Slush start-up conference in Helsinki made a new record with over 14000 visitors and more than 1000 companies during the two-day show on 18-19 November. EIT ICT Labs has supported Slush since 2010 and was one of the Key Partners this year. “It is truly exciting that Slush has grown into one of the leading startup events globally. This was the perfect place for European startups to accelerate their business, and to form connections with investors and large industry players. I am also sure that our students were inspired by the energy of Slush”, said Marko Turpeinen, Director for EIT ICT Labs Helsinki.
Digital health was a hot topic with nearly 200 companies from this domain attending the event with plenty of creative solutions that improve consumers’ wellbeing, from physical activity to mental fitness."At SLUSH we showcased 19 European Health & Wellbeing startups and 2 brand new ones that are spin-offs from our innovation projects. The companies received tens of business and funding leads that will be followed up in the coming weeks,” explains Outi Toijala, lead for the HWB Business Community.
Hectic buzz at the Community stands
”I have never been to Finland, let alone to the Slush conference before. I heard so many good things about Slush so I came with expectations and I can truly say that the expectations were exceeded by far. The booth that EIT ICT Health and Wellbeing business community kindly provided was a massive opportunity for us. I didn't leave the booth for straight 9 hours because there were constantly people interested in SOMA Analytics. Interestingly enough also many prospective clients and partners, so it is absolutely worth it also for B2B companies. One of the highlights was also an interview by the Finnish national TV that was aired the same night in the main news watched by over a million people. What more can I say: we got mega PR, relevant business contacts, lots of new impressions and finally also learned that reindeer not only brings presents but can also be a very delicious steak”, Johann Huber from Soma Analytics summarized his experiences. Soma Analytics programme is designed to increase mental resilience and reduce the risk of depression, anxiety and stress.
The German Tinnitracks, one of the companies that EIT ICT Labs brought to Slush, helps people with tinnitus to treat it with filtered music of their own liking. "I really enjoyed attending the Slush conference. Pitching at the Top100 competition on Tuesday and having a booth for the entire Wednesday made it to a success for Tinnitracks. It was a great diversity of valuable contacts I made, from investors to potential business partners and also to a lot of tinnitus patients. The side event at the EIT ICT Labs' Co-location Centre on Monday and the GE Health Innovation Village were also opportunities to pitch and meet. Thanks to the EIT ICT Labs team for the very well organised week in Helsinki and their tremendous support”, said Joerg Land from Tinnitracks - Treat Tinnitus With Your Favourite Music
Winner of the pitching competition got 500 000 Euros
The Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb who opened the conference on the first day had the same message to the audience as to his children. He tells them every evening to “dream, believe, work hard and you’ll succeed”. These words became true for the pitching competition winner, Enbrite.ly, that won 500 000 euros in investment. The Hungarian company aims to make online traffic sources as transparent as possible. It allows its customers to improve and optimize their online marketing actions through the utilization of big data and predictive analytics. Three of the community companies - Beast, Tinnitracks and Wellmo - participated in the pithing competition.
Wellmo's Head of Marketing Hanna-Leena Back was very satisfied with the attention their product got at Slush even though they didn't proceed to the pitching semifinals. "Slush was particularly important for us this year as we launched our service to the international media. We were delighted to see TechCrunch feature us during Slush - a great result after a lot of preparation and hard work! We were also featured in the Finnish TV news and in a well-known financial media in Sweden, Dagens Industri", explained Hanna-Leena.
Author - Suvi Lavinto