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wearable tech

Yle Media Startup Accelerator Themes, part 2: Local media. In the coming weeks we’ll feature some of the themes at Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program and share some interesting things that have caught our attention. See also the list of the themes on the application page

Local newspapers seem to be shrinking or even dying everywhere. Still, the need for local information and content is probably as evident as it ever was. Facebook and other digital services have changed the landscape thoroughly, but there will be opportunities for many kinds of local media services.

When talking about local media, there’s been a lot of talk about big ideas, such as, citizen journalism, but in reality “local” seem to have been driven by check-ins and occasional reader submitted picture you see as part of a news story. Certainly, there are good examples of local media services that have successfully made the transition from paper to digital. Services, such as white/yellow pages or restaurant guides have become even more relevant and useful when they were brought to digital. When was the last time you checked a restaurant from a paper book? Or maybe you’ve already tried local, peer-to-peer marketplaces, such as Neighborgoods or Sharetribe?

Sure, many well-publicized attempts to create local and hyperlocal media services have so far been unsuccessful (e.g., Patch). Still, many believe that local and regional media has hope and many kinds of opportunities. Many of these services will be driven by advertising, but how and by whom will it be made practical even for the long-tail, ie. the small barber shop that want to advertise for the last minute opening.

Again, new technology may enable new opportunities also for the local media offering. For example, wearable tech will make the hyperlocal content more targeted and much easier to access.

Anyway, I have a feeling that no one has really cracked the local media honeypot, yet. Be it citizen journalism, local info, community news/sharing/etc., local advertising media, the field is still wide open for new innovations that the customers will love.

Do you have a great idea for a local media service? Remember to apply for the Yle Media Startup Accelerator by August 15th.

– Topi Järvinen (twitter.com/topij)

 

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wearable tech

Yle Media Startup Accelerator Themes, part 1: Wearable tech. In the coming weeks we’ll feature some of the themes at Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program and share some interesting things that have caught our attention. See also the list of the themes on the application page

Wearable technology has been one of the hot topics lately. Health related innovations have been the key driver in the discussion, but especially media services seem to hold a lot of promise for every day use. Already some media and technology companies are testing how they can offer new ways to consume content in new wearable devices. The early experiments with, for example, fitting an RSS feed to wearable devices, don’t offer much additional value offer basic mobile devices. Still, we can already see that wearable tech has the potential to become a very important media consumption and creation platform.

Some of the most interesting things seem to be happening around connected watches. For example, Google’s Android Wear together with Google Now shows how in the future just by looking at our wrist, we can easily glance contextual and hopefully always relevant information and content. Of course, there’s going to be intense competition by the technology giants in the hardware as well as in the software platforms, so there should be a lot of opportunities for innovative startups to take advantage of they can offer.

Another interesting media-related opportunity is how wearable tech will enable new ways to create content. New wearable devices, such as Google Glasses, let you record your activities with photos, videos and location data. Combined with physical measurements and other real-time information, there will be entirely new opportunities for doing news stories or just sharing personal experiences.

Do you have a great idea for combining wearable tech, media and content? Remember to apply for the Yle Media Startup Accelerator by August 15th.

– Topi Järvinen (twitter.com/topij)

 

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Katja Meriläinen

Who are you?

My name is Katja Meriläinen and I work as a project coordinator for Nestholma’s YLE Media Startup Accelerator program. My task is to take care of all the startups joining our program and make them love it.

Tell us more about the program!

YLE Media Startup Accelerator Program is a free intensive three-month (16th September to 11th December 2014) program in Helsinki. We are looking for startups from Finland and abroad that have an innovative media service or technology solution.

Ok, so what will I get as a startup?

Participating startups will get a unique opportunity to work with YLE’s media, content and technology experts and learn from them. I’ll personally make sure that you’ll get to know other startups as well as our mentors and have good time with them. Finally, you have a possibility to get funding from Nestholma, our investor network and from Tekes.

Who can apply and how?

All startups from Finland and abroad that have an innovative media service or technology solution can apply to our program. To have just an idea is enough, but make sure you have a capable team to apply with you. Go to bit.ly/mediastartup. Last day to apply is Friday 15th August.

Contact Katja: email: katja (at) nestholma.com | LinkedIn

 

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Topi Järvinen

Nestholma Mentors’ Voice, part 4: Topi Järvinen. In the coming weeks we’ll showcase mentors that will be active in the Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program. We’ve already featured Will Cardwell, Antti Kosunen and Pentti Mansukoski. Check back soon to see others.

Who are you?

I’m a product guy. I’ve done tens of products and services in many different types of companies (multinational telco, digital agency, startup). My strength is in combining technology and business understanding and passion for learning everyday about how to do thing better. I’ll focus quite a bit on helping the startups to make sure their product solves an important problem that the customers are willing to pay for.

Why the Yle Media Startup Accelerator is important?

Nestholma’s accelerator program with Yle and Elisa is a great way startups to learn from two important companies. They will have a unique opportunity to meet and connect with the experts and decision-makers that want to help the startups. They’ll also get daily help and tools for making their idea and product ready for international growth

What is one important thing for every startup to keep in mind?

Your goal should always be to something that someone is willing to pay for. Don’t be afraid to be wrong or adjust your thinking based on customer feedback. Very few people make money by being visionaries without listening the customers.

More about Topi in LinkedIn

 

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Pentti Mansukoski

Nestholma Mentors’ Voice, part 3: Pentti Mansukoski. In the coming weeks we’ll showcase mentors that will be active in the Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program. We’ve already featured Will Cardwell and Antti Kosunen Check back soon to see others.

Who are you?

Just two or three years back I was an investment banker with Nordea. I have a banking career of 28 years, including titles such as executive director and head of corporate finance, Nordic head of acquisition finance, head of large corporate customers in Finland, head of commercial banking at the New York branch etc. The last eight years with Nordea I was working dominantly as a financial advisor in M&A and equity transactions.

I made the career change to align better working hours with my personal interests and, I believe, my skills and talents. Currently I’m self employed, working through our family company Elfhill Oy. I am a professional photographer – my passion since age of 15. In addition, I work with selected start-ups as advisor/mentor and also as an investor. We also have tiny book publishing activities, an area we plan to develop in near term future. I also keep my previous profession active by advising few companies in financing issues and in general financial management.

In the past I have analyzed hundreds of different businesses, many of which I have worked with extensively, debating the strategies with top management teams or owners. This has given me a solid basis to evaluate business concepts and strategies – indeed I think I’m pretty good in picking up business concepts regardless of industry in question. Extensive managerial and leadership experience is useful when thinking what motivates people and why the do what they do. Adding to this my keen interest in visual communication, pictures, videos and everything related I feel Nestholma’s activity is a unique opportunity for me to utilize pretty much all skills I’ve accumulated so far..

Why the Yle Media Startup Accelerator is important?

I believe Yle Media Startup Accelerator is a great initiative for a host of reasons: we all are broadly aware of ongoing media changes but it will be more dramatic, faster and more unexpected than most of us can imagine. The Accelerator may allow Yle not just quickly follow the media market but also create completely new services. I think Yle has a very, very important role in the Finnish media industry. However, it is important that Yle is constantly looking for new ideas, services and ways to play its role even better, to the joy and benefit of all citizens. The Accelerator is a good method to bring in fresh ideas and initiatives in a cost effective, well managed way.

What is one important thing for every startup to keep in mind?

There are several pitfalls which start-ups face at some point. I have too often seen that the start-up team has fallen in love with their idea, or with the path they selected to use in commercializing the idea. The trap then is to start denying customer feedback or other clear signals saying they should change the course. So, if one important thing is chosen, I would underline the importance of listening to the market and prospective customers – and if one chooses to proceed against these signals, he or she should make sure it is done based on a solid, well-thought decision.

More about Pentti in LinkedIn

 

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Antti Kosunen

Nestholma Mentors’ Voice, part 2: Antti Kosunen. In the coming weeks we’ll showcase mentors that will be active in the Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program. Last week we already featured Will Cardwell. Check back soon to see others.

Who are you?

Serial entrepreneur. Founded several software companies e-learning/BI/internet. Done several exits and invested tens of tech companies through Butterfly Ventures and myself. I have strong background with patents, business model development and financing, but now I am seriously interested in lean startups.

Why the Yle Media Startup Accelerator is important?

Cooperation between large organisations and startups is today’s way to learn and scale. It’s a real win-win. Nestholma’s role is to create a bridge between them. And help start ups to validate their ideas and concepts.

What is one important thing for every startup to keep in mind?

Validate. Validate. Validate. And apply to Nestholma’s accelerator programs =)

 

More about Antti in LinkedIn

 

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Will Cardwell

Nestholma Mentors’ Voice, part 1: Will Cardwell. In the coming weeks we’ll showcase mentors that will be active in the Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program. The first mentor is Will Cardwell. Check back soon to see others.

Who are you?

I have been working either as an investor, entrepreneur or CEO in Finnish startup’s since 1996.  I have been lucky enough to work in one way or another with a number of great Finnish entrepreneurs like Jari Ovaskainen at iobox, Risto Siilasmaa of F-Secure, and Pekka Sivonen of Digia, among others. Also with plenty of cases that did not fly.  I am good at helping with customer and investor development, and in general implementing lean methodologies.

Why the Yle Media Startup Accelerator is important?

The media industry is under massive restructuring, offering opportunity and risk to companies big and small.   In order to capitalise, a new open mindset is necessary, and YLE’s Media Startup Accelerator is a great model for this.

What is one important thing for every startup to keep in mind?

Only strong understanding of how to create an extraordinary customer experience will enable startups and big companies alike to thrive.  Get out of the building!

 

More about Will in LinkedIn

 

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While the rest of Europe are getting ready for summer vacations, we at Nestholma are busy at preparing our new accelerator program for media startups in partnership with YLE, Finland’s national public service broadcasting company. This is a perfect example of the kind of work Nestholma does to connect big companies and startups.

Yle Media Startup Accelerator

Check out the details of the Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program and some background in the announcement by Yle and Nestholma. It’ll be a great opportunity for the startups to work with one of the most interesting media companies in the world. Applications are open open until August 15th.

The cooperation with Yle is a good example of the kinds of accelerator programs Nestholma will be doing in the future. Just like a startup, we’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what is it what we really should do.

We asked ourselves and others what are the best and most beneficial ways to work with startups and help them to the next level. We realized that one of the things missing, was an easy way for startups to connect with bigger companies and vice versa.

Startups have speed and ideas, but lack funding and thorough market understanding. The situation for big companies is exactly the opposite. Certainly some startups want to conquer the world by themselves, but for many a partnership with a bigger company will speed up the time to money significantly. The problem is that it’s usually really hard for startups to find the right people to talk to. For big companies most startups just look too insignificant to justify spending time with them.

This is where Nestholma comes in. We set up the startup accelerator program for a specific area or vertical that the big company is interested in. This allows them to meet many interesting companies in a structured setting that doesn’t take up too much of their time, but allows them to concentrate on only the things that matter. For the startups the program gives direct access to industry experts and key decision makers. On top of all this, the accelerator program gives the startups all the tools they need to build the next big thing.

Nestholma model

One of the key things at Nestholma is the help that the startups receive from mentors. For each program we carefully select mentors that have unique insights and expertise relevant for the startups. Some of the mentors come from the partner company and some are from Nestholma’s own mentor roster.

In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce the mentors that will be working with the startups in the YLE Media Startup Program. Check back here at the Nestholma blog to hear who they are and what they have to say about the media startup accelerator.

— Topi Järvinen (twitter.com/topij)