What comes to your mind when you think of startup hubs? Silicon Valley, Berlin? Those are no doubt some of the best-known cities in that context. But we all know the world of startups is always in motion! New centers of innovative entrepreneurship come up like rising stars and offer new possibilities. Just like Helsinki! Finland’s capital has evolved to an innovative stronghold and surely is a city to keep an eye on. Helsinki is said to host over 500 tech startups and holds its share at the Nordic countries having Europe’s fastest growing startup scene. Let us dive deeper into the strengths, weaknesses and special powers of Helsinki as a tech startup hub!
Our CODE_n15 Finalist Cozify wants to bring home automation to everyone. We talked to Antti Vihavainen, business developer at Cozify, about the origins of the idea, their vision, as well as the rather surprising results of their own market research.
Where did your idea for the company come from?
Antti Vihavainen (Cozify): It originated directly from the need of Kimmo Ruotoistenmäki, the co-founder and CEO of Cozify. He was renovating an old house to be used as the home for his family and planned to invest in home automation. However, it turned out that traditional home automation is cumbersome to design, buy, implement and use. Moreover, the result would be static and not evolve as technology develops during the life cycle of the house. So Kimmo and Tony Risikko, the other co-founder, decided to revolutionize home automation by enabling retrofitting with state-of-the-art smart devices and easy automation of actions.
For which kind of audience is your product or service intended and what problem is it solving?
Antti Vihavainen (Cozify): Based on our own primary market research which was conducted in Finland, Germany and the USA, we have determined that there are three distinct consumer target groups with slightly varying preferences regarding application area (comfort/security/energy), functionality and pricing. Right from the beginning the product was planned for use by the early majority and not the early adopters – even if their developer access needs will also be accommodated.
“Can you see the future? It is in your hands.” That is how Avansera Oy presents itself. The Finnish startup, that combines historic behavioral data with calculated future intent, can predict what consumers will buy.
Cormac Walsh, CEO and Founder of Avansera Oy, talks in today’s interview about how Big Data can benefit the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods companies and retailers. As one of the Top 50 finalists, he also tells us his experience at CODE_n’s hall during the CeBIT.
Why create a startup like Avansera Oy?
There is a strong need from the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry to see what shoppers are doing in the physical world; this is the core of the need for our customers. To provide the necessary context, let us look at the current market analysis business. Consumer behavioral data is collected through online activity related to online activity, or through questionnaires and focus groups. These approaches are limited in terms of reach and accuracy. Online data collection related to online behavior misses the behavior in the physical world, whereas traditional questionnaires and focus grouping have low accuracy and are very expensive (non-scalable).
In Avansera Oy, we deal with both of these issues. By providing accurate and scalable consumer digital services specifically relevant to the physical world, we can offer a high-value service at a lower price point than the traditional competition.
In an average week in the EU, there are over 600,000,000 grocery trips, not much of this physical data is currently being collected. At Avansera Oy, we want to collect as much of it as we can, and use it to benefit industry and society.