I once had a start-up with my dear ex-friends. At the beginning we had great plans for the company’s opportunities. In our most enthusiastic moments, we could almost feel the fortunes that were about to change our lives forever. The only issue that we really did not pay enough attention to was that we were about to enter into foreign markets without any practical management knowledge, local managers or even employees.
So what we did was that two of the founding partners (not me) moved to this foreign country, and started to manage the business and work for the company. Everything went well at the beginning and very soon we needed to hire three new employees that we considered at that time to be the most talented ones in the respective business and have the best contacts to safeguard our growth plans.
Yesterday at the Build conference Microsot CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise visit on stage to talk more about how the company views new technologies and what this means for developers. He came out to further promote the importance of Windows 8 for Microsoft and what it also means for the whole company, looking forward. In addition to this, he also mentioned Nokia in his talk, but not in an extensive fashion. According to Ballmer, not only does Windows 8 change the approach to pretty much everything Microsoft works with, but it also changes the way how Microsoft views technology - the release itself will make Microsoft pivot and look at new technologies in a Windows centered fashion.
In the fifth video of the Derek Sivers - Uncommon Sense -series, Derek Sivers talks about switching your idea if it does not work. Wondering why we're sharing these videos? Check out the first post with Derek Sivers for more information. There are three more videos in the series and we'll release them this coming Friday, Monday and Wednesday - just before Arctic15.
LoudEvents is a matchmaking service. Don’t mistake it to be the same as boy finds girl, boy likes girl and they get connected eventually. The service comes as part of a startup - LoudRevolution - and its claim to fame is its ability to help artists find the best venues for their next performance and find a fellow artist to perform with in that venue.
We're continuing coverage from the Microsoft Developer event Build, organised in Anaheim,California. Microsoft gave all members of press a chance to play around with a Samsung tablet running Windows 8 Developer Preview. In addition to giving media a chance to play around with the device, Microsoft went out all the way with Samsung to give all 5000 attendees a device to take home (at the end of the post, we have a video of Microsoft announcing this). While the operating system is a developer preview of Windows 8, it's understandable that it feels a bit empty and there's no way to test a wide variety of applications as this is just the announcement for developers to start developing for the operating system.
ArcticStartup is reporting from Anaheim, California this week from the Build event taking place until September 16th. I'm pretty excited about the new things Microsoft presented today to an audience of about 5000 developers. Why so, you may ask? With Windows 8, Microsoft basically outlined their tablet strategy and it has implications to their mobile platform as well. This of course makes the news extremely important for developers and startups looking at this space, including those working with Windows Phone and Nokia.
Every one of us lost some time at work browsing through social networks, reading news or checking out that cool website your friend recommended. Those distractions can eat up a lot of time and cause inefficiency - that's the premise DeskTime, a start-up from Latvia, was founded on. Their application measures how much time you or your employees spend on your computers at work and can provide accurate metrics on that time's productivity. Once the app is installed on the computer, it automatically tracks employee's total desktime and work time. Productivity is measured with the help of a modifiable list of programs and websites you spend time on. For instance: time spent on Photoshop would be registered as 'productive' and time spent on Twitter would be put into 'distracting' category.
Even though this blog post will most likely be a feeble attempt in covering the importance and the effect of Steve Blank's visit to Finland and the region last week - I'll still have an attempt at it. Last week was packed full of action and discussion where Steve Blank talked not only with entrepreneurs but politicians, MPs and academia. He also upped entrepreneurship a few notches on the editorial importance for some of Finland's newspapers as he talked to a group of editors-in-chief (including us) why entrepreneurship is of vital importance to nations' success.
Steve Blank was visiting Finland last week to promote the importance of a working entrepreneurial ecosystem to the region. I have a feeling his visit will go down in one of those turning points in history for this part of the world. Not only did he incite more flames into the "Finnish spring" as he referred to the entrepreneurial revolution taking place in Finland, but he did so in a manner that politicians, mainstream media and academics can understand.
Wall Street Journal has written an extensive article about an undisclosed major US based internet company looking to open a data centre in Luleå, Sweden. The company is widely thought to be Facebook. The town has a population of about 50 000 and the investment into the area would be about 340 to 560 million euros. The reason Facebook is allegedly looking into Sweden is the advantage of cold weather.
Apologies to our regular readers for covering our Arctic15 event quite excessively recently, but the closer to it we get - the better we think it'll be! In addition to this, we wanted to let everyone know that we're sure that the event will be sold out by the end of this week. We've got only 40+ tickets left. Just during last week, we registered more than 100 tickets in a few days.
In the fourth video of the Derek Sivers - Uncommon Sense -series, Derek Sivers is talking about "revolution". He talks about the fact that when you keep simple and base your business on existing concepts, you're a lot closer to the clients. He also talks about building the monetisation system for CD Baby and shares how he came about it. Wondering why we're sharing these videos? Check out the first post with Derek Sivers for more information.
Tech start-ups come up with great ideas and build brilliant products but often lag behind marketing them. Main reason for that is usually lack of resources: entrepreneurs would rather spend their limited funds on developing a product than on marketing it. However, most agree that it’s important for your product to be known and talked about. We talked with one the main PR gurus in Finland Christina Forgård (founder and Chairman of the Board of Netprofile) who shed light on the world of PR and shattered some common myths and misconceptions.
In the run up to our Arctic15 conference, we've announced an exclusive video series with Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby. The story why all this is relevant can be read from the introduction to the first video. In the video series he will share his advice and experiences in building CD Baby into one of the largest online music stores before selling it onwards. In the third video of the series, Sivers talks about the fact that nobody knows the future. Sivers believes that if more people actually stated this, more intelligent conversation would follow.
Audiodraft, the Finnish audio crowdsourcing service (and startup by the same name) has landed a major partnership with Nokia to remake the hugely popular Nokia Tune. The most liked tunes on the Audiodraft page are actually very good and I'd seriously be thinking of using one for my iPhone.
Arctic15 is less than two weeks away. We've worked with multiple different organisations to spice up the week and it seems it's full of interesting startup action for everyone. In this post, we've covered the different events and activities taking place that week. We'll also link to this post from the Arctic15 website and update this accordingly.
Ever tried reading out mathematical formulas and notations? Sounds interesting but can be pretty tiring and difficult when you have an entire curriculum for the students or a site that uses mathematical notations excessively. And while a basic mathematical equation like 2 times 4 equals 8 sounds easy, think of reading out the following times and again:
Difficult by all means and I for one can relate to it. Not everyone is good at pronouncing the mathematical symbols and many a times users searching for content find it easier to hear than actually read. A service from Sweden, ReadSpeaker boasts solving the problem. The team behind the service isn't new to the industry and have been providing speech enabling web services since 1999. Anyways coming back to the new launch, the purpose is simply to make understanding math content easy.
Nils Forsblom, a serial entrepreneur and founder of Fruugo (among other companies) is building TenFarms, a web service that combines location-based mobile applications to broadcast user's life as it happens in real-time. 'You have loads of mobile apps that stream location and content - Gowalla, Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter. None of them, though, provide a stream of your real life as you go along', explains Nils. 'TenFarms is built around a 360˚ map view of the area around you and everything revolves around your location. You can broadcast your real-life experiences based on where you are and see what others are doing around you'.
Games, action, time-killers, fun - there are so many adjectives and verbs that can be instantly associated with games and gaming. With the rapid transformation of smartphones in the last 4 years, gaming turned out to be what it was never before. And this does not include the gaming consoles in the form of Xbox and the PlayStation.
We have seen how the Angry Birds became a sensation in mobile gaming, so much that it has had a movie around its theme, toys, board games, etc. That’s just one game that has done phenomenally well and there are others that enjoy success as well. We came to know about another game that takes advantage of features on your iPhone, iPad or Android devices called Sprinkle.
September's recruiting partner here at ArcticStartup is Blaast. Blaast is a very talented company innovating in the space of mobile and looking for exceptional people to work with them. Their offering is very interesting, so if you fit their open job descriptions I strongly suggest you contact the company for more information and apply. Check our coverage on the company earlier this year, when they raised financing.
Anil Hansjee, former head of Corporate Development at Google EMEA, joins Creandum the Sweden based Nordic VC firm as an investment advisor. Creandum also recently announced the hiring of Hjalmar Winbladh as a Venture Partner. The team continues its growth in knowledge, but also in the breadth of its networks.
“As Creandum seeks to build the leading venture firm in the Nordics, we strive to build a network of leading individuals to work with. These individuals should have superior deal flow, company building and investment experience, and international network. Anil ticks all these boxes. Needless to say we are thrilled to work with Anil to build global businesses.” says Johan Brenner, Creandum General Partner.