The good folks over at Øresund Startups found an interesting Masters' thesis that looked at startup investments in Skåne, the Southernmost part of Sweden that includes Malmö, Helsingborg, and Lund. There are a few takeaways that I found interesting, which we'll summarize, but the entire thesis can be found online. The study, Equity financing of early stage growth firms in Skåne was authored by Karl Fogelström and Christoffer Nilsson, and was done in cooperation with Teknopol.
There are some results that entrepreneurs might find practical. It's somewhat obvious, but, making personal connections with angels, or friends of angels is important. According to the questionnaire, 46% of the time angels find the companies they invest in through personal contacts, 22% go through formal networks, and the remaining 36% find companies through both paths.
Additionally, the most common reason why angels did not invest, was because they found the valuation of the company to be too high, which may be something to consider during negotiations.
Valkee, the bright-light headset manufacturer that claims to treat S.A.D. and other mood disorders, has seen its fair share of criticism after rushing to promote the scientific legitimacy of the device based on what came across as weak evidence to many people.
But more research on Valkee has been published, showing that light has a biological response in the brain. Unlike the past studies on the effects of the Valkee headset, this study was run in a placebo controlled environment and measured the physical response. The 51 participants were blindfolded, and bright light was delivered to the ear using optical fiber, which does not heat up. The paper be found online in the World Journal of Neuroscience.
Apart from being very useful, gadgets can also be the source of pride or, as it turns out, a source of attraction. A recent study by Retrevo, a consumer electronics shopping and review site, looked into how and what do people find attractive when it comes to gadgets. The sample included over 1000 people living in US distributed across gender, age, income and location. Turns out, men are overwhelmingly attracted to cool phones and laptops while reading a book is still cooler than using an iPad. Women, on the other hand, found cool laptops slightly more attractive than cool phones and reading a book was reported to be 1% more attractive then using an iPad. Well-off people in general (those earning over $200,000/year) were more attracted to cool phones (71%) and laptops (61%) than iPads (54%).
When we think privacy concerns what usually comes to mind is either Facebook with their messy and ever-changing privacy policies or Google with their vast amounts of user data from the many services they offer. However, a recent study by Wall Street Journal revealed that mobile apps pose a bigger threat than previously thought. Out of 101 most popular mobile apps tested, about half sent unsolicited private data, like your location, email, gender, age, your phones identifiers and in some cases even ethnicity and sexual orientation to outsiders, usually ad networks. Those networks are in the business of passing on that data to advertisers who can target more and more precisely their potential demographic. (Un)surprisingly, the biggest online ad networks are Google, Facebook and Apple - the very same companies that provide platforms for the apps.