The Xiha service is owned and operated by Xiha Ltd, a Helsinki, Finland based company. Xiha group also includes Xiha AG in Zürich, Switzerland and Xiha Inc based in Sunnyvale, California. The company develops and operates a multilingual web service Xiha and the state of the art technology platform behind it. In addition to social networking features, Xiha includes a digital content store with integrated virtual monetary and payment systems.
I'm Jani, one of the founders of Xiha. I'm originally from Finland, but over the past ten years I've lived on three different continents so I guess I'm kind of a globe trotter or world citizen... Currently I live in Switzerland with my wife Wen, our toddler Fei and the lovely little princess Yuer.
When I'm not working on Xiha, I like to go out shooting photos. I'm armed with Canon 5D mark II and Leica M8. Prior to starting Xiha, I was a professional game programmer for over 15 years. I used to live in the US and work for EA and the legendary Westwood Studios in Las Vegas.
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I am a partner at Lots, a Nordic boutique VC and accelerator in the field of media technology. I am an investor and a board member in several high-tech, social media, and games companies in Finland and Silicon Valley. Xiha is one of them - I am the current Chairman of the Board, and my job is to act as a mentor to Jani. I've also got a lot background in computer graphics, and was one of the founders of Hybrid Graphics back in the mid-90's. The last couple of years I've been particularly interested in crowd sourcing, cloud labor, and human computation -- disruptive technologies that are transforming the way people work all over the world. This lead to me co-founding Microtask, a company commercializing technology for distributing digital work.
I'm Jan, member of the board of directors and an advisor for XIHA. I currently live in Helsinki, Finland. I'm currently working on a Master's Thesis on the field of computational geometry. It should be finished by May 2011.
I make stuff for the internet, love skateboarding and want to see if Xiha can help me learn Chinese! I live in Helsinki and New York with my wife and two children.
I'm also a Director on the Xiha board. Here's my formal board member bio:
"Jyri Engeström is an entrepreneur and angel investor. He co-founded microblogging service Jaiku and sold it to Google. At Google Jyri was Product Manager responsible for social and mobile apps. Prior to Jaiku he was a Senior Product Manager at Nokia. A sociologist by training, he is sometimes noted for coining the term 'social objects' to refer to photos, bookmarks, and other shareable Web content. He blogs at zengestrom.com"
I'm the co-founder of i/o ventures, a startup accelerator with a funky workspace+cafe in San Francisco. I am all about seeing random countries and meeting up with locals. When I retire I hope to drive a taxi in New York.
I love the energy and action of new companies going after new ideas with ingenious methods that challenges the old ways! It's human wits and sharp minds in action! That's what I do for a living: work with early stage growth companies and new businesses. Entrepreneur at heart, repeatedly at this point. Other than that I love technology and the empowerment it brings to the daily lives of people; it's almost like superpowers at your fingertips. I see technology as the biggest means to raise our quality of life.
Big fan of Apple (currently own 12 Apple computers or devices), so I'm a bit of a gadget-freak. In my spare time (as well as for work) I travel a lot; often in tropical destinations. Hobbies range from Scuba Diving (Master Scuba Diver -level), Outdoor sports, and occasional martial arts. I'm also a gamer, lately that has meant World of Warcraft (Horde, Shaman, alts: DK, Rogue, Warrior) and Modern Warfare 2.
Having worked all my adult life as an IT entrepreneur has taught me some things. While continuing on this track as the CTO of Microtask, I also try to share those lessons learned (often the hard way) with other nascent souls, to help them navigate the stormy, but rewarding seas of entrepreneurship.
XIHA's vision of harmony through cross-cultural exchange is a goal worth striving for, even for a hard-core technologist like myself.
Xiha's in-house developed multilingual social networking platform allows seamless communication across language barriers. The scalable and efficient architecture makes it possible to serve a huge member base and large amounts of user generated content. Using our built-in tools, the service has been translated to over 60 languages and integration with Google Translate provides real-time translation in 55 languages and counting.