On December 1st and 2nd, we were in Helsinki, at Slush, which calls itself the “world’s leading startup event”.
The event consisted on 2 intense days, with talks about the latest trends in technology, 101’s on various current topics in the startup world, among others – all divided by several stages in the event’s premises. In addition to talks, the event also had a meet-up for startups and investors, in which we scheduled meetings with several investors and potential partners in advance. Finally, the event also featured a showcase of some companies and companies (we were not in this format), networking, side events, and an after-party.
For startups, there was also a pitch competition, for which we applied, however we were not selected for the pitch phase of the event itself. That said, our participation consisted in making the most of the meetings and contacts we were able to make – which was quite good as the event brought together many investors, worldwide.
In general, and despite the technical flaws that existed (the event’s app with constant failures and little functionality; and difficulty in finding people with whom we were going to meet, due to the organization of the event), we managed to reap the rewards of participation. Still, as it is only 2 days, and there is no exhibitor, we considered that we would not pay to participate in the event (at least not in this early-stage phase) – in our case, the costs were covered by MAZE-X, in the context of our participation in the acceleration program. We feel that the event can be very useful in a phase of internationalization, especially expansion into the Nordic countries. In conclusion, from our point of view, Slush is a cousin of WebSummit, but more focused on startups.