Slush 2017 highlights from our ecosystem friends!

Photo borrowed from @SlushHQ by Kai Kuusisto Photography

1 december 2017

What's your best experience at slush 2017?

A glimpse of the inspiration overload from Slush 2017 includes topics such as e-Governance, #fashtech, circular economy, future of mobility and energy, discussions on open data, and the sustainability revolution. Other highlights has been future food pulled oates lunches, 2000 amazing volunteers, #nordicmade and "90% says yes to Nordic collaboration", investors dating startups, as well as incubators and science park presence. And that’s just my top of mind highlights…

Ecosystem friends! What has been your best experience at slush 2017?


Jessica Blechingberg, SLUSH: Speakers sparing hours

"Day two is in full swing. With 2,600 startups, 1,500 venture capitalists, 600 journalists and 2,400 volunteers, from over 130 countries. We have 150 startups from Sweden at Slush this year.

This year we didn’t want to grow bigger, only become better. We have focused on providing more value for the entrepreneurs this year. Speakers are obligated to give one hour of their time to the entrepreneurs this year to metro them. We have had the Slush 100 pitching competition for early stage startups taking place since Wednesday. Slush will culminate in the finals on the main stage today. The startup square is serving the startups in the middle of the venue.

This year we had over 6,400 pre booked meetings for the Meeting Area. Slush is all about matchmaking and our own matchmaking tool is making sure people are meeting the most relevant people to them during Slush. It is also about parties, and tonight we will celebrate entrepreneurship at The Utopic Slush Afterparty."

Fredrik Larsson, Science Park Mjärdevi: Social entrepreneurship

“I think it's incredibly inspiring to hear the tech world talk about solutions for a better world in such a concrete way. Slush began with Al Gore saying that he did not come to tell things we already know, but to recruit ambassadors who want to join in and create a bright future. 

Niklas Zennström asked for similar things and highlighted the importance of all of us taking responsibility for what we create.

An incredibly exciting example of exactly this is Diwala. They were one of the top 10 startups in the big Slush pitch competition. Diwala is a digital economy platform powered by blockchain that allows refugees to actively build their identity and skills. What if block-chain technology can help solve some of the immigration challenges?” 

Niclas Melin, Netport Science Park: Edtech

"Best of was when Niklas Zennström, during the session The Investor Ecosystem: Building European Companies from Seed to $100bn, got the question: “What type of startups do you hope to see more of here next year?” and he answers

“Edtech! If we don’t fix education we won’t fix the rest ( = the really big challenges in the world).” 

Also - the opening of The Nordic Edtech Award at Slush, that was a great moment: Edtech Southeast Sweden nicely placed in the middle, representing four SISP members NetPort Science Park, Blue Science Park, Krinova and Blekinge Business Incubator.

On stage was Hege Tollerud from Oslo Edtech Cluster and Jannie Jeppesen from Swedish Edtech Industry. Five Nordic companies made it to the final, and Explore from Sweden won. We are through the Nordic Edtech Alliance working to create a Nordic brand and help companies leverage the Nordic values in their export business." 

Emil Sundberg & Ditte Hammarström, Design focus

"Best take for us this year is Jeffrey Veens talk: New forms of design - reimagining creativity.

“All business is a bet on human behaviour” said Ben Wiseman, Wall Street Journal."

Maria Sjöstedt, Create Business Incubator: Crazy networking

"The atmosphere. On every stage, in every speech you hear about how we can make the world a better place. There are (tech) solutions for huge future threats everywhere. That’s inspiring!

From Create, we’ve promoted five startups on set, plus bringing five angel investors from our network and outside. We’ve also engaged with actors within Växtzon and ABB’s SynerLeap – made sure everyone’s at the same hotel, sharing thoughts over breakfasts and dinners. We’ve basically been networking like crazy."

Nina Lindahl, Norrköping Science Park: Call for sustainability

"I think it was the intro words that really got me hooked:

”Nothing normal ever changed a damn thing.”

Of course, Al Gore’s call for a sustainability revolution was a definite highlight too.

In addition, it’s incredibly valuable with the experience exchange we get as an industry on a platform like Slush. For me personally, it’s great fun to hang out with Create and the Eskilstuna startups. Oh, and there’s been quite a few interesting visits at the expos."

Luca Banderet, EQT Ventures: Entrepreneurial heroes

"It is really fascinating to see how the whole city transforms into one big tech-euphoria during the Slush days and not only entrepreneurs and investors, but also all major CEOs and corporates are wildly present at the event. While everybody rides the tech wave, we should nevertheless not forgot that the real stars are the entrepreneurs, the ones that focus on real problems and solve them, working hard in risky fields everyday!"

Mikaela Lindberg, Startup-Sweden, Tillväxtverket: investors dating startups

"Having over 60 swedish and international investors networking with swedish startups was a great experience at Slush. "

Antti Eronen, Qvik Oy (maker of the Slush app): Future of mobility and food

"The best parts were the speeches and individual discussions around how we should use technology to create a more sustainable future.

The topics that really stood out for me were Mobility as a Service, and food production. Perhaps the most interesting single find was Perfect Day, the startup who are creating a real dairy protein without the animals. 

Side events were very good this year and there starts to be a big world vibe to Slush."

Christian Weckman, Business Sweden: Strong Swedish presence

“A couple years back we saw the Slush phenomenon getting bigger and bigger, and we thought there was room for Swedish presence here in Finland. So, Business Sweden teamed up with ALMI Invest and Tillväxtverket to create the Swedish Hotspot. Next step was finding the right setup and partners for doing it. We’ve continued to develop and refine the concept since.

This year, we’ve had 30 Swedish startups taking part, many of them as first time visitors. The Swedish Hotspot is supporting by coordinating the presence at Slush, so they don’t get lost in everything that happens here. In addition, we arrange side events such as a pre dinner at the Swedish Embassy in Helsinki, matchmaking mingle, and an exclusive investor lunch. The latter is an opportunity to meet with investors in a speed-dating format.

The Slush 2017 highlight was definitely seeing the high level of presence and discussions taking part during that investor lunch, which was this year combined with the IVA (Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences) delegation. Everybody who’s anybody in the Swedish and international ecosystem was there under the Swedish umbrella: from featured industry leaders, corporate CEOs and investors to startups and other VIP guests, among them Prince Daniel and Marcus Wallenberg.

It’s great that Sweden once again has a very strong presence at Slush – actually one of the top countries looking at the number of startups participating. In addition, it’s a big geographical diversity, with startups from all over Sweden, and that is partly due to the collaboration we have with incubators and science parks.”