It is fair to say that Wi-Fi has changed the world. In fact we have become so spoiled by it that people are now getting stressed out if they do not have Wi-Fi on airplanes.
Oh and when it fails, it gets even worse. That dropped Skype call or a bad network connection at an event can make us really anxious. Now imagine if that Skype call was actually important, life or death kind of important. This is what happens everyday in Hospitals, where they increasingly rely on technology. You would be surprised to find out that nowadays even some IV pumps are “online”. Nurses and doctors use tablets to communicate with each other and their patients. Some hospitals have emergency buttons operating through Wi-Fi and in others nurses have voice-over-ip devices connected to it. So in that kind of environment - you can not afford any networking errors. In fact, it becomes mission, and life, critical.
iOS games are becoming more and more sophisticated. While the popular puzzle arcade games such as Angry Birds and Plants Vs Zombies are pioneers of their devices, the advancement of touchscreen games is starting to compete with the quality and graphics of traditional video games. The softly detailed pastel world of Angry Birds and say, Clash of Clans, can hardly be compared with console games such as God of War. They compete in two completely different categories.
Yet, recent gaming industry has provided touchscreen devices with such feats of design such as Infinity Blade III and Horn. These games have changed our image of what touchscreen games can and will become: Highly playable full-scale adventures with stunning graphics.
Swedish music streaming service Spotify has pulled in another $250 million (€185 million) at a whopping $4+ billion valuation, The Wall Street Journal reports. The round was said to be completely led by Silicon Valley-based Crossover Ventures, which has purchased convertible bonds from TV and movie streaming service, Netflix, and owns a stake in major tech companies like Facebook and Zwillo.
A hot new piece of technology hitting the Indiegogo's is Copenhagen's AIRTAME, a wireless HDMI dongle that lets you display your screen and sound onto any other tv, projector, or monitor. To put it simply, AIRTAME basically does the heavy lifting of a gold plated HDMI cable without the cable. Instead of a wired connection you just have a wireless dongle on each side. The technology supports different screen resolutions, up to 1080p.
You know that vague feeling of dread you get when you have to transfer money abroad, the realisation that you need to start comparing exchange rates, transfer fees and time scales, and your brain starts to spin at just the thought of all that work and distraction from a host of things you’d rather be doing. Well perhaps you need to go take a look at TransferGo. A group of Lithuanian entrepreneurs working from the UK who faced these problems and developed their own solution.
Presentations are a big part of our daily lives. We have to make and suffer through them at work, events and sometimes even at home. The suffering part can be due to the content itself but very often it is because of the limits of technology.
For instance you might be limited to using Keynote or Powerpoint when you could have used a multitude of other programs to create the slides and movies. If presenting on a big screen - font size might be an issue. Then there is the whole problem of compatibility. Do I have the right USB stick? Can I use my own computer or do I have to use the one provided for me? Will the fonts look the same? Is it a Mac or a Windows machine? Will the clicker work? Oh and one thing that is often missing completely is an ability to make the same presentation to people in different locations, all over the globe, at the same time.
The console, computer, and touchscreen gaming revolution is happening all around us with a tremendous velocity. For those who never grew up with electronic games, it is a strange and confusing phenomena that raises many questions and concerns. Despite that, a group of Finnish gaming professionals have taken the task to educate parents in the most neutral and objective way possible.
The one truism all travelers can relate to is the need for as a chemically induced coma that would last the exact time of flight. The conscious mind, on the other hand, knows very well that the only way to escape the boredom is good old-school sleep. Sleeping in any transportation has been a common challenge ever since long distance travel was created. There are, of course, ways to improve a travelers sleep catching performance, one being the inflatable travel pillow.
Personally, I have run into such a device, and they don't work. Not once have I slept with such a thing without waking up to an ache in the back of my neck. The salvation has arrived though, and with great national pride, I write to tell you that the clever Finns are not only talented in creating games for touch screens.
Stockholm's hot startup Instabridge has been winning awards and has had no trouble making it onto the top Swedish lists, but we haven't heard much from them in recent months. Now we've received word they're taking over Amsterdam with 300 WiFi hotspots designed to get people using their Android app and offload their 3G or LTE usage to WiFi.
Instabridge cites a Cisco study last year that says that over 80% of users prefer to use WiFi rather than 3G or LTE when browsing on their mobile phone. By reducing the friction of connecting to a WiFi network through their Android app, then operators see much less data going through their network. Instabridge plans to monetize this reduction through partnerships with operators.
Today's the day! It's the ArcticStartup / Future Female Christmas party tonight! featuring Digital Media Finland and Jolla. Bring your coworkers, friends, whoever. We'll be kicking off the party at Kaiku at 18:00, so drop on by. Again, we'll have a live band, some bubbly to kick off the night, and a great crowd to spend an evening with. Hit up the Facebook event so you have no excuse not to go.
If you haven't been there before, probably the easiest way to find the building is to pretend like you're going into Siltanen on Hämeentie 13 B. But before you get to the door to go inside, take a right and go down the stairs there. You'll find Kaiku following the length of the building.
By this time I don't know if Windows Phone users ever thought it would happen, but Instagram has finally released its app in the Windows Phone marketplace. Just to make you still feel like you're on the Windows Phone platform, Instagram is still working on video support, however an official app is better than nothing.
One app seems so trivial to make or break a phone, but in my recent experience it did affect my purchase decision. My old iPhone had too much fun kayaking and choked in the briny deep (RIP), and more than missing the ability to call people, I really missed having a camera in my pocket. Surveying the handset landscape I had my eyes on the Nokia 1020, whose monstrous camera is basically designed for fauxtographers like myself. But what's pictures if you have no one to share them with? Instagram has grown up to be more than just silly filters; I use it to check up on what my friends around the world are up to since few "a day in the life" pictures make it on Facebook, which is reserved for baby pictures and wedding photos. So Finland, if I killed Nokia by buying another iPhone for a stupid camera filter app, please accept my apologies.
Enterprise Helsinki is putting on their biannual event, Pitch Helsinki, starting in one hour, and is bringing together a nice gathering of Finnish startups and investors with the goal of seeing the right kind of pitches and networking that leads to funding rounds.
This event is also billed as the world’s first real-time equity based crowdfunding event, allowing unacreddited investors to bid on the six companies they see up on stage, through Invesdor crowdfunding platform. They will also see another six startups with that decided not to raise money through crowdfunding.
If you were looking for a way to collect and store ideas on your iPad, where would you start? The first thing that popped into my mind was Evernote, but even though it's the closest to a one-size-fits-all solution, it doesn't nail every use case.
When Daniel Nordh, the Swedish founder of Curator first got his iPad, he figured there must be exactly the type of app he had in mind that put all of his images, text, and websites right in front of him, but after some digging he realized there just wasn't an app out there that fit his use case.
No, this time they are not armed and there won't be anyone fighting them back. Quite on the contrary actually: they will be greeted with a warm welcome and probably a few drinks and laughs too, all in good fun and joy.
With a slightly misleading name suggesting the proximity of a fierce battle, the Rubicon Forum business summit will be held for over a 100 Russian business professionals on November 28-29, 2013. Represents of Russian companies are heading to their western neighbor in search of business strategies, opportunities and most of all, pathways to enter the European markets through Finland, which may also be interesting for Finnish startups interested in reaching the Russian markets.
Come join us at the ArcticStartup / Future Female Christmas Party tomorrow!
Consider it your own startup's outsourced Christmas party, or a Slush after-after-after party. Regardless we're throwing down for a fun and casual night at Kaiku tomorrow. We'll have plenty of dance floor to shake off all the problems of being an entrepreneur, a live band, and some free bubbly to kick off the night.
We're also excited to announce the rising star of handset manufacturing, Jolla, as one of our sponsors (GO HOME TEAM), as well Digital Media Finland, the trusted consultants in the digital media field.
We'll be there 18:00 onwards, so no excuses. This week has been a grind, so let's throw a highlight in there with some good company.
See you tomorrow!
I'm not sure if you needed another sign, but here's another indication the gaming ecosystem in Helsinki is developing. A team of three former Rovio employees have now officially launched 5th Wave Brands, a licensing consulting company to help gaming companies find the same type of revenue streams and branding opportunities that Angry Birds has been able to hit by getting their brand into real-world merchandise. It can turn into a serious amount of cash - in their last posted revenues, liscensing accounted for near 40% of Rovio's revenues.
But speaking with the founders of 5th Wave, its not just about plugging into a little extra money, instead they see a booming market opportunity by plugging into the next wave of branding and licensing: mobile entertainment.
So you are in a startup and you have a website that has a fairly large amount of features, pages and steps that a user can take. Since you often update the code, some of these features and pages break once in a while and normally you have to either magically find the bug or wait until one of your, now unhappy, customers let’s you know about the problem.
This is where UseTrace comes in with an aim to save the day. The startup let’s you teach it any step that you might want tested on a regular basis and then automatically tries to go through the process as your user would.
To do so, you just have to navigate the page yourself once and it will memorize what needs to be tested. This can include filling out forms, going through a purchase basket and more.
We got a quick post out after someone saw some SEC filings, but today Atomico has officially announced Atomico III, their new fund. They officially closed at an impressive $476 million (€352 million), which they mention is about three times the size of their previous fund. Atomico was founded in 2006 by co-founder of Skype Nikolas Zennström.
In their announcement they write:
Slush is over for another year and in its wake lies a wreckage of food, drinks, business cards and worn out souls. The two day startup conference in Helsinki brought together a host of early-stage startup companies, angel investors and venture capitalists from across Europe and the US to meet, greet and perform the elaborate mating ritual dances normally reserved for wildlife TV shows. The resultant conflagration was an exhausting experience but well worth the energy expended to meet so many people and be overwhelmed by their ideas and passion.
Since lists are the in thing this month (at least for the purposes of this article) here’s one about the things that stood out at Slush to me.
Introducing Zwipe, an Oslo startup enabling integration of fingerprint authentication on contactless cards. Zwipe sits alongside industry colleagues and fellow Norwegians Signicat, Encap, and Ensafer, providing security technology for the digital economy of the future.
Zwipe's primary feature - the fingerprint scanning and matching functionality - works in less than 1 second, and its cards are ISO 14443 compatible, meaning it works with existing contactless readers. Fingerprints are saved on the card itself not on an external database.