Ricky Yean On Product Market Fit

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.

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Startups: One More Day To Apply To Arctic15!

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.

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Interview With Markku Mehtälä of Mepin

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.

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Arbitron Acquires Zokem For $11.7M In Cash

Zokem_LogoNews 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.

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Windows Phone "Mango" Released To Manufacturing

NokiaNokia 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.

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46elks Connect Apps To Voice And SMS

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.

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Nokia Tops 7 Million Daily App Downloads

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.

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Startup Crib: Tuubio

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.

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Want To Publish Your Articles And Content On ArcticStartup?

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 editor@arcticstartup.com and suggest a topic what you'd want to cover.

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Head Over Hills: Lithuanian Mobile Flirting Platform Eskimi Is Growing

Online dating has been a growing trend in Western hemisphere but of course people enjoy flirting all over the world. However, in some parts of the globe people use mobile phones instead of computers to go online, which makes browsing dating sites with rich content hard. That is what Eskimi, a Lithuanian-based start-up, capitalizes on: they created a platform for online flirting and dating specifically targeted at mobile phones. By this March the network attracted 1M registered users and four months later they are boasting 2.5M registered users. Turns out, Eskimi is growing in popularity mostly in Africa, becoming the biggest online flirting community in Nigeria - about 1M of new registered users come from there. Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Namibia are also showing substantial growth, according to Vytautas Paukstys, CEO.

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From Garage48 to StartupSauna to Mini Seedcamp NY: The Story Of Campalyst

Campalyst is a new start-up that developed analytics to measure real return-on-investment from social media campaigns, starting with Facebook. It is a truly Baltic company started in Riga with the team members from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. After less than four months of existence, Campalyst has shown an impressive growth: they went from building a prototype in 48 hours to winning StartupSauna to being among the finalists of Mini Seedcamp New York. We talked with two of the founders, Dalia Lasaite and Jevgenijs Kazanins, to learn the full story of Campalyst and find out how things are going for the company right now.

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Jenkatehdas Get Initial Funding

The first Finnish online rock venue, Jenkatehdas, gets funded by Tekes and two business angels: Jyrki Kontio and Topi Löppönen. The amount of angel investment was not disclosed, though it is known that Tekes invested 140,000€ project money into the start-up. The money will speed up the company's growth and help it start international expansion. Jenkatehdas host live concerts in their studio which are streamed in real-time on their website. Users need to purchase tickets (priced at about 5€) in order to watch the concerts and interact with each other and the band.

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Unity Technologies Closes $12M In Financing - Eyes Asia

Unity Technologies, a Copenhagen originated startup now based in Silicon Valley, has closed a $12 million in financing from WestSummit Capital in China and iGlobe Partners in Singapore, according to Techcrunch. The financing round is Unity's second and an investor from the first round, Sequoia Capital, also participated in the round.

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Startup Crib: Endomondo

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 time the company in focus of Startup Cribs is Endomondo, a Copenhagen-based start-up that is developing a sports-tracking application. The app tracks your work-outs in real-time, helps you set up and achieve sports goals, see sports activities of your friends and set up and track competitions. Launched in 2009, Endomondo's app has now received more than 3 million downloads. You can meet their team and see their office in the video below.

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Nokia's Ovi Store For Developers

In our series with Nokia, we look at the Ovi Store from the viewpoint of the developer. There has been a lot of talk about the ecosystems and it's not always clear for a developer which development paths they should choose. We wanted to bring some clarity into this by talking to Jussi Nevanlinna, the Product Marketing Director of Nokia Developer Experience and Marketplace.

In short, while there are different ecosystems available - Nokia's clear advantages are its payment options and possibilities to localise content across markets, but still in a global manner. Read more about the possibilities for a developer through the interview below.

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Augmented Reality On A Whole New Level: 13th Lab Showcase Ball Invasion

What is the connection between a rover exploring Mars and an iPad 2? Both devices are capable of identifying their surroundings with the help of a camera and some software. 13th Lab has built that software for iPad based on theory originally developed by NASA. The technology was first used to automatically navigate rovers on Mars and then it was employed for military and healthcare applications as well as by big utility companies. 13th Lab  was the first company to adapt the technology for consumer products. To showcase what it is capable of, they launched an iPad game - Ball Invasion. It's a simple shooting game but it takes augmented reality to a whole new level: it uses iPad's camera to recognize the environment around you so that bullets bounce off the walls or any other objects in your surroundings. Ball Invasion went live as a paid app ($1.99) last Monday and by now it's a #2 paid app in Swedish AppStore and is a featured app in AppStores in US and Canada.

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Top 6 Questions Venture Capitalists And Angels Ask

So you founded your start-up, raised your initial funding and already acquired some customers. Time for raising some serious funding to get your company to a new level? There are a few obvious yet crucial questions you need to be ready to answer before you talk to any angel or venture capitalist. While the list can go on forever, there are top 6 questions that Richard Allan Horning identified. Richard is one of the most highly regarded Silicon Valley attorneys with over 40 years of experience representing technology companies. (Check our previous post where Richard shares his insight on patents.)

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Rahoituskone Maps Finnish Funders

Good things can come out of university projects. Take for example Fredrik Teir, a student at Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. As part of his school project he, together with a friend, wanted to learn more about funding possibilities for start-ups in Finland. Within two months they identified over 100 potential funders. To organize and make sense of the information they built Rahoituskone.fi, a search engine that helps start-ups find most suitable potential investors. The website covers both state and private funding institutions. With Rahoituskone start-ups can search for funders based on the amount of funding they are looking for, the type of investment and the kind of funding institution they seek the investment from. The engine would also show what investors would require from the start-ups in return. Rahoituskone is completely free to use.

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The Story And Plans Of Vkontakte Told By Founder And CEO

Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of Vkontakte (Russia's biggest social network) prefers to keep a low profile in the media. He rarely gives interviews and almost never looks in the camera when his photos are being taken. Though he frequently addresses the 2.7M audience of his personal blog and this month Pavel gave an extensive interview to Forbes.ru. The article gives an insight on Pavel's early days and Vkontakte's future plans. Perhaps the interview itself was part of the company's strategy of raising its profile before entering other markets and possibly going public. Rumors about Vkontakte's IPO resurfaced a few weeks ago but has been unconfirmed so far. Vkontakte was founded in 2006 by Pavel and two of his friends. Today the social network attracts the largest audience with estimated 26 million unique daily visits. Read on to learn how it all started and where the company is at right now.

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Startups: Deadline For Arctic15 Pitching Competition Is Near

It's mid-July already, which means there are only 2 weeks left to apply for the Arctic15 Pitching Competition! We know many of you already applied but on an off-chance that some willing candidates missed this, here is a reminder. If your start-up is based in or has founders from Nordics, Baltics or Russia (includes Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia), if you are less than 24 months old by September 22nd and if you have a working product or service to showcase to the audience - this is your chance to compete for monetary prizes and publicity. You can apply by simply filling out this application form. Remember: July 31st is the deadline!

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