weeks.

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Reaktor's Polte lands in Tokyo

Polte, one of Finland’s leading early stage investor, will take on at the Japanese startup scene as a part of Slush Asia 2015 in Japan. Operated by the creative technology company Reaktor, one of the industry leaders in Finland, Polte is investing money into very early stage startups.

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Video Specialists Octoshape acquired by Akami

Earlier this month it was announced that Octoshape will be acquired by Akamai. Octoshape, which works with streaming media and Over-The-Top (OTT) broadband content, did already last year report a doubling of the numbers of users, to over 100 million. The startups, established already in 2003, has over the years grown to 40 employees.

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Finalists announced for Rietumu FinTech Challenge

A total of sixteen teams from seven countries applied for this year's Rietumu FinTech Challenge. Now the jury has selected the finalists, whose ideas are ranging from B2B SaaS solutions for finance and e-commerce to new ways of processing online payments and simplified P2P money transfers. The finalists will pitch and compete for 5,000€ prize on April 28th and the winner will also pitch at the International E-Commerce Forum eCom21 in November 2015 in Riga.

If you're interested in fresh fintech solutions – take a look at the seven finalists:

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Are you a Nordic startup looking to raise big VC? Here's what's been done by the startups before you

This post is written by Kjetil Holmefjord, the manager of the incubator at Oslo-based StartupLab. It draws on an investigation on the most funded Nordic tech startups, conducted by himself and Rasmus Christensen during the spring of 2014. While the data could benefit from a refresh, the findings still depicts a very interesting story worth sharing.

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Blast From The Past: First Copenhagen ArcticEvening Since 2009

Getting ready for our ArcticEvening event this Friday, for which you can register here, I realized that we have not done one since 2009. That is even before myself and Greg joined the company. That is the year ArcticStartup was registered as a company itself, actually. In other words - ancient history.

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Finnish Game Awards highlights Legend of Grimrock 2, Seriously

The Finnish Game Awards gala took place last night - the annual event that points out the notable achievements of the Finnish gaming industry from year before, and is notable itself for getting game developers to dress up. The judges awarded Legend of Grimlock and Seriously Games twice - two hits from a year of strong contenders. This afternoon we popped by Seriously office for an unrelated interview, and even after winning two awards last night at the Finnish Game Awards, the team had their head down and was plugging away.

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Think you're the hottest startup in the region? Prove it and win €50,000 at the OP Pitching Competition @ Arctic15

We are back, and boy do we have news for you. This year at Arctic15, the OP Pitching competition will be stepping up a notch. Not only are you going to receive cash and services as prizes, but the winning startup will also get a €50 000 investment from the FIBAN Angel Investor Syndicate. Apply here.

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Sidetrack - Our new podcast featuring Oilman Dmitri Sarle

You know, one of the fun things to talk to entrepreneurs about is what they're working on as a side project. Sure, real startups are interesting and all, but you can see a more complete picture of a person when you see what they work on after they clock out. Some projects are downright silly, some have huge goals, and some actually put the food on the table.

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Latitude59 pitch contest: Top 10 teams announced

Latitude59 Pitch Contest has been taking place for seven years, showcasing companies like Sportlizer, Crystalsol, Fitsme, Froont and 3DprinterOS. Each year partners from IBM, Conor, Index and Nexit Ventures, Blackbox and Creandum sit in the jury to determine the winners. This year Latitude59 has partnered up with EstBAN and Blackbox and turned the contest global. 1st place winner will receive €28,000 in cash investment and in-kind services sponsored by Blackbox, EstBAN, Hedman Partners, ReedSmith and Microsoft. So if you know any of the 10 finalists (listed here in no particular order) - make sure to congratulate them:

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Digital Health Track at Arctic15 brings Health Tech, Pharma and Biotech together

This is a guest post by Ville Koiste from Sitra, The Finnish Innovation Fund. Digital Health Track at Arctic15 (May 26th–27th) is organized in cooperation with Sitra.

In recent months, Finland has become a true hotspot for health and life sciences: Last autumn Slush, the largest tech conference in the Northern Europe, gathered more than 150 health & wellness startups to Helsinki. Early 2015, GE Healthcare invested over 28 million euros to create an expertise hub for digital healthcare in Finland. Other giant, Samsung Electronics, began partnership with a Finnish health accelerator Vertical just three days later. And only a few weeks ago, Bayer announced a collaboration with Auria, a Finnish biobank, regarding cancer research.

This spring, Arctic15 enables the next miracles to happen as Digital Health Track (May 26) gathers health tech and life sciences startups, investors and established companies together. The track is supported by world leading pharma players such as Bayer and MSD as well as Elisa, a Finnish telecom company. We will experience international keynote speakers, pitch presentations by the most promising startups and interesting health-related workshops, one of them organized jointly by Apple-IBM.

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Flo announces investment ahead of launch

Startup Flo announced a € 650 000 investment according to the news-site 8till5. The angel investment is from four business profiles. The funding will be used to bolster the marketing for it’s product – a new way to sort your information.

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Invesdor picks up MiFD License with free reign to expand across Europe

Helsinki's Invesdor announces today they're the first crowdfunding platform to pick up up a Markets in Financial Instruments Directive license, lowering their barrier to entry to expand across Europe. The MFiD "passport" means that Invesdor will be regulated by their home state, Finland, and allow them to offer debt and equity crowdfunding services across all 31 EEA countries rather than expanding on a country-by-country basis.

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Synopsys acquires Oulu's Codenomicon

With vulnerabilities like the Heartbleed bug terrifying large companies full of consumer data, Oulu-based security firm Codenomicon is positioned nicely to protect companies from a world full of software vulnerabilities. In some sense you could say they make the market - a Codenomicon employee was the first to discover and name the Heartbleed bug while improving a feature in their security testing tools, and reported the bug to the National Cyber Security Centre in Finland.

Now Synopsys announced they've acquired Codenomicon, plugging in the security firm into the world's 15th largest software company. The details of the acquisition were not announced.

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Klevu and Vaimo partner to optimize ecommerce site search

I guess the most beautiful daydream of every online retailer is to create a site search that connects the shoppers with the products they would crave to buy in your platform. There has been solutions offered for this need of eCommerce – most of you with a blog would think about the Google Custom Search –plugin – but unfortunately those haven't helped you to find data of what people are actually searching for.

To help the online retailers in optimizing their site search globally, Finnish search solution company Klevu was founded in 2013. Now to boost the growing and global operations, Klevu announces its partnership with Vaimo – One of the the biggest eCommerce solution providers in the Nordics.

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Startup Day comes back to Stockholm this Saturday

Stockholm's Startup Day is coming into full force this Saturday, April 25th, and with it they're bringing in more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, investors, and exhibitors under one roof. The event is on Saturday, so you've got no work excuses to miss out on some good networking and a casual afterparty.

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Coinify partners up with payment service provider Pensopay

When it comes to building a dominant bitcoin player in the Nordics and Europe, acquisitions and partnerships will likely be the battleground they're fought on much like the dynamic online delivery market before Just-Eat was crowned the winner. Coinifiy went on a shopping spree in September, picking up two companies and now announces that they've made an agreement with Pensopay, a danish company providing card acquiring and payment gateway services to online and physical businesses.

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Northern France leverages their location for entrepreneurs

Editor's note: Our trip to Northern France was paid for by Nord France Invest.

There is this saying, “When you go to the North of France, you cry two times. First when you arrive and second when you leave”. And well, as an original France southerner, I must admit that this felt really true.

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How To Hack Events? ArcticEvening Stockholm April 22nd.

It’s that time of the year again. We are starting our ArcticEvening tour and Stockholm is first up on the list. It's a meta-event double header: on April 22nd, we will be gathering at SUP46 and talking about how you can get the most out of going to events and conferences. Sign-up here, using Confetti, the newly released Stockholm-based startup that will also share their story during the event.

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Networkr relaunches under new name - Grip

Grip, a startup formerly known as Networkr, has relaunched as Grip. Networkr’s first appearance last year got words of caution from TechCrunch, as the market for proximity-based social networking platforms is quite tough in attracting users. Now, a year later, the Tinder-style networking platform is back to the market and will focus on connecting professionals exclusively in the Copenhagen region. The app was launched in both Google Play and the App Store with 15 live communities such as UI/UX, Team Sketch, Seed Investment CPH and Copenhagen Startups as well as the the Copenhagen based co-working spaces, SOHO/NOHO and Rocket Labs.

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