This year Slush came back bigger and better than ever with 20 000 attendees, 2 600 startups, 1 600 investors and 600 journalists. Slush was held dec 4-5 in Messukeskus, the Helsinki Exhibition Center. The trends of this year included artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning, blockchain and sustainability. There were lots of inspirational speakers including Werner Vogels, Julia Hartz, Katarina Berg and Casey Winters.

This year Slush was also more sustainable than ever. Since events this big with lots of attendees fling in, aren’t that harmless for the environment, it is important to mako the event as sustainable as possible. There were only biodegradable disposables at Slush, and they served only tap water. Vegan/vegetarian meal options were provided and recycled or reused materials were used in the design of the event. Slush also teamed up with Fortum, to offset 10 000 tonnes of CO2, which would compensate for the total carbon footprint of the event including the air travel of the foreign attendees and their other transportations.

Slush launched its new summer program called Slush Academy, for the 10-30 most entrepreneurial students from the top universities of Europe, Asia and North America. The students will get mentoring from some of the most established entrepreneurs of our time, and will get to do internships in some of the most fast-growing startups. They also will get lots of other benefits, for example to be a part of the Slush Academy network. And all this will be free of charge.

Another exciting announcement came from Ilkka Paananen (CEO of Supercell), who together with Minna Kivhalme and Linda Liukas have established a new coding school called HIVE. The school will be located in Sörnäinen, Helsinki. This school will also use an exceptional education model, being, that the school has no teachers and no classes. The students learn from each other trough different projects and problem solving. This education model was developed by biotech entrepreneur and visionary Xavier Niel. Applications open on January 15th and the doors will open in July. Anyone aged 18-30 can apply, and coding experience, a degree or qualifications are not required. The tuition at HIVE is free and its aim is to helps solve the shortage of coders. Hive will be funded by a non-profit foundation with the first millions donated by Paananen himself.

Tara Kouros - 6D
Image by Slush

WorldCon 75, Scott Lynch; photo by Jana Blomqvist


WorldCon 75, Robin Hobb; photo by Jana Blomqvist


Based on an interview by Alisa Nirman on 3.10.2016