The Slush Rush


“Welcome to the biggest community organised startup event in the world!” – traditional Finnish modesty was nowhere to be seen when Slush kicked off with speeches from Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka and the Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen this week on Wednesday.

And there was no need to be modest, not when the event was truly something spectacular.

Looking for gold

Gold rushes are famous for their frenzied atmosphere, where individuals might find abundant wealth almost instantly. At the “Slush rush” the buoyant atmosphere was equally palpable. Investors could make companies flush with wealth almost immediately, and the innovative, gallant teams with bright ideas might well be the long sought after nuggets of gold.

However, like the elusive nuggets of gold buried deep below ground, finding golden startups is tough – not impossible.

This is how our booncon team felt, heard, saw, smelled and tasted #Slush13

Learn from the best

Preparations for Slush13 included marking down our “must-see” speeches. In the end we attended 20 different speeches over 2 days, all nicely marked in the “My schedule” section of the Slush mobile app by Qvik – a truly enjoyable app to use!

What we expected from these top notch speakers was, simply put, something astounding. We can honestly and gladly say that the majority of the speakers delivered.

The roof of the venue was blow away by Jufo Peltomaa from ZenRobotics – he really understands how to create an unforgettable impression. If you want to know how, check out their company trailers and see how waste sorting robots are made sexy: trailer 1 and trailer 2

Telling his story with the help of David and Golliath, William Wolfram from DealDash knocked us out. Despite his young age this entrepreneur is someone everyone can and should look up to for clear, inspiring and impressive presentations.

Inspiration and encouragement was also found in Tomoko Namba’s presentation, as she detailed her role as Co-Founder and Board Member at DeNA. She spoke about her journey through Japan in the 90s and the first steps of DeNA. One of the key tips to remember from her presentation: “Be very picky with the 10 first people you choose for your team, they will define the working ways of your company!”

The biggest mistakes some speakers made was to forget how well-informed the crowd at Slush is. For example, explaining how important it is for a startup to have a story, but failing to provide any examples of how to use that story, or neglecting to share any of your own successful tactics, falls straight into the “No-Shit-Sherlock” category.

You should always provide the crowd with some knowledge they cannot get from anywhere else.

Pitch perfect

Startup Sauna’s fall batch, with its 16 teams and the bunch of Slush startups, made sure we got to hear a wide selection of pitches. The strategies and styles varied hugely. We were especially impressed by a handful of teams.

Communicate through emotion

Nina Ignatius, the Founder of Beibamboo left no one in the cold with her pitch. A 2 minute video explaining the story behind her idea, clothes for premature babies that help the baby get better sooner, was touching, moving and high-quality. Maybe adding a touch of live, personal pitching would have done the trick and taken Beibamboo to the final.

Uncompromising dedication

Make your party rock! This was the key message brought to us by Beatsy a company making it possible to rent a DJ online for your own party. Their pitch was perfectly in line with their core idea, ending with a 2 minute rave party with the audience.

Force behind the facts

The next generation navigation will be WayRay. Our team believes in Vitaly Ponomarev, the CEO and Founder of WayRay. His pitch presentation was calm, clear and based on hard facts. We give him extra points for having high-quality answers for all the questions meant to upend him. We will hear more from WayRay, there is no doubt about it.


The ones who nailed it with pitching followed the idea of AIDA. First create ATTENTION – so start strongly, then peek INTEREST – tell something the crowd wants to hear, persuade them to DESIRE your idea – whether investors or future clients, you should create feelings which lead to ACTION – investing, following, supporting or buying.

You can practice a lot – but true motivation and “sisu” shines through brighter than anything else.

Blown away by lasers

The venue of the event, Kaapelitehdas in Ruoholahti, is summed up in one word: cool.

Our team fell in love with the out-of-this-world lasers in the Blue stage area. Our first Instagram picture from Slush was indeed of the green lasers, placing our tech people permanently under the spell of Slush.


The Supercell afterparty on Wednesday night with 2manydjs took the lasers to a yet another dimension – too cool!

Slush surely knows its crowd.

Kudos Startup Sauna and the Slush team

We could write much more about the “Slush Rush”, but keeping our readers in mind, we decided to keep this short and sweet. Thank you Startup Sauna and the whole Slush team for an amazing two day adventure through the cold and dark!

And, thank you Ruoto Catering for the delicious food that kept us going 🙂

Already looking forward to pan some more golden ideas, teams, and networks in Slush14!

booncon PIXELS is an international digital design studio in the heart of Helsinki.

Pretty code. Smart design.

booncon PIXELS