Slush 2022 is harnessing the excitement of being at the “Break of Dawn” – fueled by the strides that have been and will continue to be made within the tech industry. Can you give us a deeper insight into this topic and why it was chosen for this year’s conference?
Santeri: At the core of our theme, Break of Dawn is a belief that more important, world-positive technologies will be created during the 2020s than in a very long time. We’ve worked hard to make sure that the most innovative startups building a better tomorrow are at Slush. We’ll be hearing from companies building hydrogen-powered airplanes and reusable space rockets, various alternative proteins and genomics for early diagnostics, and fusion power and third-generation solar panels – to mention a few.
While Slush remains “ruthlessly focused” on making sure practical advice for company-building is part of the program across all stages & studios, which speakers are you most excited to hear from?
Santeri: I’m incredibly proud of our stage program this year – It’s great to see such a lineup ready to come to the cold and dark Helsinki to share their learnings. The biggest names for this year include Max Levchin, Ev Williams, Mar Hershenson, Doug Leone, Loreanne Garcia to name a few. I am particularly looking forward to James Vincent’s talk: “How Do You Sell The Future? Lessons From Apple, Airbnb, Snap and Beyond.” Also, you will definitely find me in the audience of the Slush 100 finals.
Speaking of IRL, we’d love to hear what you’re planning for this year’s matchmaking platform. When does it launch? Are there any new features/upgrades from last year?
Here’s what our CPO Elmo Pakkanen stated:
Elmo: We chose the world’s best meeting experience as one of our two North Stars for the whole event. Anecdotally, the other one is redefining the level of people Slush attracts, which should contribute to your Matchmaking success. After rethinking the experience from the ground up, doing a full technical & design overhaul, and iterating and testing for hundreds of hours, I can confidently say this is the best Matchmaking Tool we’ve ever had.
Slush Matchmaking isn’t your typical event networking tool. For us, matchmaking means purposeful connections: IVP investing in Aiven, Cherry x Carbo Culture, Lakestar x 1047 Games, Northzone x HappyOrNot, Lakestar x Aiven, IVP x Pigment – all initiated at Slush. That’s what our tool is all about: built to give you superpowers, whether it’s funding, deal flow, clients, users, or advice you are after.
Elmo: The familiar stuff is there – granular profiles of thousands of startups and investors, and lighter personal profiles of every individual joining Slush. However, there is no end to new, delightful features to power your work. Lightning-fast browsing, advanced filtering, improved search, better chat, automatic calendar invites – the list goes on. In due time, you will also be able to enjoy the most requested feature of them all – a full Matchmaking experience on the go in the Slush App, coupled with native notifications & messaging. And this time, it just works.
Matchmaking is now open at platform.slush.org
Finally, Slush is committed to making this year’s conference carbon-negative. Can you share some examples of how your team is making this a reality?
Santeri: At Slush, we want to be part of building a better and more sustainable future. We are committed to taking concrete actions to diminish the negative environmental impact caused when organizing a large-scale international event like Slush. This year, our team, together with our partners, has put constant effort into making Slush 2022 a more sustainable and responsible event than ever before:
- Compensation: Together with Compensate, we will calculate the full carbon footprint of the 2022 event and compensate for the emissions caused. The calculations will cover the emissions from the event itself, including our attendees’ flights, hotels, and meals for their stay in Helsinki. In addition, the year-round activities of Slush are included in the calculations.
- Recycling: We take recycling seriously at Slush. At Slush 2022, all disposables from plates to cups and utensils are biodegradable, thanks to, for example, our collaboration with Stora Enso. Furthermore, together with our recycling partner L&T, we’ve come up with a waste management plan aiming for a 100% recycling rate by maximizing raw material collection at the event. The waste frictions we have in use are:
- Bio Waste
- Energy Waste
- Aluminum Cans
- Mixed Waste
- Plastic Waste
- A Sustainable eating experience: Together with chef and food designer Linnea Vihonen, we have curated a delicious and sustainable eating experience for Slush 2022. All food served at Slush will be completely vegetarian, with an option to make everything vegan. The menus have been curated with care to truly be a part of the Slush experience and to reflect what the future holds for food. No delicacy has been compromised thanks to our amazing partners: MeEat, Rooty, and Don Tortilla who have helped us ensure that no flavor is lacking by bringing their exciting and sustainable products to our dishes.
- Slush 2022 collection together Pure Waste: Together with Pure Waste, we have designed all the volunteer and crew clothing for the Slush 2022 event. The collection is designed to last time and use and all materials being used are made from 100% recycled textile waste.
What else will go down?
- In the Meeting Area, we have partnered up with Rebl Eats to ensure that all Slush 2022 attendees stay nourished with some fully plant-based delicacies while being busy networking with their peers.
- We encourage our event goers to opt for public transportation and offer free public transport tickets to our volunteers. Public transportation runs smoothly in Helsinki and is both a convenient and more environmentally friendly choice to move from one place to another.
- Together with Polestar, we are offering electric car rides to our speakers. Fortum’s renewable electricity will also be used to charge the cars.
- Our new recyclable cloakroom tags, created as a joint project with Woodly and one of Europe’s leading research institutes, VTT, are made from the unique carbon-neutral and wood-based Woodly® material.