The founders of Finland's SportSetter were the size of Godzilla in New York yesterday, getting their faces slashed across a billboard after ringing the opening bell to the NASDAQ exchange. Sportsetter has been growing steadily in New York after launching their service in Helsinki, allowing gyms, yoga studios, and other players in the Fitness space to get new customers through a network of people interested in trying new sports. After signing up through SportSetter, users select the types of activities they’re interested in, and then get access to a few curated activities a month. The value for fitness centers is that after trying out a yoga gym, for example, a user might decide they really like it and then stick around for a membership.
Management isn’t just about having to manage your team at work or offices, it is essential everywhere where groups are involved. We at ArcticStartup are always on the lookout for interesting startups from diverse categories, keeping the interest factor in mind. Today we bring Liiqu, a startup that helps team management, for sports.
The startup helps you to effectively manage your sports team effectively. This offers an easy way to track statistics for the team and individuals as well as maintain effective communication amongst the teams. From where I see it, it is more of a tool for coaches of sports, be it football, ice hockey or footsal, to keep track of their team. Lets talk about the features separately and see what package Liiqu actually has:
Followers and fans of Sofanatics probably got used by now to their virtual stadium chat interface introduced earlier in the spring. Today's announcement can bring that view to a great number of other websites: Sofanatics released their API. This means that from now on anyone can embed Sofanatics' virtual stadium on their own page. To add new matches to the screen, you'd need to add a few lines of code and voilà - you connect supporters during the game on your own website featuring a stadium chat interface. The embedded version does not have activation or other limits so even small clubs can embed Sofanatics' stadium view.
We talked about Uplause back in 2010 and already stated that it made traditional multiplayer gaming old school. It has indeed with its concept of Crowd Games or Massively Multiplayer Crowd Playing Game (MMCPG). It looked promising to us and its recent numbers stand as a solid proof to its success.
I might sound a bit too judgmental and far fetched when it comes to putting Sofanatics as being one of the most interesting startups from Finland. Primarily because it brings all football fanatics onto one platform that has the potential to be the buzzing stadium within a browser. Do I make sense?
It's great time to take the first step with your New Year's resolution to exercise more, before you give up and forget it like you did last year. At least I did. Moozement, a Finnish startup offering a simplified training log for sharing your activities with friends, has rebranded itself and become HeiaHeia (see my previous interview with one of the founders here). "Heia! Heia!", pronounced similarly to "Hey ya, Hey ya", is a Norwegian sports chant.
The company states that the key driver for the development of the service has been to create a sports service which anybody could use with her or his friends - not just the devotees of a particular sport or the users of certain technical gear or the fans of a given brand.
The founders, Ivan Kuznetsov and Olli Oksanen, are both ex-Nokiates who took the infamous 'package' when Nokia started offering it to its employees to slim down the organization. HeiaHeia is one of the first startups that emerge from stealth mode, which has its roots in the Nokia package. I know there's other startups coming with a similar origin. I have even heard some people say that with the package, Nokia has done more to the Finnish startup scene than Tekes. I'm not sure about that, but it has certainly given a possibility for many people with long careers in Nokia of a runway of a year to year and a half to play around with their ideas before the reality hits and they need to start thinking about salary.
Yesterday we reported that a big name team has come out with a new startup called Sofanatics. The team consists of Toni Laturi, CEO (former Valve managing director), Asmo Halinen (Apaja co-founder) as well as Sami Kuusela and Peter Nyman, a familiar face in Finnish television as he hosts one of the most known Saturday night shows Uutisvuoto.
We have gathered some further information and believe Sofanatics is a service focusing on sociel viewing. Wikipedia describes a social viewing service as a practice revolving around the ability for multiple users to aggregate from multiple sources and view online videos together in a synchronized viewing experience. Typically the experience also involves some form of instant messaging or communication to facilitate discussion pertaining to the common viewing experience. This would fit our earlier prediction of 'something with video, football and doing all this is a social manner.'
To "minimize the hassle in input & maximize the social benefits". That's how Moozement descriped their goal with their service. Moozement is a Finnish startup offering a simplified training log for sharing your activities with friends. I have been a user now for a while and unlike many other services I have tried out, I come back to Moozement week after week. This is clearly much more than I can say about most services I try.
There are still some user experience bumps in the service and the dashboard is way too busy, but overall it's a good start. Before I had tried the service I thought they are going head-on against Nokia Sports Tracker, but little did I know and was told what the service is really about when I had a chat with one of the founders, Ivan Kuznetsov (video below).