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Blog about the web and startups, from Finland. By Timo Paloheimo

TripSay Launches – Gets Good PR

TripSay, the Finnish social travel startup, that I’ve covered a few times before has opened up to public beta.  The company has done good PR work, since the launch is covered – among others – in two of the biggest startup blogs TechCrunch and Mashable. The launch story also made it onto Techmeme.

Overall the launch has gotten quite a lot of nice publicity. Most of the reviews have been positive, although some have questioned the business models of social travel sites in general, which was not a problem back in January when I did in my first post about Tripsay (It was called Vailoma back then).

Anyway, Congratulations to Leo and Juha and the rest of the TripSay team for the launch. Too bad I’ll miss the launch party tomorrow. Also remember that the work has just started.

See what other people are talking about the Tripsay launch:

Techmeme discussion
Discussion on Friendfeed
Google Blog search

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Startups From Finland: Open Problem Bank – Good Idea Waiting To Become Modest Failure

Open Problem Bank is a Finnish startup in pre-alpha phase, seeking seed funding and recruiting staff and board members. The company is hoping to create a crowd-sourced database of technical problems of any kind. From the Open Problem Bank website:

Open Problem Bank is a project that aims to collect open technical problems into a searchable database for the public to use freely. People are invited to submit problems into the bank. The problems submitted in the bank should be ideas of devices that somebody could design and build. You don’t have to know how the device you have in mind works, you just have to know why it would be needed or why it would be useful.

The company is founded earlier this year by a Finnish Business Intelligence Specialist Nisse Suutarinen who has been very kind in posting a preliminary business plan on their site. The business plan reveals that they are seeking a seed funding of 50000USD, which would give an investor 25% of equity. The same 50k would also cover the costs of getting the service to beta and also running costs for the first year. Doesn’t seem that much, does it?

Good idea, what about the execution?

The idea of the Open Problem Bank is good. The idea was awarded at Cambrian House, a site that is focused on developing crowdsourcing-based companies. I just feel that Mr. Suutarinen is aimed too low in his plans. There should be more effort put into developing a good idea into a successful business than can be found in his plans. Open Problem Bank will probably find its 50k and develop into a modest one man business before fading away into the ever-expanding sea of unsuccesful executions of a good ideas. I hope Mr. Suutarinen proves me wrong. All the luck in your efforts Nisse.

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Fruugo Wants To Become The Trusted 3rd Party Of Ecommerce

The guys of Arctic Startup met with Fruugo’s CEO Reijo Syrjäläinen this morning and got to ask what Fruugo is all about. I was also invited to the meeting but was unfortunately unable to join them.

According to the story, Fruugo is building a platform that will enable customers to make purchases online in an easier, simpler and safer way. The company is aiming to become “the trusted 3rd party of ecommerce”.

Fruugo still doesn’t reveal too much about themselves, but their service will be available in closed beta in a few months. Fruugo will update their website on Monday with some more information.

The answer to the mystic equation 1L + 1M + 1P =? was also mentioned in the story. It is “1 Language + 1 Mind + 1 Purpose = Success”. We’ll have to see what that will entail in the future.

[The whole story on Arctic Startup]

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The Key To Succesful Startup PR: Build Trust Before You Need It

Brian Solis wrote a profound article on TechCrunch called PR Secrets for Startups. He lists many good tips all startups should know about public relations, including Understand You’re Not the Only Story in Town, Don’t Launch on Mondays and Measure Success, Not Traffic.

Many of his advice are very important for startups, where ever they are coming from. Solis writes about the role of the founder in attending and creating conversations and making contacts all the time.

As Solis points out, blogging is one natural way for a founder to get into the conversation. He should comment on other blogs and write articles that link back to his own or company blog. He should of course make contacts with journalists and bloggers at conferences and other networking events. Most importantly, and I can’t stress this enough, contacts should be made and the reputation built before they are needed.

One good example of Finnish startups that are active commentators on blogs and have a good blog of their own are they guys of Scred. I see their comments often at places like TechCrunch and Arctic Startup. But I believe that they could be even more active in their own blog. Other Finnish startups should definitely do the same.

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Startups from Finland: Everyplay: Stealth Social Gaming Startup

Everyplay logo

Everyplay is a new Finnish “social Gaming Startup operating in stealth mode”. Vierityspalkki reports (in Finnish) that the company’s founder and CEO is Jussi Laakkonen, who previously worked for another Finnish game company Bugbear, the makers of Flatout.

They only information on Everyplay’s home page is their vision: Read more…

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Fruugo – Still In Stealth, But Building Top-Notch Marketing Team

Fruugo, the mysterious Finnish startup that is developing some kind of an e-commerce platform and has investors such as ex-Nokia-CEO Jorma Ollila, lifted their shroud of secrecy a little in an article in the Finnish advertising magazine Markkinointi & Mainonta (article in Finnish). In the article they announce that they have appointed as Marketing Director a seasoned and well-connected veteran of Finnish e-commerce and digital marketing Janne Waltonen.

Read more…

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More Finnish Startup Events: Startup Developers Gathering, BarCamp

A few days ago I wrote about the web startup community in Finland. Since then I’ve heard about a few more events for startups in Finland.

Startup developers gathering
Read more…

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Finnish Startups: You’re (I’m) Not Alone

This post was long overdue. When I started this blog about six months ago, it was quite hard to find information and contacts from Finnish web startups and I foolishly felt that I was quite alone in my interest. The situation was not that bad before but it has improved quite a lot during this time. Nevertheless, more could be done.

Blogs and events Read more…

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Scred Adds Direct Screding

– a Finnish startup for handling finances and debt amongst friends and on trips – has added Direct Scredding, i.e. it is now possible to share costs with people who are not already registered at Scred. This is definitely a major improvement to an already very useful tool. More on other improvements to the service can be found at The Scred Blog.

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Mahshelf – YouTube for Books – in Public Beta

Mahshelf logo

Earlier today I received an email from Odin Chen, one of the three students that founded Mahshelf (which I dubbed earlier “YouTube for books”) that their site has opened into public beta testing, as they promised they would do in April.

Mahshelf is a service where users can upload images, bind them into flash-books and share them with other users and around the web.

There hasn’t been much changes to the site since the private beta, besides some little ui-changes (notably on the front page and their blog), but they should be launching a new book reading application (with an embedding option) some time next week.

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