Slush Helsinki, Finland | November 13.-15.11.2013 Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:16:17 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 How to Make Friends and Take in the Tech Conf Wed, 02 Jan 2013 05:25:56 +0000 Sitar Teli, the Managing Partner of ConnectVentures was a first-time visitor at last year’s Slush and discussed networking and meeting people at events, while admitting to being herself sometimes fearful of a networking situation.

Sitar’s top three tips on networking

  • Be specific about what you want out of the meeting
  • Be open: Talk to as many people as possible, not only the famous ones
  • Preparation! Do your homework in advance and contact people before hand to set up a meeting during the conference

Watch the 4-minute recap of Sitar’s talk below.

And the full lightning talk from Slush 2012 here.

All prepped for your next networking endeavour now? Let us know how it went & we hope these tips proved useful!

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Slush 2012: It’s A Wrap! Sun, 23 Dec 2012 19:05:51 +0000 Ladies and gentlemen!

We’ve had a month to recover from Slush 2012 – what an event! In this post, we’ll share some metrics, statistics, media coverage and views from you guys.

Rush hour on the demo lane

For a quick recap, check out these links

Traffic hits the roof – tens of thousands bitten by the frost

It’s been super exciting – and humbling! – to see the attendance numbers rise over the years. 2010 Slush saw roughly 400 attendees, whereas in 2011, we hiked the number up to a 1,500 unique visitors during the event and this year, we broke a new record of 3,500 registered attendees – whoah!

On upper left: Sportlyzer demoing. Upper right corner: Dreamdo dream wall. Lower left corner: The Jolla team takes over, and lower right corner: Chris from Ovelin and a GuitarBot.

A tragic victim to the massive popularity of #slush12 was our website. was down for some parts of Wednesday, the 21st, but when it was up, it was visited by over 25k uniques during Slush. Our live stream during the event also kept busy; Almost 30,000 people viewed the live coverage during the two days. We were especially excited by the truly global audience we draw together; we had followers from a total of 134 countries from all continents.

Press matters

There were some great blogposts, news stories and reporting taking place at Slush – we even had a live minute TV broadcast at Finland’s biggest TV channel, MTV3. Head here for the full list of media hits in international media as well as stories in Finnish.

Some of our favorite pieces include:

There’s an amazing critical mass here”, said Sean Seton- Rogers, general partner at London-based Profounders Capital, who joined thousands of investors and entrepreneurs in the Nordic region’s biggest startup event, Slush, in Helsinki this week. “Once you start having a viable ecosystem, it feeds off itself.

‘Angry Birds’ Fuels Finland Game Boom as More Hits Emerge
Bloomberg, Nov 23, 2012 

Five hundred companies and 200 investors have come together for the largest start-up conference in northern Europe […] The confidence and excitement at Slush is palpable.

Nokia decline sparks Finnish startup boom
BBC, Dec 13, 2012

It was also a lot of fun, brimming with the optimism of its young wards, who organized a monster party on the conference’s first night.

Out of the fire, into the sauna: How students power Finland’s startup ecosystem
PandoDaily, Nov 22, 2012 

Chirp, chirp, says the crowd

So, apart from the media, what did our conference goers think of Slush? Well, judging by the Twitter stream, you guys seem to appreciate random encounters, complain about the wi-fi (…while hogging the wi-fi with your multiple devices, might I add – according to Walkbase, over 3k individual devices were connected at a given time..) and make quite a few rock concert comparisons.

Here’s a few of our fave tweets, for more look up the #slush12 stream.










Join the movement: Help make #slush13 better

Attended Slush this year? Please take five minutes and fill out our feedback form – and perhaps your ideas and comments will happen November 2013! Remember to follow us on Twitter & Facebook to stay up-to-date on #slush13 announcements and you’re always welcome to shoot us a mail at info at It’s a community effort & all help is appreciated!

Thank you community!

The (almost) complete #slush12 core team


Creating Northern Europe’s biggest and boldest startup conference so far was the overarching vision we had for Slush. Thank you all who participated in one way or another in building that dream.

Especially thanks to our numerous, fantastic partners, including MTV Media, Skolkovo Foundation, Aalto University, Nokia, Tekes, Evli, Supercell, PwC, Bird & Bird, EIT ICT Labs, Qualcomm Ventures, Elisa, Reaktor, Lifeline Ventures, AppCampus, Rovio, Helsinki Business Hub, Autokeskus, Treeform, and many many more. A big thank you to you all!

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What Does Slush Mean for Startups Like Deveo, Uplause, and Infogram. Sun, 25 Nov 2012 08:56:38 +0000 We’ve seen over 3,000 people at Slush which translate to 3,000 different stories. Out of those, I’ve done short interviews on some of the most interesting teams during the event. Keep your eyes on these teams.

Deveo team at Slush
Image: Deveo

Deveo, source-code collaboration platform for SW.
For anyone who knows anything about software development in Finland must have heard of Eficode. Deveo is an internal startup of the company designed to fully utilize its extensive experience in the software development field. The team leader, Tair Assimov, aired full confidence for the openness and flexibility of Deveo which attracted the attention of the developer-minded at Slush.

Deveo is enterprise software development and collaboration platform with version control at its heart. In the Cloud or Standalone, Deveo team offers a streamlined experience to collaborate on code and extend the platform.

The flexibility of the platform makes it possible for organizations of all sizes to use it.
Users can adapt the tool to your changing business needs and support syncing feature. Tair went on to say “During Slush, we had good feedback from people. The existing platform is rather limiting. It’s frustrating for users who want to have control over the platform and teams working in geographically-distributed regions.”

Deveo is set to launch app store within the platform next year. 30-day free trial can be found here.

Uplause at play
Image: Uplause

Uplause, crowd-engaging games for live events.
Uplause offers a crowd-engaged game at live events. The company has worked with some of the largest brands in the world, such as Samsung, Worldcup Brazil and so on.

When Jussi Marin, co-founder of the company, asked audience to play their games for themselves during his talk, people were at first hesitant. Yet it only took them barely a minute to learn how to play it and enjoy it. Soon the event stage at cable factory was full of people shouting to keep the airplane floating up in the air and control the altitude. This was by all means one of the most impressive moments at this year’s Slush.

Other than voice-activated games, they also have types of games which utilize LED at fieldside and social media. With the intuitive design of the game, it easily engages audience of any event from sports to music festival.

Imagine thousands of people at a soccer stadium plays the same game at the same time together. Wouldn’t it be so cool?

Image: Infogram

Infogram, largest infographics community on Earth.
This year’s Slush was 2nd time for him, 2011 being the first. He shared a bit painful flashback of last year’s Slush in a proud voice. He received 100 business cards, ten of which were VCs. He sent emails to them, and no one replied but one saying “sorry, maybe next year.”

And he catapulted the company at the right center of VC’s radar. Infogram is now the largest infographics community in the world. The co-founder of Infogram, Uldis Leiterts, boasts of 550,000 monthly visitors and 1.5 million monthly page view. The company’s service has been very well received by journalists and it has seen 250,000 infographics made so far.

Another epic come-from-behind story of Slush.


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Rovio’s “Why Not?” Spirit Spreads to Partners Sat, 24 Nov 2012 10:52:05 +0000 Recent partnerships between Rovio and some of Finland’s most prestigious brands like Olvi, Fazer and Lappset have achieved tremendous success. However, exposure to Rovio’s fast-paced approach has also changed how these partner companies and others think about their respective businesses.

Rovio has a “why not?” spirit, explained Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka. “It’s part of how we do things at Rovio” he said, speaking on a panel during Slush 2012 in Helsinki, Finland. It’s this envelope-pushing mentality that drives the Angry Birds franchise to challenge long-established product development timelines to get new crossover products and others to market faster than ever before.

Rovio was not only founded but also maintains its headquarters in nearby Espoo. Thus, the panel focused on how Rovio’s success was bringing Finnish brands in particular to fly equally high. Vesterbacka was joined by Rovio Co-Founder Niklas Hed.

“Why choose Finnish companies to do this?” asked moderator Miki Kuusi of Startup Sauna about Rovio’s recent flurry of partnerships with local brands.

“We wanted to pick partners that can move very very fast,” said Vesterbacka. “It’s good business for us and good business for them” he added, and that having partners a short drive or plane ride away makes things easier, not to mention sharing the same time zone.

And Rovio’s partners agree. “You have to act like a startup,” added Juha Laakkonen, also on the panel and CEO of Lappset, the company responsible for helping launch Angry Birds‘ theme parks. “We have to be extraordinary to challenge Disney, so [we thought] let’s work with Rovio,” said Laakkonen while the company was considering the venture.

Pairing with Lappset made sense for Rovio. “We didn’t have $5 billion to put into a swamp outside Shanghai,” alluding to Disney’s activity in China. So Rovio decided to compete with a different model and build smaller, neighborhood-scale parks with the help of Lappset.

The “why not?” mentality is paying dividends. At Rovio’s behest, Hasbro’s Angry Birds Star Wars toys were developed at lightspeed compared to standard production schedules. Now they’ve become the US-based toymaker’s biggest selling products this year, Vesterbacka said.

When Rovio wanted to develop a new Angry Birds candy in just six months with Finnish candymaker Fazer it was said that it was not possible. “And we asked why not?” said Vesterbacka. The result became the best selling candy Fazer has made in their 125 year history, Vesterbacka added.

Ditto for Finnish beverage maker Olvi, whose Angry Birds beverages are now outselling Coke and Pepsi in Finland according to Vesterbacka. He also complimented Olvi on their commitment to the effort by dramatically increasing production and purchasing a new factory to make new drinks.

Text and image by Tuomas Sahramaa


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Two Lessons Kippt Learned from Y-combinator. Fri, 23 Nov 2012 17:30:59 +0000 First Finnish startup accepted to YC.
The founders, Jori Lallo and Karri Saarinen, started Kippt as the proverbial frustrated users. They looked for something that makes it super easy to collect, share, and find useful information, packed in the beautiful design. So they made Kippt. Kippt is a social and collaborative bookmarking website.

Since the first launch in May this year, the growth process of Kippt has been accelerated by the contribution of developers who want to improve the product. Kippt team was accepted to Y-combinator at this summer batch as the first case in Finland and thus gave much inspiration and hope for entrepreneurs based in Finland.

Kippt at Slush
Image credit: Yu Shen

Not Dying and Design.
The talk of two co-founders boiled down to two topics: survival and design. They opened up by reminding us of Paul Graham’s take on survival of startups. “If you can just avoid dying, you get rich. That sounds like a joke, but it’s what happens in a typical startup.” They said “The default state of startups is going to a grave. You must fight hard to escape dying.”

They went on to share their ideas on design. Karri Saarinen, the co-founder who takes care of design, said “The best design is the design that’s shipped”, a variation on “Done is better than perfect.” at Facebook’s HQ.

The excitement was definitely shown on their faces, when they talked about the extensive use cases of their APIs. They bring to a close their talk by saying “Let people hack, make money, and help you”. This idea of driving the growth based on reciprocity was, by all means, one of the most memorable quotes during Slush.

Quick 5-minute Interview on Karri Saarinen.
1. Monetization
Pro account is now available. You can donate 25 dollars to support our service. Also we are planning to add more features and make a new class of account for organizations. We would be able to charge them.”

2. Y-combinator
“No tricks. Writing in simple English is the first thing. Having a good understanding in what they look for is another, which can be partly achieved for example, by reading PG’s blogposts. The interview is nothing like the conventional one. They want to really talk to you as a human being.”

3. New Features
“Kippt is evolving day after day, by users. In the next update, we will include many community requested changes, a new interface and wider support of different content. You can check out our website to try our the new features in advance.”

Check out slides of Kippt and press release during Slush.


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Fishbrain wins Slush 2012 Fri, 23 Nov 2012 04:35:49 +0000 A big congratulations to Fishbrain, the winner of this year’s lightweight pitching competition.  Fishbrain is a mobile app to help its users catch more and bigger fish. How it works is by allowing anglers to log, analyze and share news on their catch. They have released as a beta in Sweden and boast having already 15 000 catches shared on their service.

Photo: Daniel Taipale  © All rights reserved

Being the winner of the lightweight startup track is no easy feat. Starting with the preliminaries in the lightweight-100, participants have only 2 minutes to give their pitch in front of an audience and panel of judges. With one pitch after another, it’s a challenge to stand out from the rest and stay focused on only main points. Successful pitches move on to the lightweight-20 and then to the finals where only the best are selected to give their 5 minute pitch on the main stage. The competition was fierce in the finals against our runners up Catchbox, the world’s first audience microphone; Doggifit, a convenient and easy way to manage your dog’s health; and Health Puzzle who’s helping people regain control of their health.

These past two days at Slush were exhilarating and jammed packed with program. With all that’s going on its important not to forget Slush’s main mission: increasing the visibility of startups and helping them make the right connections. Mission accomplished I would say, and looking forward to following along with how these startups develop. See you next year I hope, and a big congratulations to all of our pitching participants!

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Creating luxury products for wants and desires Thu, 22 Nov 2012 13:44:03 +0000

Anssi Vanjoki talked to the Slush audience about one of the extreme segments a company can focus to – the luxury users. Focusing is especially important as it’s really difficult to create a product that works for all the 7 billion potential users. But if you focus on a specific segment and succeed, it’s lot easier to proceed to bigger segments as well.

Rich people are a segment of 25 million people, that got their money in various ways, so they don’t have any traditional demographic similarities. They do, however, share a very important characteristics: they don’t  consume only for their needs, they also consume for their wants and desires. And luxury products are something built on the roots of art and people associating value with things they desire. This combination of beauty and desire can then translate to satisfied luxury customers if the companies can fine tune their focus and tick the right boxes in their luxury offering.

Vanjoki also let some light on the future plans for Vertu, the luxury phone maker formerly owned by Nokia. In the future Vertu will be taking a more holistic attitude towards luxury, and broadening the concept from the jewel-like exterior to the internal components and user interface of the phone as well. They are also planning to make the Vertu phones more upgradable to keep up with the new luxury technology without upgrading the diamond-covered exterior. The cheaper upgrade cycle is certainly something that even the technology-oriented wealthy people can appreciate.

-Joona Kurikka

- Image by Daniel Taipale

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Transfluent announces new partnerships Thu, 22 Nov 2012 13:26:13 +0000 Transfluent, the company recently named “Best service provider” by Nordic Startup Awards announced two new partnerships yesterday at Slush.

The language translation service has teamed up with Automattic, the company behind popular Web publishing platform VIP, and Unity, the world’s most popular game development platform.

Transfluent is the first and only translation provider for VIP, which is Automattic’s premium cloud-based software and services provider designed specifically for large-scale enterprises and media companies.

Automattic, VIP

Users of VIP can have any content they publish professionally translated, with a single click. Transfluent uses a network of over 15,000 translators to quickly allocate a translator to a project. Once the translation is finished, the result is published automatically and displayed to the website customers speaking that language.


Unity is the most popular tool for creating mobile games. Transfluent is made available directly in the game development environment, through the Unity Asset Store, making it completely effortless to manage various language versions of a game.Transfluent updates the translations each time a developer builds a new version of the game, thus keeping all of the language versions up to date, with no additional effort. Transfluent also provides translations of the app store description and other marketing materials.


Transfluent CEO Jani Penttinen speaking at Slush

– Katrina Hahling

– Image by Daniel Taipale

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Blaast launches new services at Slush Thu, 22 Nov 2012 10:02:35 +0000 Leading cloud-based mobile app platform Blaast made huge announcements on the mainstage of Slush yesterday afternoon.  Not only will it expand its offering from feature phones to entry-level Android devices but will also launch an Android service in collaboration with Sony Mobile and XL Axiata.

What is Blaast?

Using the revolutionary approach of running mobile apps in the cloud, and not on the device, Blaast brings rich, always-on apps to feature phones. The Blaast ecosystem consists of a vibrant 3rd party developer community, mobile operators and handset manufacturers whose goal is to provide high quality apps and user experience to mobile subscribers.


Tailored smartphone data packages for the first time in the world

Blaast introduces tailored data packages as a solution to match consumers need to use apps in an affordable and safe way with operator’s business model requirements.

Launch with Sony Mobile and XL Axiata

Blaast’s cloud-based app store will launch in Indonesia pre-installed on Sony’s new device Xperia™ J, an Android Smartphone with 4-inch display, beefy battery, 1GHz processor and 5-megapixel camera.

The service will make its debut in Indonesia in collaboration with the key operator partner XL Axiata, the second biggest mobile operator in Indonesia who will offer an inexpensive unlimited Blaast Apps data plan for 5 USD / month with 20 locally popular apps.

“Blaast aims to be the consumer’s champion for using mobile apps. We want to offer people’s favourite apps for less data and less money around the world. The pre-installation of Blaast on Sony Xperia™ J and first availability through XL Axiata is a great milestone for us in reaching our vision,” said Joonas Hjelt, CEO and cofounder.

– Katrina Hahling

– Image by Daniel Taipale

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Lightweight top 20 pitches Thu, 22 Nov 2012 05:48:35 +0000

The Slush lightweight pitching competition is where you find the startup community’s most enthusiastic and newest group of innovative businesses. The idea is simple, a group of 100 startups have 2 minutes to pitch to an audience and jury of experts to convince them that their startup company is the next big one. Although a rather simple idea, the task itself is rather demanding. Having only two minutes to present the gist of what makes one startup stand out from the rest proves to be difficult to entrepreneurs who have been working with their product day in, day out. A lack of focus on the part of the presenter to present main ideas clearly and concisely sometimes leaves the audience wondering as to what the startup is actually doing.  Some startups clearly come out on top, and four from each group of pitches selected to move onwards to today’s lightweight top-20 pitching competition and only the best moving on to the finals.

The winners of yesterday’s top-100 are below, as well as the times you will find them on the pitching stage.


Bliu Bliu
FilmFriend Ltd.
Lost in Translations Inc.



Health Puzzle
Innozed Oy
MNE creations
Sankarimedia Oy

Congratulations everyone on your great pitches, we’ll see you today on the pitching stage.

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