Editor's note: this article previously missed Sorry as a Service, we have added it.
LOGIN2015 in Vilnius is escalating: check out the finalists! More than 30 startups have pitched in semi-finals yesterday. Only 9 were admitted to finals and will pitch today at 17:00. Most are also raising money - from €200,000 to $3 million. Watch the finals live here. Read more about 10 finalists below (in alphabetical order):
We're a big fan of the Nordic Startup Awards because sometimes it's good to step away from external validation from funding or customers, and instead point to the people and companies in the Nordics that we respect and define us. We'll be helping host the finals of the Nordic Startup Awards conveniently timed with our conference, The Arctic15, which you should already have on your radar.
Serious Gaming Cluster Finland partners with Borderless Healthcare Group to develop health gaming in Asia
A network of game developers, Serious Gaming Cluster Finland, is partnering with Borderless Healthcare Group to tap the development and distribution of health care games in China and the rest of Asia. According to SGC and BHG the multi-trillion dollar elderly community requires urgently a new set of interactive tools to spice up their lives. Their vision is that soon over 200 million elderly people in China would be able to enjoy a series of health care games – which may influence on their mental and physical wellness.
Slush announced today that the winner of last year’s Slush 100 pitching competition, Enbrite.ly, has closed an investment round of 750 000 euros. Enbrite.ly, the ad fraud stopping company based in London and Budapest, gathers funding from Evli Bank, SpeedInvest and a business angel consortium consisting of FiBAN business angels. If anything, this should encourage you to apply for our OP pitching competition, which is based on exactly the same type of deal with FiBAN. Deadline for the applications is today at midnight.
Jakob Ekkelund has extensive experience in startups. In recent years he has worked as Investment Manager at SEED Capital, but will now proceed to the Copenhagen-based startup Templafy according to Trendsonline. Ekkelund will take on the role as COO, performing tasks such as budgeting and responsible for the company’s growth.
“I didn’t plan to change workplace. It’s been really good being an investor where one can get inspired at conferences and on boards. But I was simply too tempted by the opportunity to dive into the issues – and not just sit on the sidelines,” says Ekkelund.
We are getting closer to Arctic15, where the top VC's, Investors, Startups & Media will unite in a perfect storm of networking. With over €50 billion worth of investors, speakers that want to tackle trillion dollar industries & startups that aspire to be the next Supercell - we are excited, to say the least.
Oslo Startup Day reshapes our expectations of Social Entrepreneurship
What do you think of when you hear "social entrepreneurship"? To me it's meant people who mean well, but I also associate it with misguided business models (as if other entrepreneurs have it all figured out). But I have a newfound respect after attending the Oslo Startup Day, an event where sustainable business models for socially positive businesses were the main talking point.
As we are getting close to Arctic15, we wanted to celebrate one more time. This time, ArcticEvening will not only feature an amazing speaker line-up, networking and free beer, but also the Nordic Startup Awards - Finnish Finale. So register right away, as we have a limited amount of seats in the house.
Smart City Seminar, arranged by the City of Oulu and University of Oulu, gathers this week (May 4–6th) together academia, public sector and companies to discuss about intelligent cities around the world. The event's second day was also an important meeting point for region's municipal leaders, as the Mayors of six biggest Finnish cities (Oulu, Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Turku and Tampere), Mayor of Tromsø and Mayor of Luleå gathered to discuss at the seminar.
But what is an intelligent city or community? A place where people want to live and where companies want to be? Is it super techy or something that serves better the needs of the citizens? Either a globally competitive entity or a platform that enables people and companies to flourish?
Well one thing is for sure – it requires cooperation.
Shopbox is a new app from Danmark launched just a few weeks ago with the goal to re-define the standard for future business operations. Shopbox provides an online solution for running entire company, be it a well-established business or a startup in whatever industry. Despite the booming digital development and introduction of new technologies, it is the first time that business owners can download a reliable app where both new digital payment methods like MobilePay and traditional credit card payments are integrated.
The biggest annual event for #LTstartups is back to Vilnius on May 7-8. With quite a few things happening all at the same time, we drafted a loose guide to help you get the most of the event:
Estonian Taxify offering taxis at the push of a button in 7 countries is now making sure payments are just as easy. After launching in-app payments with debit and credit cards in Baltic countries in April (with Finland and The Netherlands launching in May), Taxify has now rolled out mobile carrier billing in Estonia.
It was late in the afternoon on the eve of the Mayday celebrations in Finland when the Cabforce acquisition announcement got leaked to the UK press, making it unfortunate timing for the company's announcement back home. But with Cabforce being one of the lesser known big players in the taxi scene, they're well due an article.
It seems that the sporting goods producers are interested in getting more mobile and social as Under Armour acquired this February the Danish sports tracking service Endomondo – And today we got the news that one of the category leading social sports services, Sports Tracker, has been acquired by sporting goods company Amer Sports. With the full ownership of share capital, the Nokia spin-off company will join the brand family of Amer Sports that includes internationally recognized brands such as Wilson, Salomon and Suunto.
"It's the spirit of the time," CEO of Sports Tracker Jussi Kaasinen describes: "Established players have noticed that the line between hardware and software is fading as the next generation digital services are developed to be on-time and social."
With the Nordic Startup Awards grand finale taking place as a side event at the Arctic15 (right before the afterparty!) we're calling on you to vote today for who you think the finalists should be. Last year I found the Nordic Startup Awards a refreshing event for just gathering good people in the scene with no pitching or priorities other than having a good time. It should be a good balance to the Arctic15 where we're helping you get in front of investors and corporate clients!
I hate to brag, but I got voted as the best startup journalist in the Nordics last year, somehow coming ahead of the colleagues at other publications I really respect. I'm looking forward to see who to pass the torch onto this year!
The voting can be found here, and closes today.
Why do Nordic and Baltic startups constantly look towards the U.S. after getting established in their home country? The U.S. is a big homogenous market where it's fairly easy to expand if you get established right. In Europe we've got language and culture issues, but there are clear steps to be taken on a governmental level, according to a group called Allied For Startups, which has called on European Vice President Andrus Ansip to "put innovation at the heart of the digital single market," and cautioning against burdening digital entrepreneurs with new regulations.
Here's the text of the letter, sent 4 May 2015
The other week we went to the IFA Global Press Conference to figure out what the September conference in Berlin is all about, but also to see some company updates in the consumer electronic space. At ArcticStartup, consumer electronics usually means tablets and wearables instead of washing machines and refrigerators, but as the IoT space brings startups and home appliance manufacturers together, we've gotten a new respect for how massive the industry is outside our bubble.
Would you like to attend Arctic15:Exit Path for free, get amazing experience and expand your professional network? Volunteering is the way to go.
ArcticStartup is organizing our fourth Arctic15 event, a premium startup / networking conference which will take place on the 26th-27th of May 2015. We need YOUR help to make the event a success!
Volunteering goes way back at ArcticStartup. In fact, it is a part of the company culture and success. Two out of three partners, Greg Anderson and Jan Ameri, joined the company by first volunteering at Arctic15. Many others found job opportunities, friends and priceless connections by networking with our attendees & speakers. This year, we want to take all that to the next level and we need your help.
Robots, 3D printed arms, smart keys and diarrhea sensors hardware is all the rage among Japanese startups.
Demo areas at startup conferences can often seem generic and, to be honest, boring for an outsider: lots of people in identical looking booths clad in startup branded T-shirts pushing their latest app or service at you. At the recent Slush Asia conference, however, the demo area was one of the most exciting and crowded places in the whole event. You could find anything there from 3D printed arms, to robots, to a smart lock to - yes - a diarrhea sensor.
Here is our list of the top 5 most interesting hardware innovations that we look forward to hitting the mass markets: