One of the most competitive places on the planet is Silicon Valley. Almost every startup in the world fantasizes about turning their dreams into reality in this startup playground of opportunity. If you have been immersed in the startup world - it's probably no surprise to you that Scandinavia, Sweden in particular, is pumping out successful companies left and right.
After my recent trip to Silicon Valley and hours spent going between different startup events in Scandinavia, there were three companies in particular that really caught my eye:
Gobi: While Sweden garners quite a bit of attention for their startup achievements, that doesn't mean you should put their neighbor Norway on the backburner. Recently Gobi, one of Norway's hottest startup's took the leap to Silicon Valley battle ready to play hardball with Snapchat. If you're a Snapchat user, this particular startup will be right up your alley.
Gobi is a mobile app similar to Snapchat that allows you to snap in groups, a functionality that has yet to exist within Snapchat. Users can easily upload spontaneous content such as photos and videos to share with groups they create or join. Like Snapchat, users can decide the duration of their content's availability, choose whom they wish to share it with and add cool features such as stickers and filters.
The app was developed by five students from the Norwegian Institute of Science & Technology after they created a Snapchat bot to enable group chat for their university which was repeatedly shut down by Snapchat after it reached 4,000 users in one day.
"What started out as something fun for our friends at the university turned into an app with users from around the world, and suddenly attracted the interest from big investors. We never planned for this, but as soon as we understood what was happening we dropped everything we had in our hands and moved to Silicon Valley" said Gobi CEO/Co-Founder Kristoffer Lande.
Gobi is backed by big names such as the world's third youngest billionare, Norwegian native Gustav Magnar Witzø and Olympian gold medalist Petter Northug. Snapchat better have its game face ready, looks like Gobi is ready to conquer.
CELLINK: The world of 3D bioprinting is booming which calls for immense opportunity for those who come up with ways to enhance this industry. As I stumbled upon CELLINK, the first bioink company in the world for printing human organs and tissue, I knew I had come across a gem.
"I started CELLINK because there were 3D bioprinter companies popping up everywhere selling bioprinters but no one was selling the ink. I saw there was a significantly unmet need on the market for standardized bioinks for printing of human organs and tissue" said CELLINK CEO/Co-Founder Erik Gatenholm.
CELLINK has the ability to be used on a vast range of 3D bioprinters. In just a short time span, CELLINK has won several awards in Scandinavia, the most recent being the winner of Nordic Startup Awards in Sweden. After capitalizing on their success in the Nordics, they knew it was time to establish themselves in no other than Silicon Valley. CELLINK's office in Palo Alto has opened several doors for new customers and has helped them make a name for themselves in the U.S. Market. Gatenholm believes although ordering and discussing the product can be done over the phone, proximity to their customers quickly became a top priority as they built their customer base in the US.
CELLINK also develops biomaterial solutions for researchers around the globe. Let's see what the world has in store for this exciting Swedish startup!
Lookback: Every app on the market wants to have the best user experience (UX) possible, but unless you have very specific feedback how are you supposed to know what to fix? Luckily, there is a tool on the market that may have just answered your prayers - Lookback.
Lookback is a UX research platform that helps you create better apps and websites. Two ex-Spotify engineers in Sweden teamed up in 2013 to develop a tool that allows you to collect and record user experiences without extra hardware solutions. Lookback has the ability to capture the screen, face, voice and all hand movements on the device. Once this data is collected it is automatically uploaded to your dashboard.
When the majority of Lookback's users were US based, the next logical step for them was to move to Silicon Valley. "We knew we had to make the move, almost all of our users were in the bay area." said Lookback Chief Marketing Officer Mai-Li Hammargren. In 2015 the team relocated to the bay area and has since reaped the benefits.
Currently Lookback has some of the biggest names in tech as users, some of which they will publically announce in just a few days. If you're looking for the solution to enhance your UX just "Lookback".