Like any other business, the sports, health, and wellness sector needs new customers walking through the door all the time. But due to their hands-on nature, traditional advertising works poorly; the personality of a tennis instructor or the quality of gym equipment is tough to put in a newspaper advertisement.
So to increase more leads for their sports partners, Helsinki-based SportSetter offers something that feels a little bit like the lead generation offered by daily deals companies, but with much less of the downside for small businesses. Today they also announce that they've raised €400,000 in Angel funding.
Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Kostas Papageorgiou, a copywriter who helps startups engage and grow their audience with content marketing.
Getting into an acceleration program is no east feat. And with 250 applications fighting for one of eight places - the competition can be tough.
Among those accepted into Startup Bootcamp's Health XL program is NurseBuddy. A startup from Turku Finland that helps nurses manage their day-to-day activities using a tablet. They also happen to be the only Nordic representative in the program.
“It's an awesome opportunity to get accepted into the program - and it will be a great reference for us in the future,” said co-founders Ville Tapani and Simo Hännikkälä.
Editor's note, this is a sponsored story by Greater Helsinki Promotions.
As a reminder, tonight at 17:00 in Helsinki is the Neurogaming event featuring Zack Lynch, the go-to guy on the industry. As a bonus reason to attend, they're also giving away two Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears, which you can see in the top image. It's also an excuse to check out University of Helsinki’s brand new 'Helsinki Think Company', a new co-working space right in the city center that will officially open its doors tomorrow.
Space is limited, so to attend the free event, send an email to email@example.com right away!
As a teaser on the subject, we got in touch with Deepa Iyengar, one of the founders of Mindgames, and Icelandic developer of games harnessing brainwave headsets.
It's been another exhausting week - I think everyone has been battling some sort of cold. The friday wrap-up is here, meaning the weekend is officially here! If there is any other news jobs or events in the region that we should have on our radar, let us know in the comments.
Jongla, the Helsinki-based messaging app aimed at the youth market, adds more features like group messaging and Moomin stickers. Will they be able to break into Kik and WhatsApp's market share?
Finland turns to venture funds to rescue economy (Bloomberg)
Editor's note: This is a sponsored post to alert you to the crowdfunding options in the region. Research before investing - early stage companies are high risk.
We are back with our crowdfunding overview of the Nordics, bringing you the most interesting cases from FundedByMe and Invesdor. If you are still not on the wave of equity crowdfunding, then here is your chance to get acquainted with the possibilities in the region.
While many are waiting for the equity crowdfunding enabling JOBS act to pass in the USA, everything is already up and running in the nordics. Besides, we have recently heard from reliable sources that the JOBS act is not as certain to pass as many would think. Which would put the Nordic equity crowdfunding initiative in the spotlight, especially considering that it has already raised nearly €2.5 million in a very short lifespan.
If you attend the Arctic15 last October, you might remember Datatracker from Iceland in our pitching competition. Datatracker is being developed by the cloud service company Kaptio, which focuses on helping companies adopt Salesforce, Heroku, AWS, and Zuora. Now they tell us they've put out Opptimal, an app that works with the standard Opportunity object in Salesforce, but provides visualization in pipeline stages, like Trello or Pipedrive.
Editor's note: This is a sponsored story by Greater Helsinki Promotion, but neurogaming is pretty interesting. Join us April 8th for an interesting talk!
The purpose of gamification is essentially to motivate the brain to enjoy doing a task that shouldn't be entertaining, but somehow becomes fun when reward and a sense of accomplishment involved. Think Farmville. Virtual farming should not be popular, but once they add in that got that sense of accomplishment, you're hooked.
With the help of some extra technology it's possible to gamify the basic functions of the brain, like concentration. Consumer brainwave readers aren't some pie in the sky idea, they're already on the market, and some can plug into your smartphone.
iZettle Takes A Further Step Into The POS Market: Supports Cash Drawers, Printers, Introduces New Software
If you have been following the developments in the mobile payments scene, you would notice that the competition is fierce. For instance, just recently iZettle and Payleven launched a new Chip & PIN device that will support all major credit and debit cards. However with extremely similar services, offerings and prices, these companies need to find ways of differentiating themselves.
Today, iZettle announced that they will now support Star Micronics’ range of MFI certified desktop and mobile printers. This allows their users to connect wirelessly to cash drawers and printers. Which in turn makes iZettle into an almost complete POS solution for small to medium enterprises. For those of you that do not analyze POS and printer manufacturers on the daily basis, Star Micronics is well known for being the supplier of choice for Apple stores worldwide.
The competition amongst accelerators in Europe and our region in particular is increasing, given the amount of choice that is becoming available. So it is no surprise that everybody is stepping up and trying to improve their offering. After all, an accelerator is also a business and needs to try to get only the very best.
To do this, the Lithuanian accelerator StartupHighway just announced that they are improving their financial deal by decreasing the equity stake from 10% to 7.5% while keeping the investment amount at up to €14,000.
Rovio has posted their 2012 financials which stated what most expected: Solid growth, and an increase in merchandizing. It doesn't need to be said, but in 2012 Rovio was busy with game development and merchandizing. They launched four titles Angry Birds Space, Amazing Alex, Bad Piggies and Angry Birds Star Wars, which helped them hit 1 billion total Rovio game downloads last May.
Taken straight from the press release, the significant digits are:
Are you interested in startups so much you want to work at a startup about startups? ArcticStartup is looking for one or two interns who want to get their hands dirty and make awesome connections in the Nordic and Baltic startup ecosystem.
We need more manpower on several fronts: news, events, research, and then help putting into action a few long-term ideas we have. On a more concrete level, this will mean help with interviewing and writing a few articles a week, planning and supporting events across the region, improving our startup database and reports, and some biz-dev tinkering.
Scoopshot is one of my favorite startups to watch in Finland. I'm a news junkie and it's a service that just seems like it should be plugged in everywhere. The concept is pretty simple. Scoopshot allows the crowdsourcing of photos or videos for news sources by allowing users to take photos of newsworthy events, like firemen putting out a fire, and then allowing journalists to buy those photos. On the flip side, journalists can ping users of a news event happening, and users can run to the event and take photos or videos to sell.
It's giving news sources the chance to compete with Twitter and other social media, where news pops up fast. The authenticity and rights issues becomes tricky when using unverified photos floating around on the internet, so Scoopshot adds value to the table worth paying for.
King.com celebrated its 10 year anniversary just before Easter, and gave itself a little bit of rebranding. Now that we're solidly out of the Web 2.0 era, King.com has dropped the .com, and is referring itself plainly as King. The new logo seems to harken back to its founding in Stockholm, as to my exhausted eyes the logo looks more like the Swedish word for King, Kung.
King may be an apt term - at ArcticStartup we're not hearing a lot about new Facebook game publishers anymore, but according to AppData, King has risen to the number 2 MAU spot after Zynga on Facebook, with about half as many estimated monthly active users. We covered King last in January, where they were then the third place Facebook developer, after Microsoft.
The Region Is Going Green: Click & Grow, Indoor Garden & Fresh Wall Are Crowdfunding To Bring Plants Into Your Home Or Office
Here is an overview of the 'growth', in the very literal meaning of the world, startups of the region. These companies are trying to bring the joyful experience of being a gardener into everybody's home and office. Without actually any need for doing anything about it.
After all, three startups from the ArcticStartup region, are seeking crowdfunding in the region: Estonia's Click & Grow, Finlands Fresh Wall and Indoor Garden. Click & Grow as well as Indoor Garden are aiming to allow you to grow a variety of plants at home without any gardening knowledge, skills or time investments. Fresh Wall, on the other hand, as the name suggests is going to put a huge wall of self-watering plants in your house or office.
Even without the ecosystem around Spotify we've got a lot of hot music startups popping up in the region - whose late nights of hacking are already fueled by Red Bull - so here's an opportunity for a much stronger collaboration. Red Bull has now gotten into the startup accelerator game, plugging music-tech startups into their networks and media properties, all while not taking any equity. The program, called Red Bull Amplifier will be based in London and is currently accepting applications from european-wide startups.
Red Bull already has a music label and eight recording studios worldwide, and is helping up-and-coming musicians through Red Bull Music Academy, so this seems like a somewhat logical step to make sure their brand has close access to the up-and-coming music tech and services that will help market their brand. On top of that, Red Bull is everywhere though events, giving startups access to real consumers.
In this week's Copenhagen StartupDigest, Nick Hawtin writes that a couple guys from Podio put together a website plotting Copenhagen's startups on a map. CPHstartups has a pretty cool take on the mapping concept, breaking down startups by coworking spaces, who is bootstrapping, who is funded, and (because the Podio guys put it together) who has exited.
Below is a dumb screenshot for a quick peek, but run over to cphstartups.com to dig into it yourself.
We have some image in our head about the seed funding environment and the needs entrepreneurs have to start up their companies, but the anecdotal stories we hear don't paint the full picture. We love stories with numbers, and there's no better way to get them then to ask you.
If you're running a company, we've put together an anonymous Google form with just a few questions. If you have a few extra minutes, consider filling it out! We'll compile the results into nice looking graphs in around a week.
Once Helsinki (and now San Francisco-based) Tinkercad announces it is shutting down its 3D modeling service for 3D printing and is taking it's technology into a new direction. Their describe Airstone, their new product, as a "simulation environment that turns batch simulation into a real-time environment where the user can interactively test different product designs." That's a little esoteric, but they basically leverage supercomputers to interactively test product designs, saving time for product engineers.
In addition, Airstone has also received Series A funding led by True Ventures, with new investments from Borealis Ventures and Lifeline Ventures. The details of the round were not disclosed.
So you have accidentally enabled data roaming while travelling and your iPad started syncing. Soon enough you will end up with a roaming bill that is likely to be more expensive than your phone. At other times, you actually need the internet while abroad but there is no WIFI or any other connectivity, so you simply must use the 700 EUR per gigabyte roaming fee to go online. This happens to be the current price ceiling for roaming costs as set by the EU commission.
Ukko Mobile, a Helsinki based start-up, is aiming to solve that through the use of patent pending technology which allows for a single-sim, flat-fee coverage in the whole of Europe. Basically you will get one data sim-card that will always act as a local card, no matter where you go. There will not be a need to purchase or switch sims ever again.
Reaktor POLTE Invests €100 000 In MyNextRun And Tell Us More About Their Hands On Investment Approach
Last month we were kidding about Reaktor Polte investing into a startup per week, but they are definitely keeping up the pace and this month they announced a EUR 100 000 investment into MyNextRun. The total round size for the company was €150 000. The startup allows anyone to find running events all over the world and to enroll directly through their service.
This is a niche proposition, but something that has definitely been a problem for the running community, especially when it comes to finding and registering for foreign events. The company already has over 10 000 users and are just waiting for the snow to melt and start the exponential growth stage.