Slush is an explosion of impressions and an important part of getting the real value out of the two days filled with networking, talks, and meetings is to take the time to reflect. Here is what we learned by participating in Slush 2018.
Nana Christiansen, Marketing Development and Stakeholder Engagement Manager
There’s clearly a much stronger interest for entrepreneurship than ever before. It’s not only about building startups. It has become a mindset and an important part of 21stcentury skills. SLUSH Academy is proof of this.
Networking at SLUSH was great, but can be overwhelming! That’s why it has been extremely important to follow up on all contacts immediately after the event to keep the dialogue going and recalling conversations. We’re so lucky to have our own Accelerace CRM/network-app to make this possible. Side events are definitely the best place to meet relevant startups and go deeper into trends and verticals. We attended interesting food and fintech events and met a lot of interesting startups and corporates.
Will Wright, Business Accelerator and Investment Manager
I was excited to learn more about SLUSH academy and that other accelerators and seed investors have also identified a real market gap with regards to founder education, skills, and mentoring. It was very much in line with our experiences, also in the deep tech world with regards to our Business Acceleration Academy (BAA) and NOME programs.
I met with some groundbreaking science-based startups through HIS and Slush Y Science such as Nanoform who are reformulating previously unusable drug molecules for patients in clinical trials and Braincare who are developing neuro-interfaces to improve the quality of life of epilepsy patients. Moreover, I had the chance to meet with and learn more about other accelerators such as Reactor who have synergies with our Baltic accelerator Overkill and new funding opportunities for our start-ups through platforms such as Funderbeam which could complement our Nordea private investor platform.
Thomas Wiborg Steen, Business Accelerator and Investment Manager
The pitching competition Slush 100 is worth spending time on. Our startup Meeshkan ended up winning the finals, so that was a big night for all of us! On the stages, I experienced that there was a big focus on diversity in teams. Even in the Top 3 of the pitching competition, one of the teams was commented from one of the investors that their team seemed too monotone. It was also at Slush, where the annual State of the European Tech report was published which shows we still need to work on diversity and inclusion.
Lene Schackinger Juhl, Program Manager
This year, I encountered a surprisingly large amount of smart building companies and startups compared to last year’s dominance of cleantech companies and side events. So, it is always worth checking out the theme to assess focuses and manage expectations.
You have to arrive at Slush prepared. Some go and depend on luck to find the right people, but I would recommend upping the chances of good luck by surveying the possibilities beforehand: Go to the side events! This is where you find the people and experts deeply embedded in specific themes and sectors.
We brought gum with our logos on them, made by one of our alumni True Gum, that we handed out when we met with people. People loved that because you end up doing a lot of talking and a piece of gum can really save both dry mouths and bad breath.
Simone Okkels, PR Manager
There is a growing interest between the Nordic countries in collaborating as one region. I had a notion about it becoming more prevalent, Slush is one of the prime examples, but I find that it is now beginning to consolidate more in partnerships and communication, for example, with the launch of the Startup Guide Nordics at Slush this year.
Also, don’t miss out on the afterparties. There are plenty and often I would recommend people to scout for the unofficial ones where you can get to talk to and connect with people in a much more loose and friendly setting than at the actual event where people are often stressed running from meeting to meeting. In the after hours, people tend to be more relaxed and wanting to have conversations about more than the pitch they practiced. Slush is still one of the better conferences to go to – both as a company and as an individual – if you want to be inspired and network cross borders.