Slush 2018 – A Space for Tech Startups to Thrive in Helsinki

In the darkest time of the year, Helsinki explodes with energy for two days, as tens of thousands tech enthusiasts from all over the world take part in the world-renowned startup event Slush. Held for the 11th time, this year’s theme was to highlight companies’ background influencers, the people behind companies growth and other significant operations.

 

Images courtesy of Jussi Hellsten/Slush.

 

Slush opened up their event with a major launch: Slush Academy – starting from next year anyone can apply to the free global education program for entrepreneurship. Together with the worlds leading universities, internships and mentoring from top growth-companies, Slush Academy will offer an intense education for the high-growth entrepreneurship hungry.

 

Slush 2018 Helsinki

Images courtesy of Sami Välikangas/ Slush.

 

We attended Slush to get you covered on the most interesting launches at the event, here are our top pics:

The forestry company Stora Enso and Sulapac, creating biodegradable and microplastic-free materials, brings forces together to combat the global problem of plastic waste and launched sustainable drinking straw. That is straws made out of wood and natural binders that biodegrade. Only in Europe, we use millions of plastic straw on one single day – and these, among other plastic waste, usually find their way into the ocean. So you can imagine the big impact the creation of the sustainable straw has on our marines.

The drone delivery service firm Wing told about plans of pilot IT service in Helsinki next spring. The company delivers consumer supplies faster and, running on energy-efficient batteries, more environmentally friendly than done via land.  Choosing Helsinki as their first European area, the US-based company is motivated by Finland having a reputation of embracing new technologies rather fast. “If drones can fly here in Finland they can fly anywhere,” Wings CEO James Burges says.

 

Slush 2018 Helsinki

Images courtesy of Julius Konttinen/ Slush.

 

Additional to pitching and sharing ideas, the slush attendees could also listen to important talks and point of views on e.g. diversity in the tech industry.

Diversity VC co-founder and CEO Francesca Warner points that VCs have a major role in assuring the industry’s’ diversity. Tech companies tend to grow at a rapid pace, so if diversity problems aren’t fixed early on how do you solve them when the company employs thousands of people.

 

“One is making it a priority when talking to companies they are backing and seeing all the time that this is something that they should fix. The second thing is to use their resources and networks to source talent across the whole portfolio.” – Francesca Warner CEO and co-founder at Diversity VC.

 

We already see some founders taking initiative in this matter – CEO and founding partner at the technology investment firm Atomico, Niklas Zennström, tell that they always have conversations with founders about their thought on diversity and values prior to making an investment. This gives an indication of whether the company of interest is going to be successful or not.

 

Slush 2018 Helsinki

Images courtesy of Jussi Hellsten/ Slush.

 

The event was an inspirational, colorful and mind occupying event full of bright ideas, talks and interesting persons. For more talks, ideas and pitches head over to Slush website.


From the world of tech pitches, follow us to Marimekko’s talk on the future of fashion >>>

Photo By: Samuli Pentti