This independent media startup has launched a new kind of audio listening service: a YouTube for podcasts.
It seems fitting that Helsinki startup cluster Maria01 is located inside a former hospital. Here amidst the x-ray rooms, long corridors and operating theatres of yore, dozens of startups are undergoing treatment, soon to be discharged into a world of success.
Nonetheless, given that some of the walls inside the building as are still lined with tiles, surely negotiations don’t get that bloody these days, do they Sampsa Fabritius?
The CEO of media startup Kieku Labs bursts into laughter.
“It’s a cosy community,” Fabritius admits, nodding ‘hello’ to a passing trio of peers. “Companies here have been selected for the cluster because they are at the same stage of development. People are like-minded and everybody is sufficiently crazy…”
He stops mid-sentence. Time for a little backstory.
Fabritius’ tale is a familiar one for many former Nokia employees. Finding himself surplus to requirements after 17 years of service at the Finnish telecommunications giant, his engineering expertise is now being enthusiastically applied elsewhere.
“What I really liked about working for Nokia was the awareness that the future doesn’t happen, it is always being made by somebody,” Fabritius says. “That same ‘crazy’ mentality that you can forge the future is very active in the startup scheme of Helsinki.”
For Kieku, the tool for sculpting the horizon comes in the shape of a podcast content provider, which is tailored to listeners’ interests at the push of a button.
“We are not focussed on ‘click this and laugh’ content, more so the stories that might stimulate thinking,” Fabritius explains. “Kieku makes it easier for people to find inspirational and brainy content. Better thinking leads to a better life and better ideas.”
Fabritius points out that Kieku’s ideal audience is “people who want to understand what is going on the world – whether they are entrepreneurs and have the need to understand where we are going, or people interested in wellness, society and humanity.”