SLUSH – A Great Way to Connect in the Nordics

Slush, is an unusual name for a tech conference. So be it!

It’s very popular (20000 attendees, 3000 startups, 1500 investors and 650 journalists participated) and the one we took a delegation to was in Helsinki (Dec 4 -5). Global events like these are perfect platforms for getting people to discover your product and if you are lucky, that elusive “Aha Moment” may just be a splash away making the right kind of noise. There are just so many people, ideas being shared, networks being established that one seeks to make the loop go viral.

Tech Alliance is a loosely defined term and covers a whole lot of partnerships; and, events like these provide numerous options. There are niche companies to be found which require assistance from large companies in terms of market evangelization. Both sides are on the lookout for a win-win condition which is very much possible, given the sheer range.

There’s yet another angle to it – VCs. Over the past decade, 10% of all billion-dollar exits have come from the Nordic region. If you do some back-of-the-envelope calculation you will realise how incredible it is. Nordics comprise only about 0.3% of the world’s population and account for not more than 1% global venture capital financing. Quite astonishing, isn’t it?

Our Slush-participation was aimed at exploring various kind of opportunities for NASSCOM members in partnership with Business Sweden, Business Finland, Helsinki Business Hub & the Embassy of India in Finland. These opportunities included:

  • B2B meetings with pre-identified mature Finnish startups in the network of Helsinki Business Hub.
  • ICT speed dating with pre-matched Finnish startups in the network of Business Finland.
  • ICT Speed Dating with foreign startups.
  • Swedish Hotspots – B2Bs with pre-selected Swedish startups.

Networking dinners hosted by the Indian Ambassador to Finland & the Swedish Ambassador, were well attended. Also, “India Day” spotlighted on the startup ecosystem in India to global investors, Finnish companies and foreign startups looking at India. The NASSCOM sessions also witnessed large member companies like Infosys & HCL Tech share their perspectives on corporate engagement with startups.

The feedback we got from our participants was most encouraging as well. Most were able to draw upon multiple connects which they will take forward in future.

Would it be a stretch to suggest that we participate in other SLUSH events as well – Tokyo, Shanghai & Singapore? I think not, given the kind of response.

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