Meeting the President of Finland is great, but can it have a significant impact on the business? We hope so! Sauli Niinistö met with some Startup Sauna teams yesterday during his visit at Aalto University, when they were shown several innovations such as silent reading training application by Fastr and underwater surface research solution by VRT Finland (more details: http://www.president.fi).
Fastr is a Latvian stratup which started about a year ago during a Garage48 hackaton in Valmiera, Latvia. Fastr later got 50k EUR seed investment from Business Angels and support from Valmiera Business Incubator, and just recently became a part of Startup Sauna ’13 Spring Batch.
Fastr team has created a reading training solution (currently an iPhone and iPad apps) based on an original way of text presentation. This means that text of your book or article used for training is presented with one or several words per screen to teach you to avoid sub-vocalization (pronouncing what you read in your head) and eliminate other bad reading habits. The benefits is that this solution make you a better reader in just a several days of use.
Fastr has been already doing well lately reaching 70k downloads in the middle of May. We have set 2 goals for this year: 1) to achieve 100k downloads in June 2013 and 2) achieve 1 million downloads by the end of the year. Well, the first goal seems very close to be achieved, while the second is a bit more ambitious, but still doable.
When the audience is gained Fastr plans to add more features including access to a content, that is relevant to the readers. Fastr main goal is to become the main reading application for our customers, so that Fastr can be used not only for training, but for any reading they do.
As our customers want to know the theory that makes Fastr reading style so efficient, I decided to summarize some speed reading techniques in this blog post. Here are the main factors that affect your reading speed according to an article on speed reading from www.lifehacker.com. My comments are in italic:
Speed reading is all about reading as fast as you can, and it’s a surprisingly easy technique to learn. You can teach yourself speed reading with an app (like Fastr). Speed reading is based on a few key techniques that anyone can pick up:
Dear users of Fastr application, we are glad to have you on board! From the end of June 2012 we were working hard to make Fastr better. As Fastr team has got a lot of feedback and recommendations from our early adopters, our first priority was to develop the product further to meet the expectations of our customers.
We have been working mostly in a stealth mode not making much noise, but now it is the right time to inform Fastr users on our progress. Currently we have submitted a temporary update to Fastr v2.0 in the App Store and it is currently available there. So if you have already purchased Fastr v1, go ahead and install this update – you will find many improvements there! This is also the final update for the app that we are going to publish with the current developer company (SIA Design Reform). The app will be further published by the same team, but with a newly founded legal entity SIA Fastr. We will have to remove Fastr app from the App Store and publish it again with with new features as SIA Fastr.