Helsinki

Media Honeypot Shines a Light on European Media Start-Ups in Helsinki

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Heikki Rotko, founder and chairman of Media Honeypot (right), welcomes the crowd at Media Honeypot in Helsinki, as Janina Salo-Glasemann (center), CEO of Media Honeypot, and Ralph Simon (left), CEO of Mobilium Global, look on

The 3rd annual Media Honeypot Helsinki, the gathering of the European media start-up tribes, was another remarkable showing of the strength of media innovation in Europe. This year’s event, held on February 15th at the Crowne Plaza Helsinki, did much more than match the leading media companies in Europe with the leading media start-ups – it reinforced what many of us in the media and telecom industry have known for years: that Europe’s broadcasters are the most progressive in the world, and have been natural incubators for some of the most creative applications of media tech. With last year’s opening of Media City Bergen in Norway, there is much more activity on generating clearly defined start-ups that can address tomorrow’s needs for media companies.

Tomas Franzén, CEO of Bonnier, presents his keynote at Media Honeypot 2018

The Media Honeypot program – expertly curated by Janina Salo-Glasemann and her team – was emceed by the estimable Ralph Simon, whose bon mots in Finnish and Swedish brought more than a few chuckles from the crowd. Tomas Franzén, CEO of Bonnier, discussed how the company has managed to move into the digital space, while also nurturing a venture arm. He reminded the audience that, at its core, Bonnier’s chief job is to promote and protect democracy; a welcome message during these times. Moritz Holzgraefe, with Axel Springer, was one of several major publishers on the lookout for new startups; his company has certainly led the way in transforming a proud old publisher into a digital powerhouse. Laura Avonius, co-founder of Data Refinery, showed how her unit at Aller Media turned the company around by using its own data and spun it off as Data Refinery.

Laura Avonius (left), co-founder and CEO of Data Refinery, presents Data Refinery’s case for publishers

Anthony Herman, now heading up Amazon Web Services in the Nordics, discussed his background as a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, and how that informs his current role. Trygve Refvem, head of MTG Ignite, discussed what a broadcast group looks for in start-up development.

Valerie Vlasenko, from Arctic Startup, introduces the pitching finalists at Media Honeypot

Yet, for all of the prescient case studies and presentations and discussions regarding the next step for European media companies and start-ups, the most impressive aspect of Media Honeypot was the line-up of companies participating in the event. Frankly, one would have been hard put to identify an event that could present the likes of what we saw at the Crowne Plaza Helsinki last Thursday. From Stream Time, developer of a true cross-service EPG to Bibblio, provider of a content relevance and recommendation platform to Adlaunch, creator of an AI-based ad creation platform, there was a surfeit of talent and vision to be matched with the right media company.

And, yes, the pitching competition presented five finalists – Cloudbounce, Utelly, Kieku, Bibblio and Valossa – that virtually advertised the event for anyone paying attention: the leading AI media start-ups are in Europe. Valossa convincingly won the pitching competition, with founder/CEO Mika Rautiainen giving a clear reason for why Valossa delivers value for media companies.

The winner of the Media Honeypot 2018 Pitching Competition was Valossa. Here are, from Valossa: Sami Niski (left), VP of Sales; Mika Rautiainen, founder/CEO (center), and Tommi Karjalainen (right), business development director

Mika Rautiainen, me, and Janina Salo-Glasemann, CEO of Media Honeypot

Heikki Rotko, founder of Media Honeypot, has built something that should only expand in the coming years, as more European broadcasters and publishers seek new revenue streams.

Heikki Rotko (left), with Trygve Refvem, head of MTG Ignite, at Media Honeypot 2018

Chris Pfaff nominated for Amchampion of the Year by AmCham Finland

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Chris Pfaff has been nominated for Amchampion of the Year by Amcham Finland. The announcement of the 2016 Amchampion Awards nominees was made yesterday, June 21st, by Amcham Finland. The 2016 Amchampion Award winners will be announced at Amcham Finland’s Labor Day White Party, on Thursday, September 1st, in Helsinki.

Amcham Finland is an international business-to-business network whose mission is to challenge and equip individuals, businesses and the market to stay ahead of the curve. Based in Helsinki, Finland, Amcham Finland opened its first US office, in New York City, in September, 2014. Headed by Erika Sauer, the Amcham Finland New York office has helped grow the organization’s membership and broaden its global focus through the Launchpad USA brand, which helps Nordic-Baltic and Northern European companies enter the US market.

Chris Pfaff Tech Media joined Amcham Finland in September, 2014, and has helped promote and produce events that Amcham Finland has developed over the past two years, including Slush New York 2015 and the initial Launchpad USA event, at Slush 2015 in Helsinki, where Chris Pfaff interviewed “Estopreneur” Urmas Peiker, co-founder of Funderbeam.

The full list of 2016 Amchampion Awards nominees can be viewed at http://amcham.fi/the-2016-amchampion-awards-nominees/

Slush Investor Ingenuity Event a Major Success; First Launchpad USA Event Features Funderbeam Co-Founder Urmas Peiker

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The Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel’s Bling Bar, in the proud century-old structure located near the Helsinki train station, was the site for the 1st Launchpad USA event, at Slush 2015. Hosted by Mike Klyszeiko, director of AmCham Finland’s Launchpad USA program, which helps prepare Nordic/Baltic ventures for the US market, and Erika Sauer, director of AmCham Finland New York, the official Slush side event, ‘Slush Investor Ingenuity,’ featured a one-on-one with Chris Pfaff and Urmas Peiker, co-founder of Funderbeam, the Estonian venture that provides a dashboard for start-up insights and a blockchain trading platform.

 

Watch video of the first part of the conversation at https://youtu.be/xHz8DiYoQO0.

 

Urmas Peiker, co-founder of Funderbeam, and Chris Pfaff, CEO/founder of Chris Pfaff Tech/Media LLC, at the Radisson Blu Plaza, Helsinki, for the Slush Investor Ingenuity event, 11.11.15

Urmas Peiker and Chris Pfaff at the Slush Investor Ingenuity event

 

More than 90 entrepreneurs and investors crowded the Bling Bar for food, drink, and conversation. And the conversation with Pfaff and Peiker included the following topics and threads:

  • Funderbeam, as an Estonian venture, combines the fearlessness of the “Estopreneur” with an innovative way to disrupt existing markets
  • Urmas Peiker’s background as a regulator with Estonian’s financial supervisory group helped prepare him for the creation of the 2 1/2-year-old Funderbeam
  • Funderbeam was described as “what would happen if Bloomberg Angellist and NASDAQ had a baby”
  • Urmas Peiker described the opportunity for investors to trade, using blockchain, in their start-up investments almost immediately, thereby creating a more vibrant investment ecosyst
  • Funderbeam is looking carefully at the U.S. market, and examining the vagaries of the U.S. regulatory market to try and disrupt the venture community

Pfaff gave a major shout-out to Tarmo Virki, founder and publisher of Co-Founder magazine, which had its launch at Slush 2014. The quarterly publication’s 5th issue arrived at Slush on Tuesday, and features the Slush 100 start-ups. Virki had introduced Pfaff to Peiker.

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Mike Klyszeiko, director of the Launchpad USA program, and Erika Sauer, director of AmCham Finland New York/Launchpad USA, welcome the audience at the Slush Investor Ingenuity event at the Radisson Blu Plaza, Helsinki

 

Pfaff, who had coined the term “Finntrepreneur” in 2011 (initially to market his firm’s ex-Nokian clients who had made the plunge into forced entrepreneurship) coined the term “Estopreneur” at Garage 48 in Tallinn in 2014. Both classes of entrepreneurs are adept at creating essential start-ups with highly innovative concepts, and doing this with few resources.

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Chris Pfaff and Urmas Peiker discuss Funderbeam’s forthcoming launch at the Launchpad USA event at Slush 2015

 

 

The conversation with Peiker also touched on the co-founder’s passion for extreme athletics; Peiker has competed in the Ironman triathlon competition, in Hawaii. He compared the triathlon experience with start-up experience, stating that endurance and focus is required for both pursuits.

 

Funderbeam (www.funderbeam.com) will launch a beta soon.

 

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The inaugural Launchpad USA event was attended by more than 90 people during Slush 2015

 

Chris Pfaff to host session at Slush, Slush Investor Ingenuity, on Wednesday, November 11th at Radisson Blu Plaza, Helsinki

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Chris Pfaff will host a one-on-one session, ‘Expanding EU Ventures into the US: Navigating Financial, Legal, and Intellectual Property Issues,’ with Urmas Peiker,

co-founder of Funderbeam (www.funderbeam.com), at the Slush Investor Ingenuity event, held on Wednesday, November 11th, from 7-9 pm, at the Radisson Blu Plaza, Mikonkatu 23, Helsinki, during Slush 2015.

Urmas Peiker

Urmas Peiker, co-founder, Funderbeam

Produced by Launchpad USA, the Slush Investor Ingenuity event is an exclusive opportunity for Nordic companies to meet with US investors; a chance to sit down, one-on-one, and talk with the right connections about international investment possibilities that could help foster your company’s growth. If you are interested in having discussions with veterans of the global venture community about ways to scale your business, please make sure to register for the event today using the RSVP link at https://www.lyyti.fi/group/SLUSH_1115_5982

For more information, see the event page at http://amcham.fi/event/slush-investor-ingenuity

 

/Radisson Blu Plaza Helsinki

Radisson Blu Plaza, Helsinki