StartupBlink Blog

Staying ahead of industry trends, building meaningful connections, and gaining insights into the latest technologies are crucial for ecosystem developers. One event that stands out as a must-attend for those at the forefront of startup ecosystems is Slush – one of Europe’s best startup conferences.  In this article, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide to help ecosystem developers make the most of their experience at Slush. Whether you’re a seasoned attendee or a first-timer, this guide will ensure you navigate through one of the best startup conferences in Europe with ease and effectiveness. If you are attending Slush, and look forward to connecting with StartupBlink, don’t forget to contact us.

How Slush Evolved Across Years?

Slush for Ecosystem Developers

Before we dive deep into the ‘How To’s,’ let’s take a look at how a small startup event evolved into one of the largest in the world. Established in 2008 by a cohort of Finnish entrepreneurs, the Slush conference aimed to forge connections between the Nordic startup ecosystem and the global stage. Originating as a modest gathering in Helsinki, it has since evolved into one of the world’s foremost startup events, drawing a multitude of attendees and investors from across the world.

Slush has played a pivotal role in not only showcasing but also championing startups, providing a platform teeming with networking opportunities, avenues for investment, and invaluable insights delivered through an array of speakers and panels.

Step 1: Define Your Objectives

The first step is to set clear objectives. Define what you hope to achieve – whether it’s expanding your network, connecting with cutting-edge technologies that may arrive to your ecosystem, or establishing partnerships. Having a clear roadmap will help you make the most of your time at the conference.

Slush is not just about the impressive lineup of speakers and sessions; it’s also a hub for impactful connections. Research the list of attendees and speakers in advance using My Slush mobile app. Identify key individuals and startups you’d like to connect with, and be prepared with your questions to ask. Meaningful connections often form the backbone of successful ecosystems, and Slush provides the perfect platform to foster these relationships.

Step 2: Connect with Relevant People in Advance

Knowing who will be at Slush is really crucial. There are thousands of people attending from various groups like governments, startups, investors, and more. Use the Slush platform to find and make a list of these people. Send meeting requests and prepare a list of meetings before your arrival Not to mention, we will be there as well, so do not forget to reach out to us, if you’ll be there as well.

Step 3: Attend Side Events

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Don’t miss out on the magic happening alongside the main event! Craft a plan to attend sessions that match your interests and your ecosystem’s needs. 

Slush goes beyond the usual with an array of side events organized by both governments and the private sector, covering a wide range of fascinating topics. Ensure you’re a part of the action by registering in advance through this link. Here are our top recommended side events, make sure you are registered on the Slush App to open them:

Work in Finland – bring your startup to Finland

Date & Time: Nov 30, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Organizer: Business Finland

Venue: Helsinki Lounge

What to Expect: Immerse yourself in the startup ecosystem of the happiest country in the world. Get insights from Mahmod Shamsi of StartupBlink on Finland’s startup scene.

The Startup Spotlight

Date & Time: Dec 1, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Organizer: Urban Tech Helsinki

Venue: Helsinki Lounge

What to Expect: Explore innovations from Helsinki’s most promising startups. Engage in startup pitches, a panel discussion on international cooperation, and witness the launch of the Urban Tech Helsinki challenge 2024.

Global Startup Ecosystem Mixer

Date & Time: Nov 29, 3:45 PM – 5:15 PM (Day 0)

Organizer: Maria 01

Venue: Maria 01 Campus, Arcade 5 Building (Lapinlahdenkatu 16, 001800 Helsinki)

What to Expect: Join a high-quality networking event in an intimate setting. Connect with carefully selected invitees from various countries and broaden your global network.

Lead the Change: Choose Europe

Date & Time: December 1, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Organizer: Choose Europe

Venue: Helsinki Lounge

What to Expect: Cities share insights, offering networking opportunities with a diverse range of European ecosystem players and companies.

Meet & Mingle with Lithuanian Startup Ecosystem

Date & Time: Nov 30, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Organizer: Startup Lithuania

Venue: 103A, Messukeskus Siipi Conference Centre

What to Expect: Network with ecosystem leaders and explore Lithuania’s startup initiatives for scaling startups.

#BreakingGrounds at Slush

Date & Time: Dec 1, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Organizer: The Recursive

Venue: 103A, Messukeskus Siipi Conference Centre

What to Expect: Discover how Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, and Poland are reshaping Europe’s tech narrative. Hear directly from entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders powering up these countries.

Where to invest next in the mobility sector?

Date & Time: Dec 1, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Organizer: EIT Urban Mobility

Venue: 103A, Messukeskus Siipi Conference Centre

What to Expect: Gain insights into investing in the mobility sector through a roundtable discussion with experts.

Pitching the Future of Clean Mobility

Date & Time: Nov 30, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Organizer: European Startup Prize for Mobility

Venue: 102 Auditorium, Messukeskus Siipi Conference Centre

What to Expect: Witness the winners of the European Startup Prize for Mobility pitch their solutions. Don’t miss this chance to catch innovators in the Mobility industry on their final stop in Helsinki.

Step 4: Keep an eye on the Main Stage

If you’re a government organization seeking to contribute to the success of an ecosystem, our Ecosystem Development Services provide the insights and strategies you need. Let’s collaborate to uncover the true potential of your ecosystem, driving growth, innovation, and a brighter future.

While side events offer a specialized approach to achieving your Slush goals, don’t overlook the main stage where renowned experts from diverse fields share their invaluable insights. Here are a few sessions that promise to be particularly captivating:

Building Companies from the Baltics and Beyond

Day & Time: Day 1, Founder Stage, 11:12 AM – 11:42 AM

Speakers: Sophia Bendz, Taavet Hinrikus, Markus Villig

Objective: Join this session to uncover the secrets behind the success of iconic Baltic companies and the visionaries steering them toward global triumph.

Policymakers x Founders — Lifting the Veil on AI’s Gray Areas

Day & Time: Day 2, Horizon Stage, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Speakers: Sandro Gianella, Luis Viegas, Melissa Heikkilä

Objective: Soar beyond the uncertainties of AI at this session, where Sandro Gianella and Luis Viegas discuss practical measures and policies with Melissa Heikkilä. Gain insights into how the interests of all parties can be balanced safely in the AI landscape.

Investing for the Public

Day & Time: Day 2, Horizon Stage, 2:40 PM – 3:04 PM

Speakers: Jannick Malling, Ivan Levingston

Objective: Explore the concept of democratized investing with Jannick Malling, founder of Public, and Ivan Levingston from the Financial Times. Discover why it’s time to rethink outdated investment frameworks for a financially liberated future.

Exploring Catalysts of Success in Emerging Markets

Day & Time: Day 2, Horizon Stage, 11:42 AM – 12:12 PM

Speakers: Babs and Honey Ogundey, Ricardo Schafer

Objective: Learn how to break out of geographical constraints and make an impact in emerging markets. Babs, Honey Ogundey, and Ricardo Schafer, Partner at Target Global, will lead the discussion, drawing on their experiences from the early days of both companies.

Make the most of these main stage sessions to glean strategic insights and stay at the forefront of industry trends at Slush!

Step 3: Get Your Materials Ready Beforehand

Since you’ll be talking to a lot of people and hearing many pitches, it’s a good idea to have your communication materials like brochures, visit cards or presentations ready on your device before the event. This way, you can easily share them with the folks you meet. Being prepared makes your conversations smoother and helps you to achieve your goals. So, take a bit of time to make sure your materials are good to go before the event kicks off!

Step 4: Nothing Ends After Slush

Once the event wraps up, the Slush Venue turns into a lively place filled with awesome performances, fun activities, and tasty food and drinks. Hang out with the cool people you’ve met.

After things calm down, take a moment to act on the network and knowledge you gained. Reach out to the new friends and contacts you made, share your thoughts on social media, and consider how what you’ve learned can help your work. This time after the event is perfect for building stronger connections and making plans for what comes next. It’s not just the end of Slush; it’s a chance to keep growing and working together.