The world’s leading startup event Slush came back this year in the beginning of December and it was the real deal. People were excited to meet face to face. Helsinki was buzzing people from all around the world and the atmosphere was exhilarating. The little avenues of Slush were full of innovations and innovative people. There were 8,800 participants, 3,600 companies and 800 investors. Slush is also known from various side events, themes covering all the current topics and more. One could easily spend the whole day and night absorbing information and creating new contacts.
Finnish startups have gotten ten times more investments since 2010. In 2010 investment value was 10 million this year it is 1,5 billion. Finland has one of the fastest growing startup scenes in the world. The most talked about case in Finland during Slush was of course the Wolt-Doordash deal. The American company acquired the international food delivery company Wolt in an approximately $8 billion all-stock deal. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2022.
Wolt founder and CEO Miki Kuusi will run DoorDash International. The Finland-based company has about 4,000 employees and operates in 23 countries and serves over 10 million customers. Both the CEO and co-founder of Doordash, Tony Xu and Miki Kuusi were on the main stage of Slush to talk about their experiences in running a business. It is safe to say that Finland is attracting foreign investments and we should ride on that wave in all corners of this country.
One of the main topics this year was attracting international workforce. It is a well-known fact that our companies need skilled employees and some special kills are not currently available in Finland. One of them being the IT sector. The immigration of skilled labour will help to put the Finnish innovation on a stronger and more international footing. This will attract international investments and in return create new jobs and help local companies to become more international.
CEO of Slush Miika Huttunen states that the biggest hurdle in fast growing companies is that they are not able to recruit skilled workforce fast enough. This is something that needed to be fix together with immigration and other parties involved. Different decision makers were invited to Slush to hear about these problems and especially hear about solution ideas. There were also side events concerning this issue where people could openly speak their heart out and discuss how this problem can be solved. The more we are in the grasp of internationalization the better we can help the companies to grow.
The cornerstone of this event was sustainability – economic, social and environmental. The investors are already mindful of the various aspects of sustainability. One could also feel the presence of startup having the “political” mindset of changing the world with their new green ideas.
One of the most interesting launches was Climate X, the chills giving videos and speeches made an impact. Climate change poses a threat to global stability; the UN Environment Programme says climate risks are estimated at US$ 17 trillion annually. With the team of experts including scientist, data engineers, finance experts, creatives etc. Climate X is helping companies to understand the multiple risks of climate change in various forms of ratings and analytics. We live in the times where it is hard to escape the reality of climate change.
Startup by startup new solutions are created for companies to do better right now. Maybe people feel that it is the most effective way to make a difference and create a better future for everyone. However, we are all in this together. Slush is one of the forerunners in the startup scene to showcase sense of community and trust for tomorrow.
City of Kuopio, Business Development Services
Invest & Expand Pohjois-Savo
+358 44 718 2035