Slush 2018. Day preview


    For me, the new business year began in early December 2018. In Helsinki, I visited Slush , an annual IT conference that gathers thousands of investors and startups.

    Who are interested in the details of such events - welcome under cat.

    All photos in the text are clickable - full-size images are opened.

    10 facts about Slush


    1. The name from English translates as "slush." This capacious word characterizes the weather in Finland at the junction of autumn and winter.
    2. Current statistics: the number of startups - 3100, investors - 1800, journalists - 650, participants - 20 000. This makes Slush the most ambitious European start-up conference today.
    3. In 2018, the conference celebrated its 10th anniversary. Slush has been held annually since 2008, when there were only 300 participants.
    4. “No one in their right mind would go to Helsinki in November. Welcome freaks. Such a slogan at one of the past conferences met participants.
    5. Slush is actively expanding into the Asian market. Since 2015, events have also been held in Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore.
    6. What do Slush and Angry Birds have in common? The co-founder of both projects is Finn Peter Westerbacka (Peter Vesterbacka).
    7. On Slush you can meet famous people. Here you can cross with an American vice president, a Chinese minister, a Nobel laureate, a billionaire, or the head of a corporation.
    8. Investment of 900 million euros. Approximately so much at the conference business angels made investments in start-ups for the entire existence of Slush.
    9. Mobile saunas are working on the conference area. Often, start-ups visit the Finnish sauna to relax before key meetings, but some even hold a rendezvous with investors in such an interesting place for business negotiations.
    10. Most business meetings are scheduled via the Matchmaking Tool mobile app. It is not necessary to look for the right person at a huge exhibition - just write him a message from a smartphone.

    At Slush, I was invited by a business partner and just a good man, David Roberts . He is a copywriter and blogger, prepares content for promotion in the US market, please contact.

    At work, he often has to attend such events. Immediately after Helsinki, he drove off to give a report to Reykjavik - an IT conference was also held there, albeit on orders of magnitude smaller.

    Road


    The most important thing is not to forget business cards. I ordered as many as 500 pieces. I did not give everything away, but I am sure that they will not be lost.

    He traveled by train "Leo Tolstoy" Moscow-Helsinki. A small life hack for trips to Finland. The Finns open the visa for a long time (about two weeks), but a visa to enter any other country of the European Union is also suitable. I had a French one, they do it much faster.



    Investor day


    Arriving in Helsinki and settling into the hotel, immediately went, as they say, from ship to ball. The main exhibition lasted two days ( December 4-5 ), but the day before it was possible to visit a heap of preliminary events. First was the so-called Investor Day. The protagonists are, oddly enough, investors, which can be found in the course of organized round tables. There were many tables, having reserved a place behind one of them, it was possible to take part in discussions of various issues and make a favorable impression on some business angel. However, the search for funding was not my goal of attending the conference, I’m interested in standing startups, in which I myself am ready to invest



    (just not money, but something more valuable - the man-hours of the EDISON team).

    The main plus of all this is that they fed tasty and free of charge (you could even miss a glass or two of good wine, but I decided that it was too early for libations). Having looked at investors and having had a bite at a business lunch, I went further.

    Slush 100


    All this day was the 11-hour marathon, where start-ups were given a few minutes to tell how they are changing the world . The patient jury steadfastly listened to speeches, asked insidious questions.

    The event itself was of an image character, the main goal was not to find an investor here and now (although it’s likely that there will be an interesting project with money), but to declare oneself. The mojo diagnostic , which raised the problem of insufficient attention to male infertility, was instructive .



    The bottom line is this. In developed countries, there is a clear trend when people have children in adulthood. Young people are mainly concerned with “getting on their feet”, it is not easy to feed themselves, and children are still an expensive pleasure. Therefore, the birth of offspring is postponed until the mature age (30-40 years), when men and women already have the appropriate financial capabilities.

    However, Mother Nature doesn’t care about this economy. It is preferable for girls to give birth just before the age of 30, and if you do not keep the deadline in this matter, the likelihood of health problems greatly increases. All this is well known and, in general, modern medicine, mostly, and sharpened on women. Male infertility is paid to orders of magnitude less attention, and meanwhile, men are no less likely to cause couples to be childless than women. The startup just sets a quite ambitious goal - to raise the study of male fertility to the proper level. Or here is PrivacyAnt , automating business processes and workflow, taking into account local laws on personal data protection.



    In my opinion, the HYIP, which was raised due to the demand of Russia to keep data on Russians in the territory of the Russian Federation, is greatly exaggerated - in fact, this is strictly all over the world right now. We ourselves are doing various cloud services for customers from different countries - so I know firsthand that problems with the protection of personal data are everywhere in full growth.

    In general, the guys are doing this - on secure servers they provide cloud services for business with personal data. And all of the legislative Feng Shui. At the Teacherly presentation (educational topic, joint lesson planning, coaching platform, group teachers, that's all), the thought came that it was not necessary to offer something out of the ordinary.



    If there is a proper promotion, an entrepreneurial sense of the founders and a bit of luck, then it is much easier to promote a standard project than a super-brilliant idea. For the success of an idea, you need to change the consciousness of half the world. Therefore, it is easier to go along the beaten track - which almost all startups do.

    More photos from Slush 100










    Full video



    We, by the way, with David hit the frame. In the last one and a half or two hours, they moved closer to the stage and served as a background for the jury.

    Germany Day


    One of the side programs on the preliminary day were presentations from individual countries - technological leaders. Of the world flagships, it wasn’t perhaps the United States, but there were all the others that are leaders in the IT sphere - Germany, Israel, Italy, China, the Netherlands, Russia, Finland, France, Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea, and Japan. Representative events (called “Day of Russia”, “Day of France”, etc., respectively) were held approximately simultaneously. In principle, it was possible to visit several of them. I devoted most of my time to German startups, although I also looked at some others. Among the favorites I want to mention Agranimo , presented at the “Day of Germany”.



    About the "smart field". Over the entire area of ​​farmland, sensors and drones monitor the microclimate, measuring the temperature (air, soil), humidity, etc. Data are analyzed and taking into account the weather forecast, recommendations are made - what, where and when to water, what fertilizers should be used, etc. The system allows you to collect the maximum yield with optimal use of resources.

    It would be interesting to go and look at all this. It seems they have a "demo field" where you can see for yourself that it all works.

    More photos from the "Day of Germany"








    What impressed on all these "days" was a lot of Russian-speaking programmers. The guys from Russia / Belarus / Ukraine work in startups around the world , and there are much less representatives from other Eastern European countries. There are a lot of our girls among the marketers.

    Slush Opening Party


    Late enough (at 22-23: 00) a party was held in honor of the opening of a start-up holiday of life. I met interesting guys from Poland. One of them is the owner of an outsourcing company. There are two or three large regular customers, which, on the one hand, provides a stable profit, and on the other hand, it has enough time and resources to invest in small startups.

    At such parties, it is enough just to get acquainted, you can come to any and questions a la “Hello! What's up? What's what? ”Strike up a conversation. However, I did not stay at the party for long, I was very tired during the day (besides, I was still awake from the train). Went to the hotel to recuperate for the next two very intense days.

    End: Slush 2018. Day One, Day Two


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    Have you ever attended a startup conference? If so, what was the total number of participants (viewers + speakers)?

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