Last week marked another successful edition of Helsinki’s largest startup event, Slush 2023. Welcoming 5,000 founders, 3,000 investors, and the world’s largest gathering of VCs under one roof, Slush was definitely one of Europe’s most significant events for innovation and investment this year.
Spotlight on the winner of Slush 100
Faircado, the Berlin-based startup, emerged as the winner of the prestigious Slush 100 startup competition in Helsinki, securing a €1 million funding prize. The company addresses the challenges of the fragmented second-hand market and the growing demand for sustainable yet affordable shopping options. Faircado developed an AI-powered browser plugin that streamlines second-hand shopping by automatically identifying cheaper alternatives on platforms such as eBay, Back Market, Grailed, Rebuy, and Vestiaire Collective. Co-founder and CEO Evoléna de Wilde d‘Estmael noted that the company’s success lies in its ability to engage over 50 partner platforms, providing them with a new way to acquire and retain customers. The company plans to utilize the prize money to enhance hiring, build a robust marketing strategy, and potentially expand into new markets, such as the United States.
Faircado’s innovative approach not only transforms the linear retail economy into a circular one but also appeals to a diverse audience. While gaining traction across various age groups, the startup particularly resonates with Gen Z, who prioritize sustainability and affordability. The company’s financial model involves earning a percentage commission on sales made through its platform and a fixed fee for every user redirected to partner platforms. With plans for future developments, including the launch of a mobile app, Faircado aims to capitalize on the current momentum for sustainability, emphasizing the urgency to rethink consumption habits and environmental impact.
A few of Slush’s hottest side events
- Y Science – hosted by the University of Helsinki, continues to be one of top side events at Slush. This Festival of Life Science and Innovation brought together the curious scientific community and the business world to inspire concrete action and contribution to society in the field of life sciences, with sessions focused on Health & Pharma, Food Systems, and Forest & Environment. The day wrapped up with a science-to-business runway show and a networking hour for the day’s participants.
- The AI Opportunity by Google – this side event addressed some of society’s most significant challenges and generate new opportunities for businesses and individuals within AI. Participants were invited to engage in an active discussion and networking with startups, investors, organizations, and other ecosystem players to explore the possibilities of AI. The event featured insights from thought leaders on the ethical development of AI, provided learning opportunities on how startups were leveraging AI for growth and innovation, offered networking opportunities with potential partners and investors, and presented cutting-edge lighting talks to offer a glimpse into the future of AI.
- The Slush Climate Summit – brought to you by Lightrock, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Transition, and Energy Impact Partners, the Slush Climate Summit was the exclusive official Slush Sustainability Side Event that assembled prominent founders, investors, and thought leaders. The event tackled the pressing issue of our generation–climate change– all while participants shared the most important meal of the day, breakfast.Its core objective was to inspire meaningful climate action.
Interviews for the Selected podcast
Last but certainly not least, stay tuned for 4 fresh interviews dropping over the next 4 weeks that our CEO Ben Costantini recorded with the following thought-leaders during Slush 2023:
- Josefiina Kotilainen – CEO, Startup Foundation
- Jenny Gyllander – Founder, Thingtesting
- Susanne Najafi – Founding Partner, BackingMinds VC
- Tom Miskin – Oslo Innovation Week & Nordics Lead, Oslo Business Region
📸 Cover photo by Julius Konttinen