Posted on March 22nd, 2015 No comments
It all started because of two men – Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann. The official story tells that both men came across the same old trouble – loosing money on their transfers. But being a good friends helped as they decided to top up each others bank accounts using Reuters mid-market rate. So, Kristo paid to Taavet the amount of his salary in pounds to London highstreet bank account and Taavet topped up Kristos account with euros in Tallinn. Doing that on monthly basis boys couldn’t stop thinking that there must be many more people like them who might need it as a service… and so the Transferwise was born. Surely there was something to do with this Skype thing where Taavet continued his work as the very first emploee. Inspirational as it was then, so became peer-to-peer useful once again. It is no secret that banks are taking off abuout 4-5% of money we sending overseas. As Kristo and Taavet figured out that there was no actual need to send money over physically they created a much smarter system to save our hard earned pennies So, how it works? Just check out the next video:
Now, if You think that You or your friend might need this groovy solution then go & check out the instructions and click here to get your first absolutely free transfer sorted. On later transactions there will be a fee as little as 0,5% which is about 10 times less than banks charge us. To learn more about Transferwise watch Matt Covan interview with Taavet Hinrikus @ Cass Business School. TW is now operating on 101 currency routes and has established its presence at US market just a month ago.
* TransferWise has received investments for further development from Sir Richard Brandson, Peter Thiel, Index Ventures, IA Ventures, Seedcamp and the latest by Andreessen Horowitz in total of $91M , which values this company close to $1BN benchmark.
Posted on February 16th, 2015 No comments
The word “Cyber” is increasingly important in both civil and war terms. Therefore Estonia is taking steps further in cyber security. First of all we train people for those extraordinary jobs and then we test them also A great initiative has come from Estonian Information Technology College who invited students for the first Cyberolympic Games in Europe last Saturday, 14th February.
The event was opened by Kusti Salm, rep of Estonia to NATO and by the Chief of Cyber Range CPT Uko Valtenberg. After 8 hours intensive defending of computer systems from the Pineapplian Empire’ winners were next :
1. Jaanus Kääp, Estonian Information Technology College, Development of IT systems
2. Henri Ots, Estonian Information Technology College, Administration of IT systems
3. Andres Elliku, Tallinn University of Technology, Cyberdefence
There were 21 olympians participating in total including one lady. Event was supported by the Estonian Ministry of Defence, Tallinn University of Technology, Guardtime, ByteLife Solutions, Sisco Systems, and the cyber security company Vequrity.
Posted on November 15th, 2014 No comments
The first TehnoHack, organized by Skeemipesa @Mektory TUT was a successful event with more than 150 participants from 8 countries. Here is my interview with one of the organizers Tanel Kerstna for you:
Final results of those 15 teams which started on Friday 24th October can be seen at Skeemipesa homepage . As confirmed by the manager of the event Heigo Mölder there will be second TehnoHack coming up next year indeed :)
* And this my dear friends was also the very first time when Invention News was aired in public.
Posted on November 5th, 2014 No comments
We all know that fire can do a massive damage and it does take a lot of time and effort to stop it. Luckily there is a Godgiven man on the planet who has done a scientific work and thousands of tests to work out new technologies which can shut the fire down with a lot less water and effort. This man is the Professor Vladimir D. Zakhmatov. As we have a war going on in Ukraine right now, Professor Zakhmatov has stopped his work at his homeland and planning to open up the competence & training centre of his new method in Estonia. Therefore newly founded company PulsTech OÜ is here to hold the technologies and know-how to establish the first School of Zakhmatov in Europe.
New Technology of Pulse Forest Fire-Fighting.
by Professor Vladimir Zachmatov (Brequet)
Experts say that Russia has long been invented bombs to extinguish fires, and special technology by which to eliminate any forest-fire, power. However, responsibility for fire safety officials in no hurry to purchase such non-lethal, risqué, active, high-precisely, fire-fighting ammunition for decrease every year, great economy and Ecology losses. The first bomb was designed, field-produce and used numerously since 2 of May 1986 for fast, remote control, high-precisely extinguishing of inflammations at “Rudy Forest” – highest radioactive forest-area at Chernobyl Zone. Burned in Chernobyl ecological safe fast forest fire-fighting Technology, created during first days of Chernobyl catastrophe …
Posted on October 20th, 2014 No comments
Inspiration is the keyword for any creative person on the planet Earth. But where to get it from ??? Surely Viitasaari Innovation & Technology show is one of those places where you can get inspired. Yes it is a little town in the middle of Finland where Winter is longer than Summer, but so what? It is all about people and it is about YOU having a chance to get inspired to see many inventors together, showing off their works. So it happened this year also as nearly 50 inventors gathered at Viitasaari Arena to inspire visitors and each other for 2 days ! Surely it is incourageing to see other out of box people’ doing their groovy stuff as it was a norm, but actually it is the progress in most cases what leads our World on and on.
Team Estonia was at Viitasaari for the 3rd time, presenting: Chop-e the electric minibike, well designed and assembled by estonians. Ropeye – the revolutionary technology for sailing boats to attach mastbase blocks, spinnaker sheet turning blocks, halyard terminals, footblocks and tie-downs. *Ropeye has already broken through to the Sailing World. The Greenfinger – Norwegian made indicator to alarm you about the need of watering your houseplants and Hando Kruuv with his Pendulum from Tartu. Although we had much smaller team than last year, still there was fine estonian engineering and design on board.
We had many inspireing inventors and inventions at the show but my special attention was at the oldest one of them – Hando Kruuv & his magic pendulum in vacuum chamber. The old master in age of 77 has come up with a something amusing & useful indeed which he calls: “The device for the measurement of internal and external forces to the Planet Earth”. Well, I just call it ”Hando Kruuv Pendulum” On his first public interview he mentioned that mankind has gone up to the space to observe other galaxies but not taking enough interest what is within the planet Earth and what really can influence our life. There are internal & external forces of the planet, which do affect the balance and can cause the earthquakes and various troubles. There is also the Moon and other planets nearby which do influence the Earth constantly. Hando also mentioned the end of calendar of Mayas and the fact that he has registered some unknown forces to our planet at the time. Well, it all can make our scientists furious, but surely they got to prove it now if Hando is wright or wrong. As long they have no such equipment invented themselves to measure those forces, it is likely to take a decade or more before they can say anything certain about it …
Acknowledging the work of inventors, Viitasaari Town Council and Mayor invited all exhibitors to the reception & dinner at the town hall on Friday night. Surely it is the class on its own, showing the respect to those who can improve our everyday life and beyond.
My Photos of the show can be seen at Invention News FB page
Posted on September 29th, 2014 No comments
Who could of thought that instead of 50 makers we have 150 in the house! That’s what happened in Tartu last Friday, where all sorts of tech enthusiasts , design gurus & arty people gathered for the first Mini Maker Faire at Ahhaa Science Centre to show what they have got ! It was a bit lauzy start at 10am but full beam by 12 noon with the mainstream media and tabloids making their interviews & stories. As part of the team I also prepared for this since last spring asking many inventors to join the faire and so they did
After opening words by Andres Juur Ahhaa project manager the show was on with workshops and intros at the main stage. We had many new inventors & makers on the board but also well known ones like Fits.me and Timber Diameter + we had guest makers from Latvia, Sweden, Russia and even from USA. The latvian inventor Rims Vaitkus had brought his Wave Machine to the show and Rudolfs Drevinskis made incredible bird nests from the birchtree logs. Then we had our very own taylormade bike-masters : Riho Leppik with his RixBikes , Raino Sinisalu & his unique Raybike and also hobby-inventor Allan Rosenberg with his electric Chop-e which got the eye of many visitors by its groovy design. Then we had the old master Gabriel Passov playing his Chord Viola at the stage with his band KAGB and Dr. Arved Vain checking out the muscles with his clever Myoton. There was also Kalev Essenson showing off his boat Cumulus , Aavo Murutalu taking photos with his 3D photoshop, and Tartu Da Vinci Hando Kruuv introducing his brand-new Pendulum in Vacuum Chamber for the first time in public. From the arty ones got my eye Grafodroom girls & Ott Pilipenko, who had combined Skating board with the T-shirt printing facility …
It surely was a superb place for all ages to discover the latest inventions & designs by inventors , craftsman, robot-makers, engineers, science clubs and other free thinkers, who had come to show & sell their works. We had even Science Theatre at the place introducing the laws & tricks of physics. The peoples favourite maker or the winner of 2014 Tartu MMF was the game called “Kolm Elu”. News story was made by the Postimees and photos were taken by Äripäev. TV interviews were collected by ERR and by the brandnew channel 8 “Leiundusuudised”
Tartu Mini Maker Faire as part of the Estonian Researchers’ Night Festival gathered the makers from the Baltic States for the first time around. By the looks of it we might need a bit bigger house next year ;)Latest post Aavo Murutalu, AHHAA Science Centre, Allan Rosenberg, Andres Juur, Chop-e, Chord Viola, Cumulus, Dr. Arved Vain, Estonian Researcher's Night Festival, Fits.me, Gabriel Passov, Hando Kruuv, Kalev Essenson, Kanal 8, Kolm Elu, LeiundusUudised, Ott Pilipenko, Raino Sinisalu, Raybike, Riho Leppik, Rims Vaitkus, RixBikes.com, Rudolfs Drevinskis, Tartu Mini Maker Faire
Posted on September 22nd, 2014 No comments
Although there is a lot happening at the innovation & tech sector already still there are many flaws which need our urgent attention. It is not a secret that Europes tech sector is running way behind US, Japan, South-Korea and even China. The gap seems to grow even wider if we don’t make a move together. Therefore Finno-Ugric Innovation Corridor (FUIC) cooperation, founded by Finnish Inventors’ Forum, has set its standards & priorities at Budapest workshop last week, focusing on private or free inventors in Finland, Hungary & Estonia. The matter seems to be relevant as many of our all time best inventions like Skype, Minox, Schmit’s Telescope-camera and even the latest one – GrabCAD , all have come from private sector free inventors. And just because of that we should turn our attention to those simple people who have made it in the past and even more to those who can make it happen in the future! So it has been well proved that there are some great people amongst us, who can invent this kind of stuff outside the industry & companies – just at their garages and backyards ! Taking all this on board, the FUIC has started its initiative and here is a short press-release of the Workshop which took place at the National Innovation Office in Budapest :
Posted on June 1st, 2014 No comments
It might be a little hyped, but surely there are reasons why Estonia has been on the top of the World tech news again. This time it was the BusinessVibes who wrote about us as the Startup Paradise. Why I’m not surprised is the fact that since I’ve been back to Estonia from 2011, I have met people almost every day who are doing some groovy tech stuff, specially in the digital world.
US Embassy & American Chamber of Commerce called us together to Tehnopol last Thursday to meet the NEA Venture Capitalists with Yanev Suissa and Alex Oppenheimer on board. The NEA is apparently the Worlds biggest VC firm who has been investing into tech & healthcare more than $11Bn. Is it still the legacy of Skype or just the growing number of startups that has got their eye is hard to say, but probably it’s a bit of both. So we were sitting there with megabux in the house and listening their advice how to attract big VC company and comments on the pitching contest of top 7 new startups selected by AmCham. Startups were interesting as usual and it seemed that 2 or 3 of them got their eye indeed. Winners were: DigiFLAK , MRPEasy and Chief Financial Wizard. My personal favoutie was actually the AuthenticateIT.com , which helps you to check out if goods you are buying are real brands and not a counterfeit ones! The app is free to download already & I guess China would love it …
* As myself I managed to launch the Invention News channel and that was a very first public appearance for us. The show will air weekly @ brandnew TV8 , starting from the end of June. Our news-studio is located at the UK Lounge, Tehnopol, wich is the very same place where event was held but more news on this – next time
Photos & comments on the workshop can be found @ AmCham Facebook page.
Posted on May 11th, 2014 No comments
The Science Centre AHHAA has opened a real groovy hands on exhibition about the nature forces on the Sea! I was honored to step on their red carpet with my dear friend last Wednesday night and surely my 200 miles journey from Tallinn was well worth it : ) The opening ceremony was spectacular with a reception and chello-boys’ on the rooftop which made it a bit of Titanic like indeed … Well thought & done exhibition has even a model of a sinking ferry for you to try out with a slide to the resque boat of course.
Earlier on that day we had a conference dedicated to edutainment, which was all about entertainment within education for children and adults. Speakers included experts on the field: Minister of Education Jevgeni Ossinovski , ex-minister Jaak Aaviksoo, Dr. Erik Puura from the University of Tartu, Asger Høeg from Experimentarium Denmark and the others. Photos of the event can be seen at Flikr & on Ahhaa FB page. I must say that the exhibition is well entertaining and educational indeed.
Posted on May 3rd, 2014 No comments
Estonia is know as one of the best startup contries in the World today and this trend shows the growth. Most recent event - Latitude59 , held at Mektory TUT, confirmed it as well as the crowd went up from expected 300 to 600 people!
Ain’t no surprise to see the folks here from all around the Globe, so we had it this time. The panel included business angels from Moscow to L.A. Even finns are keeping close eye on us as a poor brother’ can surprise Speakers included : Vint Cerf, Martin S.Hauge, Toby Moore, Taavet Hinrikus, Christian Thaler-Wolski, Tom Henriksson, Deborah Magid, Tim Draper and some other well known entrepreneurs and business angels. At some point there was sitting about 1bn on the stage and answering to the questions of the growd. The final pitch-contest brought up the next startups: Mageflow, WellBiome, Bikeep, Froont and Visitret. The first prize with a 5000 eur check was taken by e-paper producer Visitret, who I belive could be our next Skype’. The show was great and so was the cake afterwards ; ) & BIG Thanx goes to the host Mektory !
We know that our government has put more attention to innovation & Startup culture and expecting the growth up to 15% of its annual turnover from this sector in coming years. It clearly shows the way our e-country is moving today with its tax credits to startup companies and with efficient and well admired e-Tax Board where you can submit your tax return in just a few clicks!
*The goal of the conference is to bring together startup entrepreneurs, VC’s and angel investors to boost the expansion of the new smart-core businesses. Latitude59 is the official partner of Estonian ICT Week.