Getting Slushed

wdron

According to the urban dictionary being “slushed” can mean a lot of things, ranging from being drunk to being mad. None of them would apply to my experience in Finland, at Slush - instead maybe how mad I was about my first night there. I made the mistake to book a “shared room”. While I was expecting 1 or 2 companions, I ended up sharing it with 17 other people. I let you imagine how the first night was: light turned on at 5am, noise all night long and people snoring loudly! Even though it was really annoying that was the only “not so good” moment, the rest of the journey was amazing in so many ways!


Are you the kind of person who likes outstanding experience with incredible atmosphere? Slush is made for you. Welcomed by a message that said it all Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet - Kept the placeholder. What matters is inside, I discovered a dark ambiance tainted with bright pink neons lights, full of innovative companies and people from all around the world.


Going from our fellows from the EIT Climate-KIC to well-known speakers, VC and journalists, I spent three days extending and nurturing my network. I firmly believe that network is one of the most valuable and useful assets you can build and maintain. If Slush was only about that, it would already have been an amazing experience.


But it was also about inspiring speakers and profound societal debates around machine learning, AI responsibility, diversity and gender equilibrium. Several speakers stressed out how important it is to build a multi-cultural and balanced team and Slush itself urged publicly all startups to welcome diversity and hire more women within their teams.


My report would not be complete without talking about all the sweet and strange things you may encounter at Slush. So here is my top 3. On the first position, a Sauna where you can organize meetings. I let you imagine having a discussion with a VC almost naked!


Then comes the Finnish national sport: The Karaoke. Finnish people seemed to love singing and there hasn’t been a night without a karaoke (no, you won’t see a video of me singing Mamma Mia!). Finally, the closing night was just one of the most amazing ones I have ever seen in my life. Almost open-bar, 3 scenes with amazing artists and here we go again, a karaoke arena.


When it comes to business (after all, this was the main purpose of this trip), I had several interviews with journalists (see a French article here) and got in touch with highly relevant VCs looking forward series A - not bad for just three days!

To conclude this article, I would like to thank the Foundation. Winning the contest was a great honor, of course, but being able to join an event where diversity, gender equality and innovation were the major subjects made me proud of being part of the EIT Digital Alumni. I will keep on bringing what I can everywhere I go, from the international - almost limitless - Slush to our local meetups.

 

Wilfried, EIT Digital Doctoral School Alumnus & CEO of Wisebatt