In the week that we heard the sad news that Gigaom is shutting down, discovering that a European tech publication is launching a new print magazine might seem crazy. But that’s just exactly what Nordics and Baltics-focused tech site ArcticStartup is doing.
It’s kicked off an Indiegogo campaign today to fund the first proper issues of its print title, CoFounder, with a plan to offer in-depth features on the European startup scene.
Though it’s far from the first online tech publication to venture into dealing with dead trees – PandoDaily’s been producing Pando Quarterly for paying subscribers since it acquired NSFWCorp in 2013 and London’s Tech City News exists in free physical form as well as on the Web – ArcticStartup’s decision is still a pretty bold one.
The company’s CEO Dmitri Sarle explained the genesis of the idea to TNW:
“It all goes back to when ArcticStartup began in 2007. It slowly started to gain readership in the Nordics and Baltics. In 2009, we realised it was time to turn it into a company. We started experimenting with different ways to make money. Then Tarmo Virki – a journalist with over 19 years experience at Reuters and Forbes – and some others pitched the idea of doing a print magazine to us.
We thought it was a crazy idea at first but they asked us to go and have a beer with them and they convinced us. The main reason was that print, especially niche print, is actually doing quite alright. But we also had this journalistic drive – print can be a great user experience.”
Bringing a startup mentality to the project, the team began with a minimum viable product – a test issue produced for the Slush Conference in Helsinki in November last year.
Based on the positive response they received to those 7,000 issues, they’ve turned to Indiegogo, with a goal of €15,000 ($15,888) to get the first three issues into production.
A pledge of €15 will get you a copy of the magazine delivered to you wherever you are in the world. Go for the €39 and they’ll send you the first four issues. Sarle says CoFounder will focus on European startups to begin with but may expand its focus as it goes along.
He thinks the appeal of the title will be in offering depth and stories that might not get as much traction online:
“One thing that’s worrying about online is that a lot of what we write is controlled by how many people will read it. We want people to read the stories in this magazine because there is a lot of merit to them. A lot of things online get very low readership because they have the wrong headline.”
As fans of journalism and the European startup scene, we definitely wish ArcticStartup well with CoFounder and hope it hits its funding target.
➤ CoFounder Magazine [Indiegogo]
Image credits: Arctic Startup
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