For the first of a series of posts we're doing in cooperation with Tekes Tempo, I had the opportunity to talk with Rami Korhonen of Playmysong about his financing through Tekes. If you're unfamiliar with Tekes Tempo, you may find a past article we did helpful as some background. In general, Tempo's goal is to quickly test products out on the market by providing financing as quickly as possible-- their aim is to provide financing within one month of a startup's application. The program's goal not necessarily to develop a finished product, but rather to gain more knowledge of markets and users.
But back to Rami and Playmysong. We've covered PlaymySong in the past, but if you haven't heard about them, Playmysong is a social jukebox app that lets you control the background music you hear when you're out at a bar, diner, or similar location. The new version of their iPhone app released last week shows your Facebook photo in the upcoming playlist, and allows you also host your own social stereo on your iPhone.
Shootitlive is a small change to your content management system that has big implications for online publishers. The Swedish startup is intended for news websites where on-the-field photographers can publish photos and video clips of current events live as they unfold, from any location with 3G coverage. The company was founded in 2008 by Eivind Vogel-Rödin and Martin Levy, and was created to solve a problem facing photographers-- after taking pictures you had to get out your laptop, upload photos, send them to your publisher, and maybe miss out on more action as you do so.
There are tons of great ideas out there, but it's hard to find them if you don't ask. The Oulu, Finland based startup, Liilak, defines itself as a "social ideation service," and it seeks to let users build off on another's ideas, or answer sponsored idea questions submitted by businesses or organizations. The result is a stream of ideas and a much more beneficial way to spend your time than complaining about your waiter on Facebook.
RentMama is focused on helping you find the right car for your convenience. While assisting users with car rentals, RentMama looks for big and small rental companies who have your specified car available. And it isn't limited to cars in just one region-- the big idea is to save travelers the few extra hours they spend searching for best deals on Google to find the best car rental deals during their visit. RentMama achieves this by bringing all car rental companies under one banner. Users benefit by having to visit one place to find the best deals.
Here we've got the last chunk of Arctic15 videos. See pitches by Meetin.gs, Graduateland, Holvi, Achoo, and Mepin. If you want more of the Arctic15 experience, join us for our pre-Christmas party with Future Female on December 1st, and keep your eyes out for our upcoming ArcticEvening events. Find these great pitches below the fold:
Movenote is a Helsinki-based cloud presentation service for when you can't give that presentation in person. The service allows you to record a video of yourself from your webcam while slides are show next to your video, and then save it for later. The service is flexible, and allows you to use pictures, PDF, PPT, doc, Excel, and other formats for your slides.
Success often follows where service providers or vendors improve their consumers’ experience. By gamifying the process of interaction with their brands, merchants can reward customers with points that can be redeemed as bonuses. This processes already exists on smartphones, bit currently other products aren’t interactive enough. Amooz steps in by improving your experience at cafés, bars and restaurants.
The Latvian startup partners with restaurants, bars and cafés to help users receive credits on their smartphone. The procedure is pretty simple and focuses on making the user experience interactive and can be explained in a few steps:
Twenty-five teams came together at the latest Garage48 hackathon in Riga, where the focus this season was primarily on mobile apps. Of the 25 teams, 13 were able to prototype an app, and last Friday the teams presented a variety of interesting projects. The winner of Garage48 and the audience favorite was Mustache Ninja, who put together a location-based Pacman type game that uses the streets around you.
According to estimates by research2guidance, a Berlin-based mobile research specialist, Sweden has the most app downloads per user in the Android store. While the U.S. has the most Android users by volume, this data may suggest that Sweden is a good proving ground for apps.
With an average of more than 5 downloads per Android user per month, usage patterns in Sweden reflects a high interest in apps. The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Spain follow slightly behind, all averaging above 4 apps per user per month. This is well above the US average, which is slightly above 2. You can see in the following graph where the rest of the Nordic countries fall:
The third annual European Tech Startup Awards (Europas) were held in London last night. Quite a few Nordic and Baltic startups made the list of finalists in several categories again this year and over 40 000 public votes were cast to aid the advisory board in selecting the winners.
Nordic/Baltic highlights from this year's awards included iZettle (winner of Best Commerce, Finance or Payments Startup), Podio (winner of Best Business or Enterprise Startup) and Endomondo (winner of Best Sports, Leisure or Health Startup). Rovio's flock of Angry Birds took home The Europas Hero Award for "kicking ass globally from Europe". Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss of SoundCloud (originally from Sweden) were also named the best founders/co-founders of the year. The Grand Prix Award went to UK-based Peer Index.
There could be nothing better than to reach nearly a billion people through Facebook. The social network has become a target for tons of digital entities trying to leverage the social network. We will not talk about brands and business, rather online services and the most recent example is that of Spotify. Yesterday, Skype made a more social move by enabling Facebook to Facebook Calls via the Skype Client.
Skype already had Facebook integration in its clients. However the latest move follows the announcement Skype made back in July regarding powering the Facebook video chat feature. The platform is widely used and offers Facebook the perfect service to roll out or integrate video chat functionality within the social network’s ecosystem.
We recently talked about Greenqloud, a cloud storage startup with a focus on IaaS (Infrastructure as a Cloud) services. We took the opportunity to get in touch with Gísli Kristjánsson, COO Greenqloud to get a better insight about the startup and understand what makes them unique. Gísli rightfully thought that it is essential to clarify the understanding of Cloud Computing, and before we post the short Q/A, we would love to share the definition of Cloud Computing as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology:
Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
Bonnier, the publisher of Olivia, Divaani, and Evita, is supporting a mobile hackathon to promote female entrepreneurship and making mobile development accessible to newcomers. The aim is to create female-friendly lifestyle apps – or at least a proof of concept prototypes that not only work, but look good and are user friendly. Along with the app building there will be presentations on mobile design, trends in mobile media, as well as shorter talks and workshops on development in technology, mobile development for newcomers, and more. The event will be held at the Aalto Venture Garage in Helsinki from the 25th to the 27th this month.
In an interview with Les Echos, a French business publication, the director general of Nokia France made a remark that that the Nokia tablet would be coming out in June of 2012, and that it would be running Windows 8. Microsoft has not confirmed a launch date of Windows 8, and the details of the new Nokia tablet have been kept to the minimum. At the Nokia World conference last month, CEO Steven Elop spoke positively about Windows 8 the partnership with Microsoft:
How much do you value your favorite musicians? I suppose if you were an economist you might say something like, "by calculating the present day value of future cash flows," and TuneRights would be just the site for you. Musicians are looking for any way to monetize their works these days, and a Swedish startup is trying to provide them a way to get cash upfront for their songs-- by selling part of their songs' rights to their fans.
We covered Enreach Group in September only to hear yesterday that they merged with Sweden's Adaptlogic, and have been secretly working as one company since June. The two companies have very complementary services, and their merger does seem like a logical step for building deeper products that can help them together reach critical mass.
CanvasDropr is a new collaborative media-sharing platform from Denmark. Instead of emailing or uploading your images and videos to different social media platforms, you can drag them onto a fully editable blank canvas and let your family, friends and colleagues join in on the fun.
I picture CEO Teemu Arina as a man obsessed with the inefficiencies behind scheduling and running meetings. What he and the rest of the Meetin.gs team has put together is such a tight, well thought out, and efficient system, that reducing one more pointless email about a meeting coming up must be the only thing on his mind. In short, Arctic15 finalist Meetin.gs is a cloud-based service for organizing online and face-to-face meetings.
The service is designed to work between organizations, so it focuses on ease of use, low barriers to entry, and the removal of unproductive conversations out of your email inbox. These qualities manifest themselves in several key features. The service demands no accounts or logins for participants, simple updating and uploading of documents by email, a central platform to discuss the meeting beforehand, and integration with Skype and other services. To sum it up, Meetin.gs manages to hit the mark where it's simple to use yet packed with great features.
With everything moving to the cloud owing to the high level of mobility, many startups continue to step forward with new takes on cloud computing to compete with Amazon's huge and popular cloud services. Factors like efficiency, ease of access, and affordability are key, but eco-friendliness is also one of the credentials your service needs to have to keep up with the times. While some users may not know the difference, corporations do see advantages for making more ecological choices. Greenqloud, a cloud storage startup from Iceland comes forth as a user and an eco friendly cloud storage service. In their own words, Greenqloud focuses on IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) alongside putting greater efforts to offer HPC (high performance computing) compatible cloud that academic and scientific communities can use for scientific calculations.
Cloud storage has definitely made life easier. Think of having your data stored on self purchased or rented hardware that was costly, not readily scalable and with hundreds of servers for hundreds of firms across a countless locations, it proved to be quite inefficient in terms of energy. What cloud has done is rid consumers (corporates and individuals alike) of the worry associated to what hardware hosts their data and how to scale the same. With Greenqloud, the focus is on the same idea along with being a lot more environment friendly.
TechHub, the co-working space for technology startups in the 'Silicon Roundabout' area of London, announced yesterday its first international expansion. The new Riga co-working space will offer offer 400 square meters of much of what's already available in London; it will provide a dedicated co-working space, community gathering point, and international network to product-orientated technology start-ups. TechHub Riga will be opening in January.