© Sami Heiskanen

10 tips for #Slush18 attendees

It’s that time of year again. No, not Christmas.

Or actually Christmas indeed, The Startup Christmas, 
Slush is just around the corner.

This is THE event for many startups & entrepreneurs around the Europe, and lately also around the globe. So one should definitely be ready & prepared for the startup havoc that cannot be missed. Take a look what’s about to come:

To give you some numbers to emphasise the importance & impact of a single gathering the awesome folks behind Slush are able to create here’s what Slush has become from a small 300 ppl meetup at Kulttuuritehdas Korjaamo in 2008:

(image from Slush Media — Slush in Numbers 2017)

2 days of positive “Can Do” -attitude & Startup mindset.

Slush has indeed become what they have stated in their website:

“Slush is the focal point for startups and tech talent to meet with top-tier international investors, executives and media.”

Being prepared & well presented at #Slush18 may very well be the positive turning point to your company, be small or big.

Take my word. Money back guarantee.

There are “a couple” other backers too:

“I always thought Silicon Valley was the epicenter of global innovation. After Slush 2013, I changed my mind.”

Wang Jian, CTO Alibaba.com

“It takes 20 hours to get here from San Francisco, but it’s totally worth it.”

Rich Wong, General Partner at Accel Partners (Forbes Midas List #24)

Ok, enough about emphasising the importance of Slush, 
let’s jump to the actual topic.

I’ve been an active builder & promoter in the Finnish Startup scene since 2007, & also attended every Slush since -’09, so I thought I’d collect a tiplist how to succeed at the startup mega-event called Slush. So here are the


Slush 2017 © Jussi Hellsten

1. Slush is massive. Prepare in advance. Start now.

Over 20 000 people are #comingtoslush. That’s a lot of Startup energy. Helsingin Messukeskus is gonna be packed. So you should take that in consideration when planning a successful Slush for you. Here are some general things to take in consideration.

Coming by car? Be prepared to que if you are coming late.

Protip: Come early & use public transport instead.

Wanna buy a lunch or a snack? Lot’s of transactions made by card = waiting in line.

Lunch places / cafe’s are probably quite full too.

Protip: Use cash & take snacks with you. Prebook lunch coffee meetings.

Gonna get a ticket early in the morning?

That is not early.

That is late.

Protip: Get a ticket in advance.

You can do it here:

Ticket claim

Ignore these at your peril.

2. Download the app & plan the best Slush just for you.

Slush folks have made it easy to plan the two days that really benefit your generous presence at the venue. Do a couple of things:

First. Download the Slush App by Qvik: iOS & Android

Secondly. Take time & think on what you want to achieve at Slush?

Are you looking for investors? Want to #Hustle & pitch your Startup to as many as possible? Want to meet cool new people, perhaps recruit a talented person to your team? Want to make sales at and after the event? Want to get media coverage? Want to make a great story about some cool new service a startup is presenting?

Maybe you just enjoy and enjoy all the festive activities?

Thirdly: Visit the Slush Networking Platform

Also take a look at the agenda and plan it to suit your focus (easiest in the app in my opinion with notifications etc). — The Slush 2018 Agenda -

Remember: #Slush18 is just as good as you make it to be.

Slush 2017 © Petri Anttila

3. Business card frenzy — Swap em’ (or use LinkedIn)

Not necessarily physical business cards, but some “quick to giveaway” contact information, in order to actually follow up after the busy event is over.

Make a goal for yourself. 50 cards or contacts / day?

Want to make a great first impression: Smile.

Think about why he/she should be interested, and why should you before jumping into a long talk. Deliver something unique/interesting. Although we all now that 10 meaningful conversations eat brief hallway discussions for breakfast, its important to understand this:

Everybody is quite busy during the event. So people do not have time for a long meaningful conversation on spot, so your job is to make a meaningful contact and continue the discussion on another less hectic time.

This takes us to the bullet nro 4.

4. Practice your pitch. Literally everyone. Practice it.

Nobody likes a boring, grey & long feature vomit. Make your product / service / startup / establishments easy to be “bought”. Value the recipients time.

Make your 30 seconds with an important contact count.

I’ve gathered my tips here (In FIN):

© Petri Anttila

5. Aggressively positive attitude & sharing goodwill.

I actually understand when some people not present at Slush, are annoyed by the overflow of “Amazing-Epic-Coolness” at Slush that every freaking entrepreneur / student is sharing throughout the social media. Understandibly so, but still, it is not your problem if someone is unable to block your social media happiness if it bothers.

Slush is an event like no other, the atmosphere where problems are opportunities & attitude where sky is the limit (or actually isn’t) is really something else.

People who are not in do not understand it.

You have to feel it to understand.

So let it not stop you for sharing goodwill and post interesting content/pics/posts before & after. In my opinion we really have enough of negative bullshit blocking our screens, so this dark time of the year, really needs some positive hustle.

And remember what Bob Dylan said:

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”

So keep em’ posts coming with the hashtag: #Slush18

© Samuli Pentti

6. Get your gear & energy right.

Lot’s of walking, talking and energy draining startup action. Pack with you a couple of things along with tons of contact information:

  • Extra battery / Chargers (Mobile + Laptop)
  • 4G Mokkula (20 000 people in a same place Wlan can be stuck)
  • Poweruse Evernote* eg. notebook tool
  • Paper Notebook (if Digital Fails, Analog helps)
  • Drink, Eat, Take enough brakes. Otherwise you will be a zombie.

(I know this might sound like an advice from Mom, but you’ll know what I mean after 8 hours of non-stop pitching, talking, walking & drinking.)

  • If you are really hard core Slush fan, there actually some real Slush gear for you to purchase: Slush Gear by Pure Waste
  • *Evernote mentioned due to business card scanner that actually works.

7. Practice how to stop a conversation

20 000 people include also random friends & colleagues, so make sure that you also make some time for the relevant contacts that really benefit your business. Surprise super discussions are always welcome, but learn when you should continue discussion later somewhere else.

“Sounds cool, could we continue this discussion later in some other format, 
I have a pretty tight pre-planned schedule? Let’s exchange contact info 
and discuss more later on, ok?”

You (or your company) paid x € for ticket so hopefully you are looking to deliver some results (meetings, leads, deals etc).

Life is indeed a box of chocolates, but your task is to find the right kind of chocolates that will fit best for your very own box.

8. Slush is at Helsinki. Next week Slush owns Helsinki.

Slush is not happening only at Messukeskus, the awesome people all around the Startup universe are spread around Helsinki area. 
Take a tour & enjoy the full show:

9. Slush is a week long conference, not a 2 day show

Nuff said. Many forget this and walk in like moose in the motorway.

These two days will swooooosh by like a racing car if you just wonder pointlessly.

Don’t be a moose. Be an active participant instead.

“Two days at Slush can be more profitable, educating & inspiring 
than one year in a typical corporate life.”

Haven’t heard? Well now you have.

Check out the whole week packed with startup action:

Slush Side Events

10. Note that #Slush18 has actually already started.

Actually it is even hard to say when Slush starts. Some events have already started. Officially Slush starts earlier for business angels, investors & founders and there is of course the Slush Grand Opening Party , but the networking and warming up has already started in the Social Media. So start “attending” virtually already now. This is your chance to stand out from the enormous tweet & FB flow starting soon.

This is your chance, so take it. Start connecting now & making an impact.

Lets lead the way & lets start the networking right now.

Follow me on Twitter & connect via LinkedIn

Sani Leino

Connect with me on:

LinkedIn — Twitter — SlideShare