Finland is undeniably one of the hottest spots in the world for startups. From Linux to Supercell’s Clash of the Clans, Finland has given us tons of amazing innovations that got their start from a startup.
And happily, Finland’s startup culture is still in full swing. New startups are popping up all the time, offering fresh, unique products ranging from mobile games to environmentally-conscious life changers. So which Finnish startups should you be watching in 2015? Read on to find out.
LUUP is a Helsinki-based app studio set to change how we share videos. The new startup has created a fantastic movie making app that lets you put together four-scene HD video footage in seconds, resulting in creative, shareable short movies of life’s magic moments. What makes it so special is the super simple way it lets you adds background music from a library of licensed tunes. Not only is LUUP a great way to experience video, but it’s also tons of fun to use. We predict this will do to mobile filmmaking what Instagram did to mobile photography.
Here in Finland, a good heating system is vital to survive the long winters. Unfortunately that can also mean high energy consumption and even higher bills. Luckily, Fourdeg is a startup with big plans that just might change how we heat our homes and offices forever, offering energy-efficient solutions for water-radiator heated buildings. The startup’s smart algorithms let you control temperature while driving down costs, benefitting both your wallet and Mother Earth. It’s no wonder Fourdeg was recently named the winner of Arctic15’s 2015 Pitching Competition!
It may seem there’s an app for everything these days, but there’s always room for innovation. Apped is a new startup that plans to fill in the app gap with a selection of mobile apps that are designed to increase work efficiency and productivity. Created by Helsinki’s top stars in IT and gaming, Apped has several apps in the works that just might shake up how work gets done.
You’ve been traveling for 20 hours. You’re exhausted. You’re wandering around the airport, robotically browsing through gift shops as you wait for your next flight. In short, all you want is a bed. Well, thanks to GoSleep and their GoSleep Pods, this dream just may become reality for you in the near future. GoSleep’s pods are designed to give travelers a relaxing break in the middle of the bustling airport, with everything you need to kick back and unwind as you endure your layover, including luggage storage, a movable privacy shade, and even USB and main chargers. GoSleep Pods can be found in several airports around the world, including Finland’s own Helsinki-Vanta.
Wallpaper is something that often fades into the background, but Helsinki startup Feathr is determined to change that with their fantastic selection of artist-designed wallpaper. Feathr lets you shop for unique styles that are designed by independent artists that are printed on demand and without huge markups, with royalties going straight to the designer. As Feathr says, “Our mission is to fill the world with more art and less decoration.”
Coding and programming are more important than ever, but getting children interested can be a difficult task. Hello Ruby is a startup publishing a children’s book coming in Fall 2015 that promises to combine computing and storytelling in a way that gets kids excited about learning how to code. The project is lead by programmer Linda Liukas, who got things rolling with a very successful Kickstarter campaign.
We can all agree that a viable solution to world hunger would be fantastic. EntoCube, a startup based in Espoo, believes they have a solution that just might work: crickets. EntoCube has taken on the mission of ending malnourishment by coming up with the idea for mass producing edible insects in shipping containers, which can be sent around the world and used as sustainable protein farms. Sound crazy? According to EntoCube, 80% of the world’s cultures already include insects in their cuisine, but often lack the means to reliably produce them for consumption. Their environmentally-friendly product would allow people to farm insects, helping to curb hunger and malnourishment and provide local work.
Helsinki-dwellers may have already heard of Wolt, the magical app for iPhone and Android that lets you cut restaurant queues. Wolt lets you order food and drinks from over 200 Helsinki restaurants and bars, pay for it on your phone, and pick it up — all without having to wait in a queue. Participating establishments receive your order on a tablet and send you a notification when your order is ready. For those outside of Helsinki, Wolt has plans to expand to European food chains in the future.
Mobile gaming fans are likely already familiar with Seriously, the Helsinki/Los Angeles startup behind the popular puzzle game Best Fiends. Getting its start in 2013, Seriously has made a big name for itself with its creativity-focused “mobile first experience” that keeps gamers glued to their phones. The followup to Best Fiends is due later this year, and we can’t wait to see what the award-winning startup has up their sleeve for games lovers this time around.
Smartblock is a cool solution to those unruly, unfocused business meetings. It’s a cube that comes complete with everything you need to conduct a small meeting or presentation: table, seats, lighting, HD display screen, cables, and power outlets. Because it’s portable, you can use Smartblock anywhere you might need a quiet space to sit and get some business done, such as busy open offices or pop-up shops.
The textile industry comes with a slew of issues that threaten the environment, from production pollution to excess wastes. Pure Waste Textiles is a Helsinki-based startup that aims to do whatever it takes to make a difference by producing fabrics, garments and yarns that are made from 100% pre-consumer recycled textiles. Drawing inspiration from Finland’s close connection with clean environments and recycling, Pure Waste Textiles aims for sustainability and ecologically-sound products.
Nimble Devices is the startup behind Steerpath, an indoor navigation framework for mobile apps that has the potential to revolutionize how we experience indoor events and places. Steerpath works by using Bluetooth and beacon technology, providing users with situational awareness and letting them find their way around easily. Steerpath has been used in several apps already, such as Navigate, which helps blind people navigate train stations, and Slush’s own conference app.
If you’re a gamer, you may be all too familiar with how difficult it can be to discover quality indie games. Happily, Playfield is here to solve that problem. Created by Helsinki game studio Sharkpunch, Playfield is a new gaming discovery platform offering a cool place for gamers to hang out online and check out the best indie games. The visually-focused site lets gamers vote, comment, share and more, connecting gamers with the games they’ll love.
Kathleen Harris is a digital content producer at Ink Tank Media in Helsinki, Finland. She loves to write about content marketing, social media, history, and language. Check her out on Twitter for more information.