We're starting a new partnership with Microsoft, as of this month, to discuss how startups are using Microsoft technology to take themselves further. The series is titled Microsoft Bizspark: Hear It From The Startups. Also, just like in the case of Nokia, we're looking to bring you information and content you haven't heard from anywhere else. We're thrilled to have Microsoft working with us! If you have any feedback or thoughts on what you'd want to hear about Microsoft and possibly how they work with startups, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at email@example.com.
This week the news surfaced that ThingLink hired Neil Vineberg as their Chief Marketing Officer. Neil is a PR guru with previous work experiences from leading communication firms like Middleberg Euro and Golin/Harris. Neil previously worked with two other start-ups from Finland: Applifier and Jaiku, which is where the connection probably comes from. At ThingLink he would not only oversee the company's marketing and PR but would be responsible for the start-up's busines development in the US. ThingLink will soon open offices in San Francisco and New York.
Sami Inkinen is perhaps one of the most successful Finnish born entrepreneurs in the Valley. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Board at Trulia, a real-estate service helping people find homes. He gave a talk last week at Aalto Entrepreneurship Society's event and shared some of his advice and experience as an entrepreneur. I was present at the event and I have to say it was one of the best ones I've seen in a long time.
Link: AaltoES Talk With Sami Inkinen (vimeo.com).
TrueCaller is a Swedish startup that tries to eliminate the existence of unknown or unrecognized numbers. We've covered them before on ArcticStartup, but now they've reached a milestone definitely worth covering. The company got in touch with us to announce that they have reached 50 million monthly lookups of unknown numbers on their service. Users can both look up numbers through one of their different mobile apps or then through a web interface.
Hardi Meybaum, one of the co-founders of GrabCAD, gave an interesting talk at Garage48 HUB last week in Tallinn on how to raise money in the US. He also explains a few of his lessons learned in doing so in a short presentation found in the blog post on Garage48 blog.
Hardi drew three rows on the wall “This is what it all depends: social traction, product traction and team traction. If you want to raise money in US, you need to develop 3 things: your network, your product and your team.”
QuestBack AS, the leading European provider of Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) services has announced the acquisition and merger of a German originated company Globalpark. Globalpark was founded in 1999 and has grown quite rapidly. At the moment of the acquisition, the company has also high profile clients such as Continental, Daimler, Nintendo, Sony Music and Bosch to name a few. Questback has been acquiring companies in Europe at an increasing pace in the last few years.
Walkbase is an interesting Finnish startup to say the least. The company has evolved from an Åbo Akademi university project in 2009 to a full grown startup, currently building up business in the US. The university project resulted in 2 filed patents as well as 2 years of R&D. So what exactly is the company doing? It's using intelligent algorithms on data from random check-ins to define spaces. This means that they're able to determine users' location inside buildings in a completely new way, incredibly more accurately than other available technology out there can do (namely GPS). The company has 4 founders and is backed by senior advisors.
Nathan Bowers states quite a controversial statement in his post from last year: "Can you name a web startup that got better after it was acquired?". He says he can't and gives a few examples.
Feedburner: Google folded them into their own login scheme. Google added crummy ad options to feeds. Otherwise the product is stuck. Feels undead.
What they should be working on: improving the display of RSS feeds, making RSS feel more like a human connection between publisher and reader, fixing the fact that when you put an RSS button on your site it’s a dumb, non-stateful button (compare RSS buttons to Tumblr or Twitter follow functionality).
Last night the deadline for Arctic15 startup competition closed. This morning, as I checked the final amount of companies who applied to the competition - my jaw dropped. All in all, 90 companies from the region applied to the competition. While we haven't yet had time to analyze the data on a more detailed level, each country is pretty equally represented in the applications. We'll now dive into analyzing these applications with our secret jury and choose 30 or so companies to compete for a chance to pitch on stage at Arctic15.
Many apps and browser-based maps help you find your way around a town and discover its attractions. You can always check what places visually look like with Google Maps but that does not (yet) apply to indoors areas. CityFinder from Stockholm, Sweden built a new service on top of Google Maps that offers a 360° tour of indoor and outdoor locations of interest like restaurants, museums, shopping malls, hotels and various other attractions. So far the map has only been built for Stockholm but Oslo and Copenhagen would be covered next.
In our quest to search new ways of serving our community better with interesting, educational, inspirational and most of all - useful content, we'll be testing a new type of post in the coming few weeks. The new type of post will be a link to an external website, preceded by "Link" in the title.
Timo Herttua of Dealmachine interviewed Ricky Yean in Silicon Valley earlier this year on finding product/market -fit. Ricky Yean is the CEO and Co-founder of Crowdbooster. Ricky Yean and his co-founder went through Y-Combinator to find the right approach for them to build their service on. He explains in detail how they persevered through many turn downs, but managed to find the right approach in the end. Videos like this are very useful, even though they aren't the length of an academic lecture. We'll try to do our best in the future as well to bring you valuable content on how to improve your chances of success in being an entrepreneur.
Startups, you've got one more day to apply to Arctic15 the startup competition. Deadline for the applications close tomorrow evening at midnight. Fore more information on the competition and rules - head over to the Arctic15 website, where you'll also find the link to submit the application.
I bumped into Markku Mehtälä at one of the startup events in the capital region of Finland when he first explained me the problem they're trying to solve. It's a very current one as well with more and more online services and accounts requiring users to remember their credentials, not to mention games and other entertainment destinations. It's definitely an interesting approach and could prove useful, especially among consumers who get the ease of use and hassle-free approach to signing in. At the bottom of the interview is a short video explaining the concept. Markku Mehtälä is the founder and CEO of Mepin.
News just out regarding Zokem, the Finnish mobile analytics company, has been acquired by Arbitron a NYSE listed public company for $11.7M in cash. Zokem is a provider of custom and syndicated mobile research panels, plug-and-play mobile media measurement tools and software building blocks for mobile device tracking. Arbitron Inc. is an international media and marketing research firm working in the radio, television, cable and mobile industries together with advertising agencies and advertisers around the world. Arbitron's market cap by today's closing price is a little over $1 billion.
Nokia and Microsoft have stated that the WP7 release by the codename "Mango" has been pushed onward to manufacturing. This means we should see it in stores before the year end. Mango is the name given to the latest version of the operating system installed in WP7 phones. Nokia has announced a few more details about the phone in their Ääni blog (in Finnish). Nokia has also confirmed that this is the operating system that will be in use in their first Windows Phones.
Making your app interact with voice and SMS often requires learning new software and buying hardware. 46elks is a Swedish start-up that offers a cloud-based platform that easily connects apps with telephony technologies. Founded in January this year, they have just released second alpha version of their product. The newest addition to the release enables apps to interact with phone calls as well as send and receive text messages. Developers can try it out for free with an invite, which you can get by registering on their website. Priority is given to developer communities from Europe to get feedback from their early users.
Nokia has announced that they have topped 7 million daily downloads on the Ovi Store. The actual record amount of daily downloads is 7.62 million, which beat the previous record of 6.72 million set only a few days earlier.
Startup Crib is a series of posts dedicated to start-ups' offices. The visual tour around a start-up’s office gives readers a real-life picture of how and where entrepreneurs work and gives a chance to meet the team behind the company. Different offices have their own perks and peculiarities so sit back and enjoy!
This week in Startup Crib series we feature Tuubio, a Finnish start-up based in Helsinki that is building the future of radio. Founded in early April this year, their product is still in stealth mode, though they are launching a closed alpha test of Android application in early August. In this video, Jens Sørensen, co-founder and CEO, shows us around their office in downtown Helsinki.
We're always on the look out for great content to publish here on ArcticStartup. From time to time we want to remind our community that we're here for you and want to get your stories across to the larger audience. To do this in a successful manner we want to hear about them! Furthermore, if you feel you can write a blog post or two - don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We're also eager to publish contributed content, when it fits our editorial guideline and isn't an outright commercial for your own services.
To contribute, all you need to do is get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org and suggest a topic what you'd want to cover.