Slush – one of the world's largest startup events – came back this year and was organized in the beginning of December. Despite the event being scaled down to meet the Covid-19 requirements, the venue was still buzzing with people and innovations. The Invest in Finland Team gathered their thoughts after the event, and the conclusion is clear: Slush is where you get the new ideas, have the best discussions, and get to meet new fantastically interesting people.
As the Slush banner stated – Welcome to the real deal – it felt exhilarating to get to meet people in person, and to have those great conversations that might not have happened online.
And the old Slush Magic was alive and well: it's still a tremendous forum for planned and adhoc meetings with various parties, to engage, connect and reconnect!
Sustainability theme had a strong presence at Slush 2021, especially in the form of startups present at the booths (and making pitches, of course!).
Obviously, investors are already mindful of the various aspects of sustainability – be it economic, social or environmental – but the Slush "sustainability menu" probably provided new, green insights to each and every one of us.
One of the most talked about speeches at Slush was tech guru Benedict Evan's talk about the 'Three Paths to the Future' which offered rapid-fire insights to some of the emerging trends (oh yes, metaverse was mentioned a time or two).
According to the futuristic visions, our clothes will be virtual in practically no time – and virtual luxury will gain ground as the zero-carbon circular luxury. Can't wait to see what happens next!
But essentially, it really doesn't matter who you are: there's real value in getting a snapshot of what's going on in different ecosystems and industries during the Slush week.
Once again, there was great programming and networking at the already-legendary Slush side events. There was something for everyone, both invitation-only as well as open side events, with themes covering, well, pretty much everything.
It's also worthwhile to note that Helsinki becomes even more vibrant city when the Slush Week hits – the old Daughter of the Baltic dusts off those dancing shoes and parties down!