Grow VC launches today an invitiation-only private beta of their "Venture Capital 2.0" service. Grow VC aims to better enable early stage funding for mobile and web 2.0 startup companies by using a community-based approach. The size of investments Grow VC is looking to facilitate ranges from USD $10,000 to $1M. Grow VC has been founded by Finnish serial entrepreneurs Jouko Ahvenainen and Valto Loikkanen.
Slashdot has an article about a new project coming from very interesting people, the guys behind ThePirateBay, competing against YouTube. Peter Sunde was questioned a few years ago in the Spectrial oral proceedings about a project they were working on that would compete with YouTube. Back then he answered the prosecutor that it was a project that failed. However, it seems that the Norwegian-Finnish computer guru has been working on the project since then. As it happens, TheVideoBay is about to be launched.
So what's the catch behind TheVideoBay? The most notable one is the fact that it uses a totally different technology for the media files than other sites out there. TheVideBay aims to take advantage of the new features in HTML5, more notably the <video> and <audio> tags with the ogg/theora video and audio formats.
The site itself is in its very stages of infancy and you cannot really talk about a functioning service just yet. One is able to browse the material there, but once you click on an audio or a video file, the user is prompted for a username and password.
There is no word on the launch schedule of the site or what other features it will have, compared to YouTube for example. Nevertheless, it is great to see some action coming out from ThePirateBay guys even though they must be going through difficult times.
Here's a taste of some of the magic that happened at the ArcticEvening event last Wednesday. Thanks for all the startups that presented and the incredible cool people present.
We had another amazing ArcticEvening event yesterday. This time we were at Copenhagen Denmark gathering local startups together to spread their love and tell the community about their products. The event ended up being on the eve of Reboot conference and needless to say we had wonderful time with many people in town for both events. A full house of passionate people either interested in entrepreneurship or entrepreneurs themselves.
We had altogether 16 startups presenting, each having 3 minutes to tell how they're planning on changing the world. And so they did. We filmed all of them and are now busy editing the footage, and will pushed it out to you guys as soon as we have the videos ready. It was a great evening and I had a blast. Thank you Copenhagen!
Before we get the videos out, here are captions that Paula got on film.
Kauppalehti had a good article on one of the less known Finnish game studios, Lapland Studio. They are a small game studio located up in Rovaniemi, Finland and are designing games for many platforms, from mobile phones to the latest new market Nintendo Wii. The company was founded in 2004 and has a revenue of about 420 000 euros for year 2008. They have been steadily growing and avoiding creating too much loss as they grow, the largest loss in 2007 worth less than 10 000 euros.
Lapland Studios has been previously providing outsourcing services to advertising agencies, film studios as well as some game developers. They also have two seperate subsidiary companies; Mine Studios and Inaria Interactive. Mine Studios concentrate on mobile games while Inaria Interactive will expand into the console gaming market.
Let's take a short overview on Nordic strongholds and current renewable energy promotion instruments in these countries. We are happy to start with Finland and Sweden, which have some similarities (and differences) together.
Over 60 per cent of Nordic electricity production and about one third of Finland's electricity generation is based on renewable energy sources: hydro, bio-fuels and wind. For next years, wind power is central growth area for Nordic countries to meet EU's goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. By now, wind power plants have been build mainly on coastlines. In the next phase, numerous wind power plants will be constructed offshoe. Hydropower is important as natural regulating power to wind generation in Nordic countries. Becouse wind speeds are not constant, regulating power is needed to compensate for fluctuation in wind power production. (Please look at Fortum's Technology Brochure)
As I was looking at through the companies presenting tonight at the ArcticEvening Copenhagen (it's going to be a very good event by the way!), I noticed that almost, if not all of them are business-to-business companies. This is an interesting trend in my opinion as Finland and Sweden are in my opinion more oriented towards the consumer market.
Finland, which I know best, is very oriented towards the consumer market in terms of internet oriented startups. We have our share of b2b startups as well and if we go back a bit we can remember that SteelTeam acquired Christoffer Landtman's CompanyCube operating in the steel industry. Then again we need to remember that Jaiku was acquired by Google so there are acquisitions on both fronts. Unfortunately there aren't many more cases that could be given as examples.
Accumulate, a Swedish mobile payment and security solution provider, has received an investment from The Sixth Swedish National Pension Fund (The Sixth AP Fund; Sjätte AP-fonden). The Sixth AP fund is the so called Swedish state fund for longterm risk capital, investing in small and medium-sized growth companies. The size of the investment has not been disclosed.
To continue our ArcticEvening tour around Northern Europe we will be organising an ArcticEvening in Copenhagen, Denmark on 24th June. The date is set so that it is in the eve of the awesome reboot conference.
We have still some 20 tickets or so left and you can reserve your free ticket here or at below. Go get your now!
We are going with a different format this time (no panel) and want to bring out all the best startups in the region. We have a amazing line up coming.
Here's the list of startups that will be presenting (we also might add a few extra appearances). The presentations start at 18.30 sharp(!), so be there in time.
Since the recently held European Election I keep getting questions about the Swedish Pirate Party and the Pirate Bay trial. I agree it might get a bit confusing trying to follow the evolving news on both, and while adding the newly enabled IPRED law to the equation one starts to wonder if, and how, it's all connected. Here's a summary hoping to bring some light into the current events. (Note: All link sources are in English, unless otherwise noted, mostly referring to The Register and Wired, who, imho, have been doing a very good job covering both stories outside Sweden.)
Firstly, to clear things up, The Pirate Party is unaffiliated with the Piratbyran, "The Piracy Bureau", which lies behind "the world's largest Bit Torrent tracker", The Pirate Bay. For example, Peter Sunde, the spokesperson of The Pirate Bay, has never been a member of the Pirate Party and voted for the Green Party at the recent European Election.
As widely reported, the European Election was a huge victory for the Swedish Pirate Party receiving 7,1% of the Swedish votes leaving three other established parties behind, as well as resulting to at least one seat in the European Parliament.
MoiPal, the Finnish social gaming service has signed a marketing partnership with the Finnish music television Voice. MoiPal is the work of Ironstar Helsinki being directed by Joakim Achrén. Ironstar Helsinki also made front page on ArcticStartup when Monty Widenius announced his investment into the company. Voice is the independent Finnish music radio and television channel.
This is our periodic thank you note to our blog sponsors to describe what they have to offer.
The Sun Startup Essentials program is specifically designed to help startups get their business off the ground FAST with the right IT infrastructure at the LOWEST COST possible. This program is available in many countries throughout the world. You can also go directly to your local country's Sun Startup Essentials program web page to learn more.
The Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association is a non-aligned association for innovative, professional, growth-friven and entrepreneurial software business executives. Association drives the success of software business as an industry and supports individual software companies in their road to success.
Ohjelmistoyrittäjät ry on sitoutumaton, kasvuhakuisten ja yrittäjähenkisten ohjelmistoyritysten johdon yhteisö sekä ohjelmistoalan kehittäjä ja edunvalvoja Kehitämme kasvuhakuisten ohjelmistoyritysten toimintaedellytyksiä. Tavoitteenamme on, että yhä useampi suomalainen kasvuyritys ylittää kasvua rajoittavat esteet ja siirtyy kansainvälisille markkinoille.
- kokemusta ja mentorointia liiketoiminnan ammattilaisilta
- apua liiketoiminnan kehittämiseen
- sparrausta kasvuun haasteiden voittamiseksi
- konkretiaa kansainvälistymisen käynnistämiseksi ja toteuttamiseksi
- mahdollisuuden ajatusten, näkemysten ja parhaiden käytäntöjen vaihtoon muiden yrittäjien kanssa
- verkostoja ja pääsyn oikeille oville
Join as member!
If you wish to become ArcticStartup blog sponsor, please see more information here. If you are interested in sponsoring our ArcticEvening events, please contact events (at) arcticstartup.com.
Nosco is a Danish startup specializing in idea and innovation management. The firm offers a product they call Idea Exchange, an idea management tool for corporations of any size. With Idea Exchange Nosco promises to help to optimize processes, cut costs, and identify new opportunities by using the collective wisdom of the employees. Idea Exchange is based on the concept of prediction markets, and it is about buying and selling shares in new ideas.
At the end of the month just after midsummer, ArcticStartup will be organising an ArcticEvening in Copenhagen, Denmark. The date is set so that it is in the eve of the awesome reboot conference.
We have previously lined up a panel for our events, but since there is so much untapped startup potential in Copenhagen, we decided to set aside the whole evening for startup pitches and those who want to come and meet the startups. So if you're a startup and would like to receive Nordic wide coverage for your startup - apply for a slot in the evening. Have a look at the guidelines for applying below. Similarly, we'd love to see you if your interested in seeing and meeting a great line up of Nordic startups.
If you haven't been to ArcticEvenings before, we suggest you take a look at this video. The events are laid back and we've received a lot of compliments from organising these in other Nordic cities and now it's time for Copenhagen.
The venue for the event is the La Oficina located at Suomisvej 4. The event will begin at 6.30pm.
How do I sign up?
Tickets can be reserved below or directly from Amiando for free as long as they last. Without exceptions, in the past the tickets have ran out extremely fast, so make sure you are here to get your ticket. Make sure you'll show up at the venue if you reserve a ticket, or you'll end up on our black list which means there's no coming to our events in the future. We are able to host the event free of charge for participants due to our wonderful sponsors. Our sponsors are presented below.
In Copenhagen we have reserved the floor purely for startup pitches. If you would like to come and present your company - drop us an e-mail at info (at) arcticstartup.com and with a few sentences explain what you are doing, in what stage your company is at and why you should be chosen to present at the event. The occasion will be very informal so you don't need a slide deck nor a demo. We'd just like to hear you tell about your startup to the audience and meet the other entrepreneurs. Unfortunately we can't guarantee everyone a time slot to present (even though we do our best to fit everyone in), so we will make sure those with the best effort get a chance. Deadline for applications is 18th of June.
We will let you know by 20th June.
Our event is made possible by our Sponsors. Do take time to get to know them - they are one of the most interesting organisations in the industry. We hand pick our sponsors to bring value to the evenings - these guys are truly worth your time.
Sombiz is a Social Media Business Network of Finnish social media & Web 2.0 companies, research institutions, and other organisations and individuals operating in the field of social media.
Sombiz provides a network for organisations to collaborate, learn from each other, and create partnerships. By connecting business with research Sombiz is stimulating the creation of new innovations. The ultimate goal for Sombiz is to find new business opportunities and help companies to grow and go international.
Sombiz operates as a thematic network of the Finnish Digibusiness Cluster and is a part of the government funded Centre of Expertise Programme (OSKE). In 2008 the building of the Sombiz network was selected as the national “OSKE Top Project”. The project is funded by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
The background organisation of Sombiz is Technology Centre Hermia Ltd.
Sombiz is a Finnish-based network operating internationally. The strategy of Sombiz is a “BUGC” approach: linking Business, Universities, Government, and Communities in order to build and boost the social media business ecosystem.
Hammarström Puhakka Partners
Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd is a law firm specialised in business law. The firm has a good corporate practice with experienced M&A advisers acting constantly for domestic and cross-border clients. Specialists provide M&A services to public and private companies relating to assignments concerning private equity and venture capital transactions. The firm is constantly involved with complex transactions in connection with private equity firms and experienced in advising private equity/venture capital investors in divesting their investments.
Thomas Madsen-Mygdal and Nikolaj Nyholm
Thomas and Nikolaj are among other things angel investors and very active players in the startup market. They want to support the Copenhagen ArcticEvening and create value for the whole industry. You can follow them on twitter or read their blogs.
This page requires frame support. Please use a frame compatible browser to see the amiando ticket sales widget.
Try out the online event registration system from amiando.
The Estonian based startup United Dogs and Cats (UDC) has closed a 480 000€ funding round. The investors in the round are the Estonian Development Fund, Ambient Sound Investments and a group of individuals led by Skype founders and Mr. Raivo Hein. UDC has previously closed a 180 000€ investment in April 2008 from ASI and continues on a strong growth track with the recent investment.
The growth has been good - they are the market leader in Italy, France, Spain, Lithuania and Estonia. At the moment they have some 200 000 users (or should we say pets?) and continue to grow with support for 16 languages. This of course is great news for a company in economic times like these, but this has also incited a big debate on TechCrunch if we're going back to 2001 with investments into this sort of companies.
Dopplr has finally found its gold mine, the aggregate user travel date. Dopplr plans to anonymize and aggregate all the recommendations that have been added to Dopplr over time and selling the information to those who want to know where the worlds most frequent travelers are visiting.
This will effectively be big part of their business model in addition to the lead generation that has been in place already for a while (see video below). Dopplr aggregates the travel advice and recommendations in what it calls a Social Atlas. Marko Ahtisaari, Dopplr CEO, calls the Social Atlas "pops chart for the cities of the world", which it really is. In effect Dopplr monetizes recommendations made by friends and like-minded people. Not very much unlike Finnish startup TripSay (see our story here). Dopplr's model is still easier to see working, because it does not depend on sharing individuals' insights, just the locations and the times they were visited.
(video via Informilo)
Twingly, the Swedish blog search engine, announced earlier this afternoon that as of October 1st they will be shifting into the next gear by launching "what will become the next great platform for social media".
"With Project Shinobi, we are aiming to provide a more social, more relevant and more realtime experience, integrating with the services you already use."
Espoo Otaniemi boomed of startups and investors when Invest Tech Finland was held for the first time on last Tuesday and Wednesday. There was a real mix of companies from all round consumer web, nano, medical and material tech.
We got some taste of new startups, more seasoned companies seeking growth and some familiar faces marching forward with their plans. There were quite a few interesting companies to write about, the full list can be found here - check these out. Note that most of companies presented at the event already had some prototypes, partnerships, customers or revenues. Here is some of my picks (not in any particular order):
ArcticEvening, the event we organise in the biggest cities of the Nordic and Baltic region, is coming to Copenhagen on the 24th of June. The date is set for the eve of the wonderful reboot conference. The venue for the evening is the La Oficina pub at Suomisvej 4. Doors will open at 6.30pm.
Just as before, tickets to ArcticEvening events have sold out extremely fast since they are free - and so will they this time. Remember, reboot is held the next day so there will be a lot of people around. We'll open up the ticket sales on the morning of June 18th 16th 9am Danish time (UTC+2). Make sure come reserve your ticket fast when the ticket sales open. You're probably wondering what we have lined up for you?
Aidon is specialized in energy consumption meters and has developed an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system for energy and service companies. Aidon's AMR system is based on open architechture and consist of an electricity energy meter with a data communication bus and the associated system module.
The key competence for Aidon's concept is their straightforward data transfer technology. Besides the modular meter, communication between the remote reading system and meter points requires no other equipment.
Aidon was established in 2004 and has grown very rapidly, reaching even EUR 20 million turnover in 2008 and operations covering Norway, Sweden and Finland. The key market drivers include the demand for energy efficiency but also the new EU regulation, which requires that utilities install smart meters for all homes and residences in EU by 2023. Smart meters helps both utilities and consumers to use energy more efficiently. For home-owners, it provides with time-based energy usage information as opposed to the monthly bill and gives then a boost to change habits and energy consumption.