Founder2be, a start-up that built a network that helps entrepreneurial-minded people find each other, has recently added some mighty force from overseas to its Global Alliance Program. First came the announcement of Startup Weekend joinning the network and this week Founder2be announced Your Story, the biggest online platform that shares stories about entrepreneurship in Indian, joining the Alliance Program. The program includes light-weight cooperation and promotion on both sides: Founder2be can help entrepreneurs find the team for their start-up and allied partners can further support the team to implement and develop their business. Founder2be's goal is to have at least one partner on all continents by the end of this year.
Skype has for the first time reacted to the public fury regarding their new Skype 5 update for the Mac. The app was released earlier this year and ever since it has received a lot of feedback, mostly negative, due to the large redesign many consider a step back from version 2.8. On Friday, April 1st mind you, Skype finally reacted to the feedback with a blog post.
We had mentioned Stardoll a couple of weeks ago regarding them counting days till they hit the 100 million member milestone. Another milestone that they hit over time was their 5th birthday. Yesterday Stardoll announced that they had been operational 5 years. It is worth noting that in 5 years, they have reached a 100 million members, something not many others are able to do.
Two guys named Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt announced their second project on Kickstarter after their successful Glif-project. Glif, a simple accessory for the iPhone 4 was a huge success on the Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform, where it raised $137 417 from 5273 backers. Their new project, the Cosmonaut, is a wide-grip stylus pen for touch screen devices.
This project too, has attracted immense interest in a couple of weeks. However, the more interesting part of all this is the experiment the gentlemen did with a pay what you want pricing concept. Backers of The Cosmonaut could choose whatever amount the wanted, but there were only 3000 slots available and they needed to raise $50 000 to go ahead with the project. Dan Provost recently published a blog post explaining what people pledged when they were given the freedom to choose what they wanted to pay for the product.
According to Kauppalehti (in Finnish), the Finland based ZenRobotics has announced that it has signed Jorma Eloranta as their new Board Chairman. Jorma Eloranta is the former CEO of Metso. ZenRobotics specialises in creating robots to better sort recyclable material for waste management companies. While the solution may sound traditional, it is all but that. The company has created a very sophisticated approach to the problem with machine vision and other sensors.
This is a series of posts, written in co-operation with the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs to promote entrepreneurs working with software. This post is about Teppo Kattilakoski, the CEO of Granite Partners. The company develops enterprise risk and security management software.
In this series, we try to dig deep into the backgrounds of the entrepreneurs and their companies. You can also win a ticket to Arctic15 by subscribing to the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs newsletter over here.
Tradeshift, the Danish firm that has been in reports quite often here at ArcticStartup is making itself more useful with the announcement of bringing their applications to developers. To put it out more clearly, this would enable developers to build applications within the Tradeshift ecosystem.
Fluid Interaction is a Finland based startup that has just released an innovative Twitter client called Different Tack. The client is currently available for Nokia devices and they plan to make Android and iOS versions of the app available soon.
The app creates a new "infographical" presentation of the Twitter stream. The innovation of the app is in the user interface and the user is able to read the tweets by simply scrolling a turn dial on screen. According to the team, the "innovative UI is based on deep understanding of human perception and cognition".
According to VentureBeat, Rovio has announced that their Angry Birds Rio game has now been downloaded an astonishing 10 million times in just 10 days. This surely makes Angry Birds Rio the fastest game to reach 10 million downloads on a mobile platform. Overall, the company has enjoyed over 100 million downloads for its games in the past 16 months.
Zokem continues to make concrete its position as the leading mobile app and internet usage analytics firm to help improve research related to the same category. Zokem has been tracking audiences, publishing reports on current trends giving both content publishers and advertisers in depth insights on mobile users. The mobile analytics firm recently published a new set of research reports named the Zokem User Experience Tracker that is focused at the quality of device and the network.
Vigo accelerators in Finland are planning to start building funds to further improve their possibilities in helping with startups. This has been approved by a Tekes news release (in Finnish) and in a panel discussion last week regarding Vigo accelerators. Vigo accelerators are a new form of government effort to enable growth and development of startups into the right direction with the help of serial entrepreneurs (running the accelerators).
This week Toivo Annus, founder of Ambient Sound Investments and an angel investor from Estonia, challenged start-up communities in the Baltics to create a public service application that would attract 100 000 active monthly users from Baltic states by March 2012. The winner would get a $20,000 cash prize with no strings attached. The initiative is driven by Toivo's frustration with the fact that few start-ups in the region aim high and by his desire to encourage entrepreneurs build truly useful applications for a wide audience. The three main criteria for submissions are to make use of public data, to reach said number of users and to offer high value for the public like help save lives, reduce government spending and engage users in a meaningful way.
We've talked about the legendary Death Rally set to invade the iOS devices back in January. As per our last reports the game was set to release in March and as promised it is now available for download. It runs on your iPhone and the iPad. You can download the game here, just in case you aren’t keen at reading any further.
Online gaming and social gaming are the two biggest blocks of the gaming market in Russia. The market's overall worth has been growing by roughly $20M a year since 2008, reaching $250M in 2010. The 20-30% growth is expected to continue in the following years, estimates RIA Novosti. Between 3-5M people actively play online games, mostly MMORPG client and browser-based games. Even more people - between 10-15M - play social games on local social networks like Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. Large as they might seem, those numbers pale in comparison to the number of online gamers in Europe or US. Russia is lagging behind due to its slowly developing Internet connections (especially in the regions), forbidding price of unlimited data plans and undeveloped online payment systems. At the same time, all of those are changing to the better which is why online gaming market is set to grow to $400M in 2012. Other facilitators of growth include social networks' growing audience together with a growing number of successful online games.
Applifier has just announced that they have launched "Games On Applifier", essentially a Facebook app to help users discover and find new interesting games. Applifier is Facebook's largest cross promotion network with 55 million monthly active users (MAU). Previously, Applifier has enabled game publishers to promote their games through their banners, but this takes game discovery and recommendations to a completely new level.
CrowdCulture is a new initiative in Sweden, which looks to bring a new way of creating culture. The concept combines private money together with public money to fund the creation of culture. It works in a simple way. There are projects in the service, which individuals can fund, the public will then double all the private money in the fund to bring more leverage.
Sulake has today announced their figures for fiscal year 2010, as well as some changes to their ownership of online properties. In 2010, Sulake turned over 56,2 million euros, which is over 20% more than in 2009. EBITDA for 2010 was at 5,4 million euros profit for the year was at 1,6 million euros. In addition to announcing their financials, Sulake has stated that they have today sold IRC-Gallery to Somia Reality Oy, which is run by a few former IRC-Gallery employees and funded by Lifeline Ventures and a few individual investors.
NetClean, a Sweden based company uses image recognition in a new manner to tackle a difficult problem - child pornography. The company has a new approach to the problem and instead of using traditional image recognition, which has its problems, it has partnered with local law enforcing agencies and organisations to fight the problem.
Skype is setting itself to become a center of all attention as it comes to the classroom. The idea is to connect teachers beyond classrooms with its online directory. Again this isn’t about teachers only, but rather bringing a global experience to students as well.
Yesterday we released the first part of the Muxlim Founder and CEO, Mohamed El-Fatatry interview. In the interview, El-Fatatry talks about the creation of their business and how they went on to grow it. In the second part of the interview El-Fatatry explains how they realised a completely new business area after discussions with Coca-Cola.