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.
It’s 2013 and ArcticStartup is back.
Well, to a casual observer we really didn’t go anywhere. But a few months ago we were nearly on a path to shut down. As it turns out, passion and community support can do wonders. The original (not so optimistic) story spread wider than we could have imagined and a huge outpouring of support, ideas, suggestions and job offers started coming in.
And although ArcticStartup did not receive direct funding during our crisis, what we did get was much more - the support of the community. We heard a lot of good stories about how we were the first driver of traffic into their startup, or that our media and events were a big reason some got involved in this crazy startup lifestyle. And unexpectedly, some offered free services and individuals offered help in site re-design, hosting, contacts and much more.
Before you go on reading what is going to be a very interesting article filled with great rumors from the region, go into your twitter account and post your own tips and rumors for us using the #ArcticRumor hashtag.
Done? Now you can read the rest. What we have come to realize is that by pushing out full-blown stories on a daily basis, we are missing some of the fun that is taking place in our region. A lot of stories and rumors are just too small or too early for a story. So starting from today we are going to attempt to run a weekly rumors column based on events we have attended, people we have talked to and rumors we have heard and seen on the #ArcticRumor hashtag.
This Wednesday, the 28th of November, we're putting on a little Christmas event in Helsinki with Future Female. We're going to be meeting up at Siltanen for a pretty casual evening - just a good excuse for the community to get together before the holidays. I'm not sure if we've found a sponsor for drinks yet, so booze is probably on you.
The significant digits you should know are: 18:00-22:00 at Siltanen, Hämeentie 13 B. More info can be found on the Facebook event page, where we encourage you to sign up. It's going to be a lot of fun - see you on Wednesday!
The Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen opened Slush 2012 with great enthusiasm about the Finnish startup scene. Katainen has been popping up more and more around the entrepreneurship circles in recent weeks, first touring the renovated Startup Sauna co-working space with Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev.
Onstage at Slush Katainen started off his talk by jokingly showing off his multicolored painted nails, which Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka (who also had his nails painted) later explained it signified how enthusiastic and accessible the Finnish Government was. Katainen seemed bemused about it onstage, but Vesterbacka (sort of) has a point - "When has Obama had his nails painted?"
But it wasn't all a princess tea party. Katainen spoke about €200 million worth of tax proposals his government will implement to make Finland a better environment for startups.
After the Arctic15 the Nordics, Baltics, and Russia are getting together again for Slush. Taking place the next two days in Helsinki, there will be solid lineup of speakers ready to impart their wisdom on the crowd. Despite the cold and dark weather, the Startup Sauna team have managed to attract attendees and startups from over 10 countries, with over 3000 delegates and 500 startups pitching.
“Beyond gaming and IT, the flagship sectors of the area, Slush represents the wide variety of strong industries and expertise in our region. The speaker list... also features innovative speakers from the fields of design, medtech and cleantech, while even nuclear and space technology will be present” says Miki Kuusi, the main organizer of Slush.
Between the pitches, talks, chats, and demos, you'll find the ArcticStartup staff in attendance willing to talk about how you envision the future of ArcticStartup, and ready to find some new exciting companies to write about. The plan right now is for us to wear our ArcticStartup shirts, so feel free to stop us if you see us, and say hi.
The past week was pretty crazy and as mentioned in our "resurrection" post, we really need your help on the 19th to 21st of November at Garage48. In short, as a non-profit organization we need to derive income from somewhere, but we only want to do so while helping the community to come together. In fact, our new motto is "To promote connectedness amongst all members of the start-up community in the Nordic/Baltic and European regions” and in order to do so, we want to build an ArcticStartup Matchmaking tool for startups and investors alike.
Dear ArcticStartup community,
After a week away from the writing desk, Greg and Dmitri are back in the office, throwing coals on the fire to get this train rolling again. The response worldwide from our last article has been beyond anything we ever expected, and we would like to give a huge thanks to everyone who got in touch with us.
We're going to begin publishing again today, so keep sending us your press releases and news to our editor address. In the future we're looking for constant community-sourced news by publishing one awesome guest post a day. If you have a topic you want to write about, feel free to pitch it to us! You've gotten a feel for ArcticStartup over the years, so you know what we're looking for. Articles can really be anything, like your friend's startup that we haven't covered yet, or an issue you think is important to Nordic and Baltic entrepreneurs.
If you had to build a completely functioning system of augmented reality with 3D Models placed upon QR codes to simulate Dungeons and Dragons (Or any other board game) complete with monsters and other visuals based on the position of the QR codes on the battlegrid, how long do you think it would take you? Well at the latest Garage48 event the BattleGrid team did just that in 48 hours, showing exactly what can be done in a short time and under immense pressure.
If big data is a macro trend the world is paying attention to, then we really should be looking within Finland to develop more interesting companies. Finland is lucky to be home to some of the best data science universities in the world, and startups like Metrify.io and Zen Robotics are signaling that we could be on the verge of something huge. Pairing our data science talent with additional developers and designers, and we've got the winning recipe for many more innovative and exciting companies.
That's the logic behind OOHACK HACKATHON 1, a hackathon we're throwing with Open Ocean Capital with infrastructure supported by Amazon. On October 16th, the day before the doors open to the Arctic15 conference, teams will have 12 hours to dig thorough a rich dataset and develop some ideas for a chance to win €3 000. The three best teams will also be able to present their concepts to the audience at The Arctic15.
With social media being all the rave in marketing and advertising space, everyone and their mother is using it to try and promote their products, services and (you guessed it)... events.
ArcticStartup is going to attempt this very feat of strength and we are giving away free tickets (and exclusive T-Shirts) to the upcoming Arctic15 conference. Which is promising to be a major event this year with amazing speakers, companies, startups and investors already confirming their attendance.
I've had a few "genius" startup ideas come to head that would monetize by charging customers for some online services. In my mind these would all churn out money faster than a printing press, until I really stopped to consider how rarely I pull out my credit card for anything on the web. In this low, I then started questioning B2C services as a whole. It's basically my job to find startups that are hoping to make our live easier, and then write in detail about the value to consumers the startup provides. If I think about this all day,
Just as a side note, it's funny how app stores change the game. I'll pay €2 for an app without thinking about it, but if I'm sitting in front of a laptop I have completely different expectations about what should be free or not. Having your credit card stored somewhere really reduces the mental friction of the transaction, and it's a pity that the traditional online startups we cover can't plug into that river of cash.
We've always been pretty transparent about our experiments in the media space here at ArcticStartup. This is because we fundamentally don't believe in one absolute truth nor just a few correct ways to go about creating content and value to our readers. This summer we're going to be experimenting with something new as well. Until the end of July, we're going to be dropping our publishing frequency to just one article a day.
To anyone working in a media company they understand that this is voluntary surrender regarding the race for more pageviews. Then again, we've never been after pageviews, but more people who really engage with our content and our site (and partly, that's calculated by the amount of repeat readers we have and how that increases over time). While many news organisations publish tens of articles a day to keep those pageviews up, we're willing to test this summer how we're going to do with just one quality article a day.
ArcticEvening Helsinki will be organised on the 14th of June to discuss "Where are Finland's big startups?" The event will take place at the awesome Aalto Venture Garage from 6pm onwards. Sign-up now to enjoy the panel discussion, network and a plenty of cold drinks before summer holidays. We're expecting to have a good turnout of people as earlier in the day Aalto is putting on an event with Linus Torvalds and the Summer of Startups program has also kicked off at the Venture Garage.
Please take a look at the full program and event description here and also sign-up for the free tickets.
ArcticEvening Copenhagen will be organised in exactly two days time! We're going to have an awesome event at the Nokia Campus. Tommy Ahlers from Podio will be present to talk how they got acquired by Citrix and how the agreement was reached behind closed doors. In addition to Tommy, we'll have Kristel Verhasselt of X.commerce share examples of how they have helped entrepreneurs capitalise e-commerce online.
We're going to have some free drinks and snacks available, courtesy of Nokia. All you need to do is sign-up through the form below and secure your free ticket to the event to network, but also learn new things. Doors will open 6pm on Thursday the 31st.
This week has been a good week for ArcticStartup if you would quantify it over the traditional media metrics - pageviews and visits. Our critical piece on the Finnish government's decisions over a strategy group was read by some 25 000 people in just a couple of days. Yesterday on the other hand, our in-depth post on Denmark's questionable Entrepreneur Tax has also built traction around the world, mostly thanks to Hacker News.
As I was watching real time Google Analytics (which tell you how many people are on your site and how your site's analytics are developing in real time) on Tuesday as the ICT-strategy group story spread to new social circles, I noticed something interesting in the way Google treated us as a site. The realisation was that as more people found our story, Google also began sending more people through search results.
With the recent change of the Facebook fan pages to support the timeline, all pages now also have a cover image at the top of the page. Since we're really in this to support the growing startup ecosystems in the Nordics and Baltics - what better way to help achieve that than giving the cover image back to our community on the ArcticStartup Facebook page. This means, each week we will be promoting one lucky startup with a pinned post at the top of the Facebook page as well as in the cover image.
We're back again with the Friday news roundup. If you want to add something to our list that we push out every Friday, do so by e-mailing us at editor (at) arcticstartup.com. Lots of things happening this week again, so dig through them and enjoy your weekend!
This week, well, this week was different on Unfair Advantage. Our guest on the show is Antti Vilpponen, the Co-Founder and CEO of ArcticStartup. We work in the same office, but haven't talked in detail how ArcticStartup got started and why it does what it does. Instead of having this discussion over lunch or beer, we decided to record it and make it into an episode of Unfair Advantage. We discuss the backgrounds of ArcticStartup, the role of media and also what are some of the ways ArcticStartup sees itself going forward. Fully experimental, so do give us your feedback in the comments!
We're back with organising ArcticEvenings! This year we'll do altogether six ArcticEvenings and our annual Arctic15 conference (more on the other events soon). We will kick off our events this year with ArcticEvening Tallinn on Thursday, the 1st of March. Our theme for the event is startup metrics. We also have a really good speaker coming to present his view on startup metrics - William Wolfram of DealDash. We recently interviewed him on Unfair Advantage about the metrics they use in DealDash. Back then he said they are obsessed with metrics and data. I'm sure there will be more interesting things to hear and ask William on stage.
The first episode of our new podcast is now out and it's called Unfair Advantage. In the weekly talk show we interview thinkers and doers from Northern Europe to understand what makes them tick. The show is co-hosted by me, Antti Vilpponen and our writer Greg Anderson. In our first show we interviewed Alex Esser from Sweden. He is one of the founding members of Tunaspot, a location based music discovery service. The service got its start from Copenhagen Startup weekend in 2011.
Are you more active on Google+ than any other social network? Now you're able to also follow ArcticStartup on Google+ and get all our updates in a similar fashion to Twitter and Facebook. Google+ recently came out with its pages feature enabling businesses to create pages similar to those on Facebook. While we don't get a lot of traffic from Google+ currently, we do realise it's in our interest to offer alternatives to our readers in the way of distributing our news. Google+ has also been generally touted as the place where many technologically oriented people hang out.
As the year is turning to an end, we'd like to take a moment to wish all our readers a very happy and relaxing holiday season. We have had an awesome year here and we're glad that so many of you have enjoyed the ride with us. To be exact there are more than 50 000 of you who keep coming back each month. That's a lot when we work hard to stay away from any click optimized, SEO focused content. We're of course very happy about this, but it's more awesome for all the startups in the region - they've got the world's attention.
ArcticStartup will be going to Le Web this year to see how three days of conferencing will work out. Le Web, held in Paris will be on between the 7th and 9th of December. While the conference is pricey at 2300€ for a standard ticket, they did offer discounts for startups, students and freelance developers (all sold out now). Despite the steep price, it's the largest annual Silicon Valley gathering on this side of the Atlantic.
We'll be bringing you the highlights of the event, the controversies and debates. This year's theme is social-local-mobile, but don't worry - themes in the past haven't restricted conversation and we're bound to hear the latest trends across the board being discussed this year as well. We won't be doing any live blogging or tweeting, but in-depth coverage of the content that matters. The event has an impressive list of speakers and a program that will keep you busy throughout the three days.
Here's more of our keynote talks at Arctic15 earlier this autumn. Richard White gave one of the fastest, action filled talks I've ever heard. He talked through the story of his past startups, but also how came to found Uservoice.com. A nice coincidence was that Richard White and Steve Huffman both knew each other previously and thus he made quite a few references to Steve Huffman's Reddit along the way as well. More keynote videos and all the startup pitches coming up in the next few weeks.
More Arctic15 keynotes coming up! This one's from Patric Blixt from Rebtel. Blixt is the Chief Marketing Officer at the VoIP operator that is surprisingly little hyped about, considering they're doing tens of millions of revenue only a few years after their founding. We had the honor to have Blixt share his thoughts on marketing and promoting startups in the early part of their growth phase. He talked a lot about the virality loops, which are a key component of Rebtel's success.
Let's start off the week on a little bit of a lighter note. One of our readers sent in a couple of photos to us regarding our stickers. We give these out at our events and whenever we meet people and so on. He told us he'd had one of these stickers stuck in his washing machine for a couple of months now. It's been stuck there and gone through tens of washes without leaving any color. We don't manufacture our own stickers, but we're still extremely proud of their quality. Talk about heavy duty!
The Arctic15 mobile app has now been made available. The mobile app is, bowing to web based applications, all HTML5 and it's been put together by the wonderful team at Webcrumbz. Their team will also be at Arctic15, so go say hi to them! The app is your digital guide to the event and through that you can check the schedule, speakers, sponsors and also send questions to our speakers. Furthermore - it's up to the audience to decide on the audience favorite, who will win 5000€ of sponsorship from ArcticStartup. All this is available in the mobile app.
Head over to http://m.arctic15.com on your mobile to check it out - voting will be enabled tomorrow morning!
pa·tron - One that supports, protects, or champions someone or something, such as an institution, event, or cause; a sponsor or benefactor.
We're extremely proud to announce that Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade of Finland, Mr. Alexander Stubb, will act as the patron of Arctic15. This is very exciting as our efforts seem to resonate well in the top end of the Finnish politics. Even though Arctic15 has no political affiliations and we strive to keep it that way, having Alexander Stubb, one of the most international and active stars of the Finnish political scene supporting our event is simply put - fantastic!
Just as a reminder to everyone coming to Arctic15, we're fully sold out so come early - registrations will open 8.00. We've had no last minute changes, so everything is in order for a blow out event!
Arctic15 is getting close and we're getting very excited. For a couple of reasons actually. First of all, this will be the biggest event we've pulled together in a long time. In addition to that, we're going to have very high quality startups in the final, not to mention the speakers we have. We're going to announce the last speaker this week, but trust us - it's going to be hot. So for these, and a ton of other reasons - if you're thinking of coming, please book your ticket today. The summer special sale will end August 19th (or as long as tickets are available).