Friday, October 02, 2009

MindTrek - there and back

MindTrek conference is the only conference in Finland providing good crossover of anything and everything to do with digital media. This year MindTrek attracted nearly 800 participants. Sunny Thursday was well spent at the conference. I chatted with people, followed start up lauch pad session and had good time at the party (thanks Jussi & other friends!). The organizators of the conference had invited some bloggers (TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, The NextWeb, StartupMeme, Techpulse360, ChipChick, and to cover the event. If you want more indepth report from the event or open innovation environment Demola – check out the blogs. Of course MindTrek has also good Twitter coverage and good stories at other blogs. For example Katri Lietsala blogger about Chris Messina presentation (in Finnish!). You can also find a video of the talk titled ”Identity is the platform” from the web.

Another keynote speaker came from Google. Mr. Jyri Engeström talked basics about snack size media. You can find his slides from Slideshare.

Start Up Lanchpad was a combination of ”real” start ups and companies that are already stabilizing their business. Pitching is not traditionally a Finnish way of selling your business idea or product. We truly have to learn several lessons still but I was actually pretty excited and impressed by the pitches. In my opinion the jury didn’t always address that relevant questions (except Mrs. Sharon C. Ballard – I liked her clear, relevant, tough and well put questions). Still it was really interesting to see new products (software and hardware) presented in pitch-format. My absolute lanch pad favourite was Kamu World. One member of the jury questioned the unique quality of Kamu World without AR-aspect which according to Jussi Laakkonen was mainly targeted at hard core users of Kamu. I think both brand image and Kamu character are differentiating Kamu from the competitors. It is true that interaction and gameplay is in line with other Facebook games / application but then again – Facebook games and applications are still evolving. I expect games in social networking services to evolve greatly within the next few years. At the start up lanchpad competition Kamu World is competing against f.ex. Virtual Air Guitar, Epooq and MultiTouch screen. The results will follow shortly.

So: this year my MindTrek experience was a bit of this and that – I wish I would have had more time to follow game related presentations but oh well – maybe next year. Last night I had to rush to Helsinki to be ready for an interview at 7AM. I talked about future of gaming at the morning television show at MTV3 channel.

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