What was SLUSH all about for us? 

Slush was established in 2008 in Helsinki, Finland if I recall it right. It was a modest event in the beginning. Citynomadi participated with a demo stand on 2010 and 2011 – when the event seemed to have future and so called market demand – first time in the Cable Factor. The profile of the investors was very much Finnish like. Last year we had a demo stand on the second day and traffic was steady.

In 2015 – side events

Last week’s Slush was breaking its records over again. Some of the visitors reckoned that Slush will turn into an establishment, meaning that the fresh marginality and rebellious attitude will be gone.

I don’t know, but I doubt it. Slush evolves at the time. This year you could participate a number of side events all over Helsinki. Believe me, one of the wildest was the idea to invite the NGOs and public sector to meet the start ups. And not only the start ups, each other and investors. The NGO sector needs new ideas to put into the practice in a drive level of Slush. The world faces problems, individuals face problems and start ups want and need to face the user feedback. It’s a perfect match!

Growth

Not only for start ups, Slush is for the growth companies, this year even more explicitly. The start ups do well a good idea can be piloting with a small amount of money, with the government support. Then there’s the marketing and internationalising challenge. If there’s not enough marketing and selling competency many of good ideas will fall. And that’s not always the company’s fault. The founders may try, spend money and energy and still loose the grip. It’s the growing that’s painful.

Investing

The death toll of the new born companies even in Finland before reaching five years is about 50 %, so there’s a lot of waste of good ideas, energy and effort. Hopefully the investors would notice this gap and start to support the companies with a product but not enough turnover to survive the hard marketing struggle.

The investors tend to swarm around the trends, so they smell money in ideas or tend to pick up the companies with already steady cash flow.

Jobs

For the students and new job seekers, there was a recruiting area for them. I like the spectre of perspectives.

Trends

The trend of today according to the demo booths seems to be the data analysing, sales and marketing analysing, user analysing, analysing in general. Two specific companies I’d pick up were Walkbase, that analyses the behaviour of visitors within a specific area and Enevo, that analyses the waste containers filling degree. Analyse and make the processes of the customer organization more efficient.

It was nice to notice the amount of foreign companies around together with the companies presenting so called old fashioned products such as card games, 3D wooden puzzles and cuddly toys with a light. Nothing to do with digitalising.

One success story for sure will the grasshopper growery concept in a sea container size. The target is to produce protein without a huge carbon footprint.

Slush 100

Slush 100 is the competition of the best pitch, a sales talk that makes people to buy your idea. Remember: ‘I would not buy a used car from him!’. Not like that.

Read more about Slush 100 on http://www.slush.org/slush-100/

Parody

The Slush has been remarked in everyday life at least in Finland, it had even inspired the skit makers of a popular TV show Putous (Fall down) last Saturday. As a part of the competition of the funny characters was the pitching competition. Among the ideas there were a mother-in-law app, a cougars’ lad trap, a virtual reality paper bag, a 30 day stadium concert with one performer, a movie of life and deeds of a 9 year old genius, a video game of Super Mario in 2015 …

And to be honest the true life’s start up ideas sometimes sound like skits last Saturday. But, you never know what will be the future.

Next year – see you!

I liked Slush, I enjoyed being there, I got to know a lot of new people, I talked with interesting persons, I created networks, I’ll attend next year.

Have a look at the photo report of ours on Pinterest. Do not worry about the quality of the photos, because it’s always dark in there, the photos are dark and despite the flash they’re dark.

https://www.pinterest.com/citynomadi/slush-2015/

By Merja 17.11.2015

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