As a non-profit based in Finland, Slush strives to build a platform for communication between startups and investors. The technology startup conference,Slush, was first created by a bunch of ambitious, fearless young Finnish students in North Europe. Within the space of eight years, it achieved massive popularity in Europe and, like TechCrunch, became one of the most influential venture capital platforms in the world. However, unlike all other startup conferences including TechCrunch, Slush attracts thousands of visitors from all around the globe every year with its unique Finnish cultural identity.
Pic 2: Visitors sign in as organizers set up signs in a darkened room.
It is dark inside the Slush conference hall. The venue is decorated with several flickering red lanterns, however they are not for Halloween! Black has remained the main theme of the event, as it is always winter in Finland when Slush is held.
Pic 3: Spotlights crisscross the applauding crowds as Slush begins.
Funky stage lighting and heavy metal are other highlights of Slush. Music is a passion of Finnish people. Finland is home to one of the largest global music festivals, Flow, held every August. A rock'n'roll atmosphere prevails at Slush, thanks to the stage design by Sun Effects, the same theatrical effects team for the Flow festival.
Pic 4: A conference visitor balances an inflatable donut on his head.
Finnish people are well-known for their creativity, as manifested by this man wearing a donut on his head at the Slush conference. He told our Yicai Global reporter, it was because he did not have any hair!
Pic 5: Slush turns into a lumber party as a conference visitor catches forty winks.
A new invention captured our reporter's attention. This bubble-shaped plastic chair-bed is intended to create the workplace of our dreams–you can work lying on it! The reporter saw the chair at an art show in North Europe last year. This time, however, its design has evolved. The designer added a heavy-padded cushion at the bottom to make it more comfortable. More importantly, it also acts as an air purifier.
Pic 6: Ilkka Kivimaki, Slush chairman gives opening conference address.
Companies and investors attending Slush Shanghai venture capital summit are mostly from China, noted chairman, Ilkka Kivimaki, and the very reason we decided to introduce Slush to China is to create a local community here. He does not want to see the conference growing too fast. "Relevance is the key. We hope that all people here share the same dreams," said Kivimaki. "When I came here yesterday morning, it was empty and nothing was here at all. I asked them if it would be ready for the meeting tomorrow, and they said no problem," he told the reporter jokingly after the opening ceremony.
Pic 7: Slush closing ceremony. Goodnight Shanghai!
Slush 2016 was attended by over 4,000 startups and venture capitalists. The speakers included Peter Vesterbacka, the co-founder of Rovio Entertainment and developer of Angry Birds, Manny Fernandez, Angel of the Year from San Francisco, Li Feng, the founding partner of the FREES Fund and Zhu Xiaohu, Managing Director at GSR Ventures.