Slush, The Autumn Spectacle Arrives

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It’s once again the time of the year when everyone wakes to realize Slush happens in just a few weeks. You should start fine tuning your approach and prepare a strategy to find what you need at the most important startup spectacle of the year. Don’t let the lasers and loud music fool you though, Slush is about pure rock-solid business. It’s an immense opportunity to gain new business growth and forming partnerships.

More professional on all fronts

Each year Slush is getting deeper into the collaboration between startups and enterprises to create real and concrete partnerships. The “tourist” tickets have been discontinued, meeting area has quadrupled, and speakers talk about scaling up with enterprises on stages. Therefore, the 20 000 attendees are going to be even more business-savvy and less touristy than last time. This means you’ll have more business opportunities than ever before, but it also means you will have to get in the game early on and stay active to beat the increased competition. The moment you step into the venue you should already know exactly who to meet and where to be at which times. Slush is no place for “just looking around”.

The stage program of Slush is mainly for inspiration and entertainment. On the other hand, the greatest business value is achieved through in-depth meetings and industry-specific side events, and that’s where you should be spending the vast majority of your time. Since there’s only two days of the show, you’ll need to weigh carefully which handful of companies out of the 3 000 startups you want to meet and which few of the 500 side events you need to attend to. It requires rolling up your sleeves beforehand and preparing properly.

Crafting your strategy

To make sure you don’t waste time on meetings and events which turn out irrelevant, you need a clear vision of what you’re looking for. There are plenty of aspects to the strategy that must be taken into account:

  • You should consider if you’re looking for product suppliers, technology providers, collaborative development partners or other types of collaboration.

  • You’ll need to define the suitable distance from your core business, as in are you looking to enhance your current core business, expand it or open up pathways to new business areas.

  • You have to investigate your internal capabilities to find if you would prefer working with early stage startups or later stage scaleups.

  • And on top of it all you should have a plan for what to do with the companies after the event.

It’s all like a big puzzle, and the companies who connect the most puzzle pieces in their strategy win the game by spending their time productively. The more effort you put in, the more you get out of it. Handled properly, Slush is a powerful tool for growth and transformation.

Find your optimal Slush experience

If all this seems overwhelming, don’t worry, everyone is in the same situation and we’re here for you. Last year, we helped Altia’s Strategy Director Samu Suonpää put together the Slush puzzle by sparring with the strategy and screening through all the startups and side events. Together with Samu we selected the most interesting ones and arranged the meetings and registrations. We then crafted a personal minute-level schedule with all the meetings and events relevant to him. He only had to show up at the venue and follow the schedule to find amazing companies and content. Afterwards we provided analysis of the relevant industry developments and trends present in an easily shareable Slush report.

If this service sounds like something you could find useful, I’ve included more information here (brief pdf file) or you can just drop me a mail in the address at the bottom of the page. Let me know what you think, we’re happy to help!

PS. Feel free to join in and chat with us at our LOOP Circular Economy Ventures and Maritime Accelerator side events at Slush. More info behind the bolded links.

Eljas Linna

eljas@avantoventures.com