The definition of slush is “partly melted or watery snow”, which is exactly what visitors encountered arriving at Vantaa Airport in Helsinki on Dec 3. More than the coldness is the darkness, that makes the Finnish weather different, when in the winter season the sun rises at around 10 am and set before 4 pm, leaving less than six hours of light in early December.

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Slush organization is phenomenal from the airport: badges can be claimed outside the arrival gates and volunteers help for any kind of requests, distributing Helsinki maps and public transportation tickets valid for the duration of the conference. Before, during and after Slush there are several official and unofficial side events and parties organized by startups, investors, accelerators and incubators, transforming Helsinki in a technology Woodstock. …


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Slush in Helsinki, Finland on Dec 4–5, 2018
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Slush press event in Kellohalli restaurant and bar on Dec 3.
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Located at Teurastamo, Kelohalli is an old abattoir established in 1933, which in 2012 has been transformed in a food and event space.
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There were two hundred and one journalists accredited at Slush, although mostly from Finland and Europe, few came from remote places as China, Japan and Singapore (where local Slush events are established) and other from Bangladesh, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea and Tunisia to attend the conference.
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The official Slush opening party was held on Dec 3 in the Old Student House (Vanha ylioppilastalo) right in the center of Helsinki.
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More than 140 years old, the Old Student House is perhaps Helsinki’s most traditional party and events venue.
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Slush is a non-profit event organized by a community of entrepreneurs, investors, students and festival organizers.
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Slush has grown from a 300-person event to become one of the leading events of its kind in the world.
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Andreas Saari (Slush CEO) and Alexander Pihlainen (Slush President) open Slush 2018 and welcome the audience. Some figures and facts about the present edition: 3,100 startups / 1,800 investors / 450 executives / 20,000+ attendees expected/ 130 nationalities / 2,400 volunteers.
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Founder stage, the main presenting area of Slush.
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Panoramic view of the Founder Stage and surrounding area.
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Founder Stage during a break time.
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Porsche stand before Slush opening on Dec 5.
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Google for startups stand.
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Samsung Electronics, Samsung Next, Samsung Ventures, Samsung Next Ventures and Samsung Catalyst Fund were in a stand next to the Founder Stage. Several funded startups were presenting their solutions, while guests could watch the Founder Stage presentations from the second floor.
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Aalto University stand. In 2010 the faculties of architecture and design of the University of Art and Design Helsinki, engineering and science of the University of Technology and the Helsinki School of Economics decided to merge together, anticipating the convergence in different fields of knowledge. Multidisciplinary teams could be formed easily for instance over a coffee break or meal in the university canteens, where engineers, designers, architects, economists can brainstorm a joint research or even startup, discussing current impellent issues in their respective fields. Beyond any tangible result, the opportunities to interact and to network with students from different backgrounds may be invaluable later in working life, when for instance engineers versatile in economics, law or product designs may be ahead of their competition.
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Moscow Export Center and Skolkovo Innovation Center stand.
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Pink Cafe’.
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Elisa Oy, a telecommunications, ICT and digital service company operating mainly in Finland and Estonia and providing environmentally sustainable services for communication and entertainment, and tools for organisations to digitalise their operations and improve productivity.
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Helsinki Innovation Services (HIS), a fully owned subsidiary of the University of Helsinki Funds, helps researchers turn their academic studies and results into commercial successes, managing technology transfer, liaison with academics, asset evaluation, intellectual property (IP) protection and establishing spin out. At Slush the University of Helsinki introduced thirteen innovations based on scientific research in various stages of commercialisation.
“How does business benefit from science?” University of Helsinki YouTube video.
In fact, the concept is not as unimaginable, because the boats would have been useful in the recent floods in Italy and Indonesia. According to Wärtsilä the time to act is now, together or the unthinkable will happen and the lifeboat will have to be built for real.
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Korea Pavillion showcased several Korean startups selected by Kotra, a governmental trade and investment agency. In Slush matchmaking tool 181 Korean attendees registered their profile, representing 158 startups from Korea, the fourth largest country represented in 2018 edition according to Andreas Saari interview to Chosun Biz, an economic magazine of Korean leading newspaper Chosunilbo. Creative Contents Economy and Innovation (CCEI) center and Ulsan Technopark had also their own stands in Messukeskus.
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Clean energy company Fortum operated during Slush a Pitchalong Shuttle, an exclusive and emission-free taxi service run on electric vehicles: during the ride startups get to pitch their business ideas directly to company executives. Fortum used this unconventional meeting room to attract the most promising startups before they even arrive to the event venue.
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“Slush wants to leave the world better than we found it, and so sustainability is a core part of how we operate. To us, this means not only minimizing harm, but also maximizing the good we can do. We are constantly improving to make our events more environmentally friendly, our community socially inclusive, and above all, helping startups change the world for the better.”
Slush 2018 Day 1 — Founder Stage
Slush 2018 Day 2 — Founder Stage
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Buidl Seoul 2018 is a conference organized by Krypto Seoul and held on Nov 29–30 in Le Meridien Hotel Seoul.
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“BUIDL Seoul 2018 is a technical, academic forum in which developers and academics exchange their ideas and present on working protocols, products, and academic research in blockchain technology. It is the first real effort in Korea to bring together diverse individuals and projects that are actively building in the space.”
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Blocks like sculpture in front of the main entrance of the venue.
Nov 29 — day 1 presentations.
Nov 30— day 2 presentations.
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From left Tongtong Gong (Amberdata, COO and cofounder) and Shawn Douglass (Amberdata, CEO and Founder). Amberdata is one of the first dashboards for real time monitoring, searching, analyzing, and securing information on private and public blockchains. Data APIs provide developers with instant access to historical and real-time activities, so they can analyze and define trends with big data insight, metrics and analytics.
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Amberdata customizable dashboard allows to visualize several KPIs for crypto currencies and blockchains.
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Top 50 tokens by 24h market capitalization.
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Jaeyun Kim (Decipher, President and SNU, PhD Candidate): Blockchain-based edge computing for deep neural network application
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Audience and wall marks.
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Panel: The Road to Mass Adoption. Panelists: Benny Giang (Cryptokitties, Head of Asia), Benjamin Remeau (Binance Labs, Director), Mai Fujimoto (Gracone, CEO), Jonathan Chou (BeeToken, Co-founder & CEO). Moderator: Gurvinder Ahluwalia (Digital Twin Labs, Founder & CEO at Digital Twin Labs).
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Group photo after the panel discussion with Erika Kang (Krypto Seoul CEO), third from left.
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Loong Wang (Republic Protocol, CTO): REN VM: A Virtual Machine for Privacy Preserving Computations
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Virgil Griffth (Ethereum Foundation, Research Scientist) : Special Projects at Ethereum Foundation 2018.
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Ether cards are ‘physical ethereum’ gift cards. They are a quick and convenient way to give ether, tokens, or other blockchain assets to friends and family, and a great way to introduce people to the power of the Ethereum blockchain.
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Interoperability between Ethereum Classic and Ethereum (a revetse hardfork in the making?).
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David Knott (OmiseGo, Researcher) Reality_on_chain
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Ameen Soleimani (Spankchain, CEO): Spanking the Banks. Blockchain mass adoption may follow the same trajectory of internet, which was propelled by videogames and adult entertainment. Spankchain is one of the first platform designed for adult industry performers, who are discriminated by traditional banks and financial institutions because of their profession.
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Built on Ethereum, Spankchain completed an ICO in Nov 2017 receiving funds for 6.5 M USD. The team consists of 8 full time employees and 4 part-timers.
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Panel: Decentralization of Existing Financial Services. Panelists: Ameen Soleimani (Spankchain, CEO), David Knott (OmiseGo, Researcher), Stephen Kade (TrustToken, Co-founder), Youree Lee (W-Foundation, CEO). Moderator: Dylan Damsma (Cryptominded/ReDumont, Founder).
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Parallel 38°

Stories from Korea. In pursuit of truth, impartial pov, fear/favorless, independent of party/sect/interests involved.

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