Slush 2018: Second day – still going strong

Some further thoughts on Slush 2018…  First, it’s always great to see stands that make you smile or attract your attention and there were plenty in the Messekeskus Centre in Helsinki, including the Salesforce Lodge “Welcome Trailblazers” and a fun 360 imagery offering from Sanoma.

There was tech representation from a wide range of countries, including France, “La French Tech”, “Start up India”, Italian Mission to Slush, Switzerland, Holland Start Up Corner, Berlin Digital, Korea Pavilion, the Swedish Hotspot, Taiwan Startup Terrace, Israel Trade Administration and Made in Russia/Russian Export Center.

The tomorrow of Growing and Eating Food featured a conversation, hosted by Grace Donnelly of Fortune Magazine, with Daan Luining of Meatable and Nasir Yammama of Verdant AgriTech.  While Daan highlighted the need to tackle the problem on multiple fronts as diversification of protein will take a long time, Nasir was explaining that his focus was around the message of “conserve more, get more output” – the basis of all sustainability.

Then it was on to hear Robin Pagnamenta from the Telegraph in conversation with Brian Halligan, Founder & CEO of HubSpot who was obviously intrigued by his business sauna experience.  You had to like his comment that you attract more talent by being far more diverse – something he admits they didn’t necessarily manage in their first hires.

His take on the difference between private and public investors? Not much by the sound of it, they are both “quirky and somewhat misaligned” but all add value.  Thinking ahead of potential listings from the likes of Airbnb, Slack and Uber he would “encourage and applaud it and reckons they will like it more than they think.” His predictions for 2019 included an even greater shift in the balance where customers will get more and more leverage in their interaction with companies.

We also made time to see some pitching for example watching Lifemote Networks (a finalist in the Elisa AI Co-Creation Challenge as well as one of the final 3 startups for Slush100) which providesAI driven customer supportusingdata analytics and machine learning algorithmsto find and resolve customers’ home networkproblems without human intervention.The final winner was Meeshkan by the way if you weren’t there to see the final three.

And that’s a wrap for Slush 2018!