Whether you want to create an exciting infographic depicting beer prices in Europe, your overview of the Formula 1 season or on a more serious note your Nordic/Baltic Investment Survey - look no further than Infogr.am, as long as you have the data, that is.
Infogr.am went through the Startup Sauna accelerator in 2012 and has since been growing at a very impressive rate. As of today, they have created more than 700 000 Infographics and add more than 100 000 every month. They also have over 300 000 users at Infogr.am.
Do you find your day filled with scheduling meetings, meeting people, and then trying to manage the to-do process afterward? If you haven't done so before, it might be time to check out Helsinki-based Meetin.gs, who has relaunched with a nice facelift and a mobile focus. Their product manages to wrangle together all the loose strings associated with professional meetings by plugging into popular business tools.
To schedule a meeting, Meetin.gs now offers a fully brandable "meet me" page, which enables uses to create and publish a calendar page that makes it easier to schedule a meeting time, which solves the problem of that awful email chain where suggested times are pinged back and forth. This service plugs into the user's calendar, so occupied time slots are automatically blocked out. Meeting location is also included, so transit times and meeting durations can be accounted for.
The digital eyes of Europe are on Amsterdam today as The Next Web's sold out European Conference gets underway. Leading the Norwegian contingent is Swipe, one of 20 finalists in the eagerly awaited Microsoft BizSpark Startup Rally.
Co-founders Horia Cernusca and Håkon Eide have been hard at work perfecting their presentation software since winning Oslo's last Startup Weekend. Today they unveil their product, billed as "a new way to deliver and watch presentations - from any device to any number of devices, in real-time".
Just a couple of weeks ago, we asked our readers how much money they were raising and now we have the answer. Well, we have "an answer", considering the tiny sample size and complete anonymity. Still we were happy to see some very interesting and impressive numbers that speak for themselves, but at the same time there is still plenty left to analyze.
To make the results as pleasing to the eye as possible, we put together an infographic outlining the major findings. We are going to provide some analysis below. So without further adieu:
The Next Web's conference is kicking off, and with it is the European Commission's Tech Entrepreneur of the Year Award. What's noticible is the number of Nordic entrepreneurs up there on the list, especially Swedish entrepreneurs, who grabbed three out of the ten spots. Finland also makes an appearance through Rovio, naturally.
The list can be found here, but here's the copy-paste:
Alright, everyone get out your wallets - because after writing about plenty of apps that make some minor inconvenience in life slightly less inconvenient, I'm excited to write about a new app that may have some real-world impact. Copenhagen-based non-profit startup Be My Eyes is helping connect sighted volunteers with the blind community through video and voice over a smartphone app, and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help implement their idea.
So if a blind user needs help checking what the expiration date is on a can, for example, they can load up the app and call out to the network of sighted volunteers. This opens up a live video stream where volunteers can "be the blind person's eyes" to respond to questions and describe what they see. That's awesome.
Eric Wahlforss, co-founder of SoundCloud and Henrik Berggren, co-founder of Readmill, may be now based in Berlin, but they're staying in touch with their Swedish roots by offering a scholarship (well more like an awesome weekend trip) to two Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship students. This is the second time they're giving away this opportunity, and the deadline for SSES students is May 15.
Over the course of a weekend, the two students interested running their own internet company someday will have the chance to run through Berlin to meet entrepreneurs, investors and business angels of the Berlin scene. It also sounds like a good excuse to check out Berlin's famous nightlife.
Helsinki seems to have two major trends going at the moment. Gaming companies, and startups like Kiosked and Publishzer that are adding interactivity and engagement to images. But with this movement is ThingLink, a startup that adds interactivity to images to drive more engagement. Founded in 2010, they now boast over 130,000 publishers using the platform, including a number of giant newspaper and web publishing properties.
Now when publishers share ThingLinked images to Facebook, they're able the offer the same image tagging functionality right in the Facebook newsfeed. Uses need to click the images first to get the tags to pop up, but now publishers can drive Facebook users to more text information, videos, or links.
This past week we had the opportunity to participate in MESH's 1 year anniversary, and finally check out co-working space that's bringing together the community necessary for an entrepreneurial ecosystem and making some noise about it.
A startup ecosystem is sorely needed in Norway. There are some cool startups popping up there, but despite having the same population as Helsinki and a major tech companies like Opera located in Oslo, you really don't hear of many startups outside the oil and gas industry.
But MESH is making a movement happen by being a grassroots space 'by and for' entrepreneurs. Their 2500 m2 building located right in Oslo's city center offers around 50 desks and 9 offices. On top of that they have an entrepreneur-geared cafe, a new bar (which divides into three meeting spaces during the day), and a nightclub with a retractable roof, which doubles as an event space for 400 people. It's... a nice place.
And the space is growing in cool areas. On top of constructing a bigger community space, they're adding a sound studio for artists that need equipment, and right now they're putting together a Maker Space with 3D printers and hardware tools for hackers and artists to come up with new inventions.
Rocket Internet Is Heading North - Launches CupoNation in Finland With Norway And Russia Next On The List
Rocket Internet is one of those companies that create a lot attention and there are mixed feelings about what they do. However, it is hard to argue with their success, as most of the companies that are a part of Rocket Internet are largely highly profitable.
Set in Norway's picturesque fjord region, little Ålesund is a centre of expertise for the maritime sector, hosting over 200 companies and 17 shipyards. Local institutions offer niche education such as a Masters in Ship Design and a Bachelors in Biomarine Innovation. Silicon Valley it's not, but Ålesund is a hidden success story of technological innovation - Norwegian style.
On 22 and 23 May Ålesund plays host to the annual InnoTown conference. Rather than focusing on the successful local industry, InnoTown invites an impressive line up of innovators from around the world to share their stories.
Helsinki-based Cabforce has now opened their API, allowing travel companies to take advantage of Cabforce's network and technology that allows the pre-booking of taxi and executive cars, with the total price calculated at the time of booking
Booking a taxi at the same time you book a flight or other travel leg is a growing trend, as it opens up a new revenue path, and Cabforce has built a solid network of 60 travel destinations and counting, with the majority of coverage focused in Europe. Recently they have also expanded into New York - their first "overseas" destination.
Tomorrow marks the half-way point of Avoin Ministeriö, or Open Ministry's campaign to make the Finnish copyright law more fair. To help gather enough signatures, Finnish websites are blacking out and leading visitors to sign the online petition in support of a Common Sense in Copyright Law proposal.
"The idea is to follow the model that was in use in the US where companies take part in campaigning when there is an injustice. So the blackout day is a chance for Finnish companies to speak out against this far-reaching copyright law," says Joonas Pekkanen of Avoin Ministeriö.
In the U.S., these campaigns generally ask supporters to call their congressmen or sign a petition to make some noise, but Finnish legislation offers a much more concrete method to effect change. Just over a year ago, Finland amended the national constitution so that any petition that reaches 50,000 signatures must be brought to the parliament floor for a vote. At the time of publishing, this proposal has gathered 26,348 signatures.
Stockholm-based Volumental is one research spinoff that's going to be fun to watch. It's roots go back to Kinect@Home, which made a lot of noise in the news recently with their tool that allows anybody with a Microsoft Kinect camera, which was created for the Xbox, to create 3D models of people or objects in a matter of seconds. To do so, all you have to do is make a circular video of the object with the Kinect camera, and then you can share, download, embed the model for online or 3D printing use.
The project was started as a research project by two Ph.D. students and a professor at the Centre Of Autonomous systems, a research centre at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
Sticky Uses Eye Tracking Technology To Make Sure Online Ads Are Seen And Receives €2.3M From Conor And Northzone
Advertisers often use a term known as ad impressions, which you might think means how often the ads are seen by prospective viewers. In reality all it means is how often it was displayed and according to latest research statistics, between 30-50% of those impressions are never actually seen. Just think of banner blindness and how often you actually move your eyes to the side of the screen to take a look at the ads.
This is the story that will explain everything you need to know about the Baltic investment market, outlining the current trends, introducing the key players, listing major investments and exits. It does not get much more comprehensive than this, so grab a chair, get a coffee and dig in.
HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE INVESTMENT MARKET
Before we start with the statistics and introductions, let us take a look at the Baltic investment market in general. The scene has been changing and developing and over the course of the last 5 years, the number of startups coming from the Baltic States was growing rapidly, most of them requiring seed and early stage investments.
Does your office have a retractable roof in its nightclub? If you work at MESH, it's probably a yes, but for everyone else in the world, I imagine it's a no. We're in Oslo today helping one of the region's hottest co-working spaces celebrate its one year anniversary.
It's our first time here, and honestly we're impressed. They've got 2500m2 to play with in the center of Oslo, including an innovation cafe, office space, a maker lab, and a nightclub, which also doubles as an event space for 400 people.
Dmitri and I are going to be both busy today, so we might be light on news today, but expect more stories from Norway in the near future!
With a phone in everyone's pocket, there still seems to be too much friction when you're trying to get rid of your old bike. So to bring a peer-to-peer marketplace to iPhone, Stockholm-based Osom (think "awesome") has launched a polished app that will get you selling or buying in no time.
Co-founder Anton Johansson tells us that the company got its start after the founders decided to start a company after working for Videoplaza and Twingly. The idea came up as the three founders were sitting down and going through their favorite apps and all realized that Instagram has the best stickiness and "epicness" out of their phones. From there, they started to think about how that interface would respond in the e-commerce environment, and realized it was pretty optimized for a marketplace already.
The problem of 'fit' when selling clothes online has always been a problem, and since 2009 the Estonian startup Fits.me has been trying to solve it. They are not trying to do this by modifying the sale procedures or offering free return shipping, instead they built robots that can mimic nearly every body shape. Since the company was founded, they have raised around €3 million and were already one of the best funded startups in the Baltic region.
Today, Fits.me announced a Series A round from an existing investor SmartCap and also new investors onboard: Conor Venture Partners, Fostergate Holdings Limited and The Entrepreneurs Fund. The total amount raised is €5.5 million and is a part the earlier reported investment.
From live questions on a panel debate to fan comments at a sports game, more and more TV output incorporates social media content. never.no's Interactivity suite offers its clients the ability to monitor, filter, approve, and harvest user-generated content from around the web - using Twitter hashtags for example.