Slush (event)

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Slush Black Logo.png
GenreTechnology, startups
VenueMessukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre
CountryFinland, Japan, China
Attendance25,000 (2019)

Slush is a startup and tech event. Slush facilitates meetings between the founders of startups and investors such as venture capitalists, accomplished with events such as matchmaking and pitching competitions. Slush aims to build a worldwide startup community. The event is held annually, in late fall, in Helsinki, Finland. In 2019, Slush gathered 25,000 attendees, with over 3,500 startups, 2,000 investors and 600 journalists coming in from over a hundred countries to participate together in this global networking festival.

Since 2015, Slush also run events throughout the world under Slush Tokyo, Slush Shanghai and Slush Small Talks events.[1]

In 2019, Slush started producing a startup media called Soaked by Slush[2] and running its own entrepreneurial education program, Slush Academy.[3]

The company's turnover is more than ten million euros.[4]


The founders of Slush were Peter Vesterbacka, then working at Rovio with Angry Birds, together with Timo Airisto, a lawyer.[5] In 2011, Miki Kuusi became the CEO, and together with Atte Hujanen and Jenni Kääriäinen organized the event at Kaapelitehdas, with 1500 attendees. The event was staffed mainly by student volunteers from Aaltoes (Aalto Entrepreneurship Society) of Aalto University.[6]


Slush 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[7] In August 2020, Slush announced that it's creating a new curated online community for European startups, investors, and ecosystem builders, Node by Slush. [8]


Slush 2019

Slush 2019 was organised on November 21-22 and it attracted 25,000 attendees, including 3,500 startups and 2,000 investors, to Helsinki. The stage program showcased 200 speakers, including the legendary venture capitalist Michael Moritz and Stripe (company) Co-founder John Collison.[9]


2018 Slush event was organised December 4-5, in Helsinki, Messukeskus. The event had over 20,000 visitors. Speakers included Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon (company), Justin Rosenstein, Co-founder and Head of Product at Asana and Julia Hartz, CEO of Eventbrite. It was stated, that over 16,000 meetings took place in Slush 2018 event.


The 2017 event was organized between November 30–December 1, 2017 in Helsinki, Finland.[10] 20,000 attendees gathered together, including 2,600 startups, 1,500 investors, and 600 journalists from over 130 countries. Speakers included Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, Martin Lau, President of Tencent, Ilkka Paananen, co-founder & CEO of Supercell and Daniel Ek, co-founder of Spotify.

Hottest industry trends included data analytics and artificial intelligence.[11] In 2017, more than 7000 "matchmaking" meetings had been set-up between founders and investors.[12]


Over 17,500 people from 130 countries, including 2,336 startups, 1,146 venture capitalists and investors, and 630 journalists gathered together at Slush 2016, on November, 30 – December, 1. The speaker list had names like Chris Sacca, Founder & Chairman at Lowercase Capital, Steve Jurvetson, managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Joel Spolsky, CEO & Co-Founder at Stack Overflow, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Founder & CEO of Klarna and Danae Ringelmann, Co-founder of Indiegogo, on it.[13]


In 2015, Slush was organized on November 11–12 in the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre. Key speakers included Caterina Fake, Co-founder of Flickr & Hunch, Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Niklas Zennström, Co-founder of Skype & Atomico, and Ilkka Paananen, Founder & CEO of Supercell. Slush was also awarded The Internationalisation Award of the President of the Republic in December 2015.[14]


In 2014, Slush moved from the Cable Factory to the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre. The event, again, doubled its size from the previous year with 14,000 attendees. Out of the attendees, more than 700 were investors. The event was attended by journalists from 45 different countries. Speakers included Wang Yang, Vice Premier of China, Martin Lorentzon, founder of Spotify, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonic Orchestra in London, and Leland Melvin, an American engineer and NASA astronaut. In 2014, Nokia also launched its Nokia N1 7.9" tablet at the main stage of Slush.[15]


The 2013 event was attended by 7,000 people, including 1,200 startups and 120 VC firms, and it was featured in The New York Times[16] and The Wall Street Journal.[17] Speakers included Taizo Son, Founder and CEO of Mistletoe, Jian Wang, Chairman of Technology Steering Committee of Alibaba Group, Niklas Zennström, founder of Skype and Atomico, and Taavet Hinrikus, and Co-founder of Wise (then TransferWise).


Slush was founded by Timo Airisto and Peter Vesterbacka and the first event was held in 2008 in Korjaamo with two stages, one for business and one for technology.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What Is Slush". Slush. Retrieved August 24, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "About Soaked". Slush. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  3. ^ "Day one of Slush 2018 is all inclusive". Good News from Finland. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  4. ^ Lappalainen, Elin (June 24, 2019). "Miki Kuusi nappasi entiset Slushin toimitusjohtajat Woltiin – Onko Slush-nuorisosta muodostumassa Suomen oma PayPal-mafia?" [Miki Kuusi captures former Slush CEOs in Wolt - Is Slush Youth Becoming Finland's Own PayPal Mafia?]. Talouselama (in Finnish). Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  5. ^ "Luulitko, että opiskelijat perustivat Slushin? Näin 15 000 hengen startup-festivaali sai oikeasti alkunsa ja nimensä". November 24, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "How Slush started from a casual coffee shop chat in 2011 – and became Europe's leading tech conference three years later". November 25, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Slush 2020 gets cancelled, as the team focuses on "new ways to support startups"". Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  8. ^ "Startupit | Koronaepidemia sai Slushin menemään verkkoon: Syyskuussa avattavan uuden alustan on tarkoitus saattaa yhteen sijoittajia ja yrityksiä". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). August 26, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  9. ^ Merenko, Erno. "Business Finland Slush 2019". Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  10. ^ "Slush". Slush.
  11. ^ "Analytiikka ja tekoäly ovat tämän vuoden trendit Slushissa". Turun Sanomat.
  12. ^ "Kymmenenvuotias Slush tekee tähtiä ja rahaa – silti toimitusjohtaja saa alennettua opiskelijapalkkaa". Retrieved February 5, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "On Stage 2016". On Stage 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "The Internationalisation Award of the President of the Republic goes to Slush, Vahterus and Serres". Export Finland. Export Finland. Retrieved August 24, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "Nokia Announces N1 Android Tablet". Nokia. Retrieved August 24, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ Scott, Mark. "Finns Pitch Frightful Weather as a Competitive Advantage". Bits, The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Rossi, Juhana; Grundberg, Sven. "Finland's Prime Minister Looks to Startups". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 24, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Monella Slushin synnystä väärä käsitys - kätilöinä Vesterbacka ja Airisto". Kauppalehti. Retrieved February 17, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)