Just like last week, here's a look into the most talked about and shared discussion topics from our Discussions -area. We're noticing more and more people signing up and activating their old ArcticIndex accounts, so make sure you won't be left out of the conversation. Sign in here, or register an account if you haven't done so.
In the eyes of the developers and the startup community, Nokia went from hero to zero in less than 3 years. Despite its still 44% strong market share, the company is losing more and more every day to Apple and Google, both of which had no previous mobile experience.
The company is about to introduce the N8 to a mostly indifferent community. Here is a list of 7 things they can do to win the hearts of app developers and startups again.
Finnish online media company AfterDawn, has signed a multiyear contract with a French Bestofmedia Group on bringing the succesful Tom's Hardware Guide to the Nordics. Tom's Hardware Guide is a 14-year old publication about technology that is written today in 11 different languages and reaches some 30 million readers monthly.
The Nordic Tech Tour, organized by the independent not-for-profit organization The European Tech Tour has kicked off today. During two and a half days, the selected 30 promising early and later stage growth companies based in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and the Baltic countries will gather together with the leading cross-border venture capital and global corporate firms.
During the event, the companies have twenty minutes to present their business plans to 70 international delegates, consisting of senior partners, VPs, and CEOs from the global venture capital and technology industry, as well as advisors and academics. The investment capital present at the Tour is said to be worth over €10 billion.
We've partnered with Deloitte this year to promote their Technology Fast 50 program here in Finland. Every year, Deloitte organises a competition to find and promote the fastest growing technology companies. In 2009, Finland's winner was Endero, who had grown 3277% over the last 5 years.
The Estonian based mobile payment provider, Fortumo, has launched, apparently first in the market, an instant-activation in-app payments service for Android devices. The difference in this for the developer, compared to other providers, is that Fortumo is able to activate the payment services to about 40 countries instead of integrating a different payment method for each country.
Our completely new discussions area gained a lot of traction this week and people were debating on a variety of issues. This is exactly why we build the whole discussions -feature, there's a lot to talk about! It was great to see many new companies and ideas also being promoted on the forum, not to mention the good advice and tips the world is full of. If you're not actively following the discussions, I sincerely invite you to do so. All you need to do is sign in with you ArcticIndex username and password, or if you haven't registered yet - you can do so over here. Below, I'll go through some of this week's top discussions.
"Harvard spinoff promises genome sequencing for $30"
This was the headline from FierceBiotech Research, a biotech journal. It's also a game changing development for the industry as a whole and part of a bigger trend of personalized cancer medicine. The first time scientists sequenced a human genome it cost $ 3 billion. Then it went to $ 6 million (2006), then $ 60,000 (2008), in June 2009 Illumina pushed it to $ 20,000, Nov 6 2009 Complete Genomics promised $ 4,400. The prediction for the coming year? $ 1,000 in 2-3 years and further down to $ 100 in 5-10 years.
Zokem, a Finnish startup previously known to work with mobile location based mobile services (see our review here), has changed direction somewhat and closed a massive 2 million euro investment round from European venture capital investors, private investors as well as public funding. The new area Zokem will try to tackle is mobile analytics.
Last week Tallinn was hot with startup and entrepreneur activity. Latvian travel search engine startup MoVoLo won the Elevator Pitch Competition organized by ArcticStartup and Tehnopol Estonia as part of the Third Annual Tallinn Conference by The International Technology Law Association and Enterprise Estonia. Also ArcticEvening Tallinn, among other startup events the same week, gathered a great crowd of entrepreneurs and likeminded people together.
On Thursday, TechCrunch wrote about Spotify having 30 000 users in the US and questioning why it hasn't launched there yet. The post is highly controversial compared to what Spotify has to say officially. Spotify has stated (at the end of the post) that they don't have 30 000 users in the US and they have good relations to all their partners. TechCrunch stated otherwise referring to their well placed sources, close to the company.
It's been quite sometime in the making, but it is finally time to launch the new site with some neat features that enable us to make ArcticStartup so much more it used to be. Let me explain what we've developed and why.
The new ArcticStartup has been designed to give more tools to the community. We wanted to reach out to the community and give you more ways to initiate discussions and share material (news, links, press releases, etc.) on our site. Our article sections is still there, but we wanted to add more ways for the community to discover new, interesting and most of all relevant content.
Finnish web design solution provider Hammerkit has launched a closed beta of the new version of its cloud-based web design tool with revamped UI and features. The company's tool allows web designers to implement even complex websites on their own, without the need for help from programmers. Traditionally web designers have built mock-ups and wireframes, and then transferred these over to programmers to implement and weave in database connections etc. dynamic functionality. Hammerkit aims to revolutionize this old school fashion, allowing creativity without learning complex programming techniques - thus the company's tagline "a tool for the web punk generation."
The Estonian Fits.me, Virtual Fitting Room, has launched. Heikki Haldre, the CEO of the company, has been at work with his team on the concept for quite some time, winning pitches in Tallinn and overseas. A few days ago we received an e-mail from Heikki announcing that they've finally launched their service and have done so with a British customer - Hawes and Curtis.
Limited Partners or LPs, the people or institutional investors who invest their money in venture funds, are pulling away and the European investment climate is going from bad to worse. This is on one hand because of the dismal returns that the funds have generated and on the other hand because of the bloated management fees that some VCs collect without working much for their portfolio companies or for new deal flow.
Even if the general investment climate in Europe is getting darker Seedcamp is determined to make the early stage investing work in Europe. I talked with Reshma Sohoni, CEO of Seedcamp, at the Copenhagen Mini-Seedcamp about Seedcamp's past, present and future and what value they can offer for startups coming from the Nordics and Baltics.
Seedcamp model is to invest €50,000 in early stage startups in return for some 10 percent of equity. Beyond just the capital, they aim to connect entrerpeneurs with the best mentors across Europe, UK and US.
Just a quick reminder that we still have some tickets left for our event on the 1st of June in Tallinn! We have a great setup for the evening and it would be a pity to miss it, so register your free ticket using the registrations module below. We'll have a very interesting panel topped off with about 10+ one minute pitches by young startups and entrepreneurs. For those in Tallinn, we'll also have quite a few Finns coming down to Estonia - so take the evening off for some valuable business networking as well.
Sulake Corporation, the creators of the popular teenage social network Habbo Hotel, have reported very strong financial figures for their first quarter of 2010. Between January and March, Sulake's revenue grew by more than 25 percent compared to Q1 in 2009. Sales for the first three months of 2010 were $20 million (€14.7 million).
Silicon Valley Journey - Experience of Finnish IT Startups from Dot-Com to 2010 is a new book published just recently that delves into the secrets of Silicon Valley from the Finnish perspective. It's written by Raija Rapo and Marita Seulamo-Vargas, two Finnish business journalist residing in the Silicon Valley. Pekka Pärnänen of Finnode had also his fingers in the pie in making the book happen. The book is at the same time a guide to how to go about entering the Valley with your startup and a window into the history of Finnish technology entrepreneurship. At least into the history of those who were ambitious enough to try to enter the infamous Bay Area.
When I got the draft copy of the book I thought I would find it boring as I already know most of this stuff. How wrong was I. Come page 20 or so and I had lost track on time and didn't even notice how the war stories and historical accounts had sucked me in. Although admittedly you need to be into technology entrepreneurship to find the book interesting, but given where you're reading this article I think you are just the right type.
We have a great lineup for you guys in Tallinn on June 1st. This time around, we decided to organise our event around a few strongholds: a panel as well as some very interesting company presentations. We won't disclose the companies yet, but there will be plenty and very interesting cases around. They're also pitching clear needs or opportunities they may have for you so all investors, mentors, advisors, possible co-founders, etc - make a note of next week's event in your calendars!
This is our periodic thank you note to our blog sponsors to describe what they have to offer.
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Be sure to check out OMLegal's pro bono legal advice at "OMLegal: Helping Startups". They're also sending out document templates to startups, who want to ask for them, so take advantage of the offer.