In my search for ways to improve Scred service I will connect with our target groups by meeting them and talking about what they do and how they deal with internal financing as a group. This is the first of a series of posts that will be out throughout the summer where I explore the pains and sorrows of book-keeping and accounting, or rather how to avoid them, and Scred’s high and low points that we can build on or fix.
My first guinea-pig is a Finnish indie rock band called The RAN. They shared with me some of their history and what solutions they currently use to track and share finances within their group.
Two Turks, two Finns and a Russian – the RAN is a multinational band that was started back in 2007 as a ‘family business’. Can and Ali, the founders of the band, knew each other from family relations but on top of that they both liked making and playing music. They found two more band members online via Muusikoiden.net and were later joined by a guitar player.
The RAN describes the music genre they play as post-punk revival. ‘Music is big part of our lives: we practice quite a lot but our minds are busy with music everyday’ – says Can. The band borrowed their name from a Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet Ran who was expelled from the Ottoman Empire for his communist views. While neither communist nor in exile, Ali and Can still sympathized with the longing for home that inspired a lot of N.H.Ran’s work. That and the fact that The RAN sounds cool and can mean loads of different things is why guys chose this name for their band.
Small Indie bands in Helsinki do not earn shiploads but they still need to keep track of the money they make and spend as a band. The RAN used to have a manager who helped them with that but he quit due to the lack of time and guys had to start sorting out band’s finances by themselves.
Band members prefer to settle payments informally, quickly and as easily as possible. A pretty useful solution for book-keeping is Google docs, though it still takes a lot of manual input and additional work. The RAN agreed that Scred offers another solution that makes accounting easier and helps keep track of finances over time, though the user interface needs modifications (Scred team took notice and the work is in full swing to fix that).
Check out The RAN’s upcoming gig on June 22nd in Club YK (Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 21) http://bit.ly/dtdsG8.
This year Europe’s largest happening on mobile opportunities in Africa is organized in Helsinki, Finland, on September 30th, 2010. This event will bring together 500 mobile professionals from small and large companies as well as public trade organizations from European and African markets. If you work or are interested in mobile industry this event is a must!
Registration is now open. Early bird tickets can be bought throughout June for €70, in July-August they’d cost you €95 and if you purchase them in September you’d have to pay €150. Note: if you register 2+ people from the same company you get a 15% discount per ticket!
The event is organized by Mobile Brain Bank which is a non-profit open network of mobile entrepreneurs and professionals. It was founded in August 2009 and has organized many events around Finland and abroad to connect people, brainstorm and share ideas on mobile entrepreneurship.
Ticketing system for the event is handled by Fläbät – a new service created by Scred. The service is in public beta and has already helped many event organizers in Finland to handle their ticket sales. Fläbät takes pride in being extremely simple and easy to use since it’s stripped off any extra hassle, hidden costs or long confirmation and waiting time. Hard to believe – try it out when buying your Mobile Africa ticket!
In the heart of the old town on a beautiful sunny weekend over 50 people sat in dark rooms glued to the projector screens typing away on their laptops. That was the StartupJam Balticsheld in Vilnius on the last weekend of May.
Our colleagues from the Baltics managed to put together a cool (un)conference that attracted people from Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and even Belarus! In addition to informative workshops we got to know some appealing start-ups in the region. Below is a
short description of some of the presentations from the event.
This local start-up supports local farmers by selling their goods through an online shop. It’s a great example of how to help farmers and deliver organic locally-grown food to people’s homes.
This ambitious start-up is building an exciting browser-based online space strategy game with a plethora of cool features. The game is in open beta at the moment and creators are promising $25 worth of gaming items if you join and test the game now. The launch is said to be early this summer so grab your chances while you can!
This website helps you sell and swap clothes and accessories. Currently it is oriented only for Lithuania but expansion to UK and Germany are on the way.
While there are a few websites out there that help you exchange and sell things (some Finnish examples being Netcycler and Huuto.net), it’s interesting that this start-up chose to cover one niche only – clothing and accessories. We’re eager to see their progress!
This Polish start-up is offering a platform for recruitment that claim to greatly reduce the cost of hiring. They cooperate with existing job boards and use other channels for promoting job offers (careers page, social networking platforms etc.).
Many foreigners do business and live in the Baltics but there is a lack of information and news in English, which makes it hard to invest into local markets. BalticReports is the only online news bulletin in English that reports from the Baltic region with the help of professional journalists. They have experimented with different business models and are currently in search of new ways to monetize online journalism.
These innovative guys from Latvia offer ‘the simplest photo-sharing on the web’. Your profile won’t be linked to that of anyone else’s and there will be no ads on your page. They claim it’s ‘so easy – your grandma could use it’. While the service would be free once it’s launched, you’d need to pay $9 to test the beta version unless you get an invite.
…and there were more start-ups present! Best of luck for all of them – it’s exciting to have a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.
P.S. Taking a roadtrip from Helsinki to Vilnius definitely rocks!