AWS Startups Blog

#NordicMade: Ready for Slush Helsinki 2017?  

Slush 2017

In less than two weeks, 17,500 attendees from across the globe will descend on Helsinki for Slush 2017. A not-for-profit global event dedicated to the startup community and run entirely by an army of volunteers, it’s been described as “Burning Man meets TED.” With a mission to “help the next generation of great, world-conquering companies [come] forward,” the event, in just a few short years, has expanded beyond its flagship event in Helsinki to locations in Tokyo, Shanghai, and Singapore.

At the heart of it all, Slush is still where founders and investors collide, deals get brokered, and generations of tech entrepreneurs get inspired to join a worldwide community. Last year, over 2,300 startups, 1,100 investors, and 600 journalists representing over 120 countries were present and accounted for, not to mention the million+ live stream viewers who took part virtually. And we love it!

While a Helsinki winter may not be every budding entrepreneur’s cup of tea, Slush is hardly your run-of-the-mill startup tech conference. As veterans of the event, we at AWS have put together our top pro tips for getting the most out of your Slush experience, and quite frankly, surviving two days in perpetual, club-like darkness:

  • Try and get your badge at the airport or other locations in the city. The lines for check in at the venue are long and since the Nordics are egalitarian societies, you won’t be able to jump the queue. Ever.
  • The Slush venue is one train stop away from the city center, which makes transportation easy. It’s a bit of a walk to get inside the venue, but with plenty of signage and friendly staff to guide you along.
  • We all love Uber, but you may also want to download the Taksi Helsinki app.
  • If you have access, the Slush Matchmaking Tool is a super-handy way to set up meetings with startups, investors, execs and the media. Use it.
  • Remember to come to your 1:1 meetings 5 mins beforehand as there’s usually a queue at check in each time to show you to your table.
  • Eat before or after the crowds in the food hall area. Scandinavians usually start their lunch around 11:00, which you should keep in mind when booking lunch meetings with Nordic-based contacts. Food is pretty much available all day.
  • If you wear contact lenses, bring your glasses as it’ll take 1/2 a day for your eyes to adjust to the black lights and perpetual darkness. If you’re a regular club-kid, then no sweat.
  • Bring a swimsuit in case you get invited to the Sauna—an awesome and must-do experience.
  • To look your best for that all-important pitch day, make sure you take advantage of the on-site barber shop.
  • Keep your passport on you, as you very well could end up on a cruise ship to Estonia (no joke, this happens)
  • And it goes without saying, dress warmly. You are in Helsinki at the end of November. It’s going to be really, really, really cold.

The AWS Nordics team will be in Helsinki to meet startups and share more about our Activate program, which offers credit-based business and technical support for startups interested in running on AWS. If you want to schedule a 1:1 meeting in advance, get in touch with the Nordics Startup team, or alternatively, just look out for us onsite wearing the Activate glow-in-the-dark shirts.

So Helsinki, here we come. It’s an intense few days so remember to hydrate and have fun. See you there.

#slush2017 #nordicmade