Slush, the annual startup tech conference held in Helsinki, brings together the world's tech elite and its 2019 year's edition was no different. This time one of Scandinavia's biggest shows hosted over 25,000 attendees from 4,000 startups, and 2,000 investors from over 130 countries - all coming to participate together in this great networking festival.
The organisers as always have elaborated on a rich program where the speakers and the topics covered were selected in such a way that they reciprocated perfectly with the issues and challenges most startups and mature businesses are facing. Experienced entrepreneurs and seasoned once-startupers shared their dos and don'ts, strategies, risks and pitfalls to give interesting insight into the reality of building startups and scaling businesses. Some of the notable key speakers at this year's Slush included Sequoia Capital Partner Michael Moritz, Lydia Jett of Softbank Investment Advisers, Obama Foundation CEO David Simas, #Angels founding partner April Underwood and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.
All the talks have been divided between the three main stages - Founder Stage, Saga Stage and Quantum Stage; each of them welcomed great guests and speakers to hold talks about the latest trends in the industry and share their companies' success stories inspiring young businessmen move forward to reach their dreams.
There was also a great opportunity to discuss these insights with colleagues or newly met people in multiple resting and meeting areas, completed with an indoor garden and separate booths - you could plan funding strategies or chat with people freely without being too far away from the swirl of events.
Easy and well organized networking was perhaps Slush's strongest point. Who can believe that, but there had been over 19,000 participants registered in the Matchmaking Tool's database allowing each attendee to find potential business partners/investors/opportunities and get back home with much food for thought. With the networking app setting up 1 to 1 meetings and networking was smooth and easy. Same can be said about the organisation of networking spaces. The meeting spots were very clearly marked and plenty, making it easy to both find your designated area, space to talk, and most importantly – find the person you were meant to meet.
For those wanting to take it all, Slush also provided a wide range of side events, including cocktail hours, breakfast meetings and all-nighters designed to create a casual yet effective setting for entrepreneurs and investors alike.