Slush is the world’s leading startup event where founders and tech talent meet with top-tier international
In over 15 years of starting companies such as AngelList and CoinList, and helping countless startups fundraise, recruit and launch, Joshua has learned that it's frequently the unconventional ones that succeed. In this talk we'll discuss how running a startup is different than running an established company, and how playing by the rules is not always the best strategy in the earliest stages.
Startups competing: Crassula SME Banking (Latvia), Cryptoprofiler (Switzerland), CryptoPolice.com (Latvia), EVOestate.com (Spain), Hive Identity (Ukraine), Jeff App (Latvia), MANU LT (Lithuania), MPT PAY (Ukraine), Partly (Latvia), TheMonetizr (US)
Jury: Cameron McLain (Hummingbird), Lauri Lehtmaa (Creandum), Triin Linamagi (Founders Factory), Marite Aleksandra Silava (Swedbank), Michele Foradori (Blackfin Tech), Sandra Golbreich (Baltic Sandbox)
Building a team is like building a tribe. Jennifer will focus on the complexities, celebrations and challenges of building a phenomenal team and what she has learned through the course of her career.
Live podcast from the stage fueled by SImplecast
From enemies to frenemies to friends to now walking down the aisle - banks and fintech companies have been through a whirlwind relationship. But as 20% of engagements are called off and 50% of marriages end in divorce, this new budding relationship is not without its challenges. A brief walk through the relationship timeline and some advice for proposing to your ideal financial partner.
Index Ventures, Europe’s leading tech VC, has developed a model and a set of recommendations, to help European entrepreneurs attract and retain top talent, through the use of stock options.
Dominic will explain why stock options are so powerful, and how entrepreneurs should allocate them across their team, for maximum benefit.
Startups competing: ARtyline (Belarus), Consorto (Estonia), eXpact (Estonia), Fienta (Estonia), Kipwise (Estonia), OROCON (Latvia), Popertee (UK), Razzby (Lithuania), Sanctifly (Ireland), ZITICITY (Lithuania)
Jury: Alexey Sidorov (Buran VC), Sandberg (SWG), Rémi Prunier (Orange Digital Ventures), Mikael Petersen (byFounders), Juuso Koskinen (OpenOcean)
Talent is the key for innovation not just in companies, but also cities and ecosystems that strive to compete in the current race of innovation. What are the key factors that motivate talent to stay - or relocate? Experts representing vastly different ecosystems in Europe will discuss the competition for talent as the most valuable asset, and the importance of different aspects such as available funding, known brands, quality and cost of living. The panellists will analyze the current competition in placemaking and branding as great places to build companies, how it’s influenced by politics and policies, what do we need from policymakers, and what are the risks associated with losing the race - and facing brain drain.
Let’s explore the different levels of SaaS analytics for startups. Find out what true Superheroes measure and get a sneak peek on how not to be an analytics Superhero through deal flow examples seen in the past year.
We have an epidemic on our hands. More and more founders and tech industry staff are struggling to deal with the pressures of running a startup, leading to self-destructive behaviour.
A veteran of the tech industry, and co-founder of Tribe of Why - an organization that helps people find their purpose in life and live a balanced, harmonious life - Stewart Rogers will outline what's going wrong, what we can do to address these problems, and how you can ensure you deal with the daily self-imposed and external pressures of running a startup in 2019.
The discussion of Tech-Life balance continues with an expert in the field and a CEO that is living startup life, with all its ups, downs, and challenges.
Startups competing: Capte (Netherlands), Dear deer eyewear (Lithuania), Drone Pilot (Latvia), HackMotion (Latvia), Journey Defender Limited (Ireland), Louis Desks (France), OptiShower (Portugal), Polisensio (Estonia), PowerUp Fuel Cells OÜ (Estonia), Squad Robotics (UK)
Jury: Sander Gansen (Robotex), Māris Daija (Bosch), Matīss Neimanis (BuildIT), Juha Ruohonen (Superherocapital), Oliver Weimann (360 Online Performance Group GmbH)
There are people, who treat travel time as "dead time", a time to kill. But what if you fly every 3rd day? Having 170 flights behind his back in 2018 alone, Cristobal will share some lifehacks on how to keep yourself sane, healthy and most importantly, effective, while travelling like crazy. So the travel time turns into your most efficient part of the day, instead of "dead time"!
Combining a remarkable mix of backgrounds and experience from both the corporate and startup worlds, this panel will explore the lessons learned on building, not only commercially successful products, but products that have a real impact on people’s lives. This is not a discussion panel. It’s an interactive conversation full of relevant stories and valuable insights into what it takes to build great hardware products.
There is an expectation in the startup community that Founder CEOs are the best option for your company to be successful. You’re expected to cover all business aspects: from managing people to finances, operations, customer relationships and more. And as a founder, you’re undeniably attached to the company you have started -- so, assuming the CEO role seems like the natural thing to do.
However, leadership is all about growth and seeing opportunities where others see challenges. Which is why I’ve recently made the decision to transition from my CEO position and keep my focus on my original passion. In this session, I will share my:
Startups competing: 100Nuts (UK), INXELO TECHNOLOGIES Ltd. (Croatia), NeoSound OU (Germany), OpenSchool (Latvia), Oppi AI (Finland), Precision Navigation Systems (Estonia), SleepCircle (Finland), Attention Insight (Lithuania), VeritaCell (Latvia), You Are My Guide (Italy).
Jury: Eva Arh (Capital300), Ton van 't Noordende (01 Ventures), Tuomas Kosonen (Inventure), Toby Moore (Imprimature Capital), Sabine Fleischmann (CNB Capital)
Peter Thiel in 2013 at Yale commencement famously said - “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters”. 6 years later first flying car is being successfully tested by Boeing. Disruption at the transport sector is accelerating at an unprecedented pace. Autonomous cars once SciFi are being tested commercially, EV adoption is growing at an unforeseen speed and scooter seems to be the last-mile panacea to solve congestions in large cities. So where are we now and what's next in the new mobility? Rokas will give an overview from the investor perspective what to follow.
Artificial Intelligence is profoundly transforming the world of technology, yet its real power is blurred in a murky mix of exacerbated hype and irrational fear. This is the right time to pioneer innovative AI applications and strive for leadership in the changing technological landscape.
How to surf the AI wave and not be drawn in by unrealistic expectations? How to excel and find your distinctive strength among all the others rushing for AI-driven success? How to prepare for the everchanging future? We will share our experience and lessons learned from applying AI to understand human language and to change the way how we interact with technologies.
Startups competing: CastPrint (Latvia), Chili Labs (Latvia), E-volta (Ukraine), Neuroflux (Finland), Petsensus (Hong Kong), PlanA.earth (Germany), Smartcore Enterprise (Tanzania), StoryTracks (Ireland), Taste.li (Latvia), Vigo (Latvia)
Jury: Jerome Wittamer (Expon Capital), Kaja Lilleng (Nordic Impact), Agnieszka Meller (InfoShare), Peder L'orange (Katapult Accelerator), Leah Volger (Mantaray VC)
Are you doing it? Or are you thinking, dreaming and talking about it? Entrepreneurs are waking up with only one thing in their mind. What I will DO today? Ruthless belief in their product or service and daily action create confidence that will translate into stories and myths which start to live their own life. When the answer to why is clear and true and you are doing something about it every day, success is inevitable. Tiit will bring examples of above from his experiences from Skype, Pipedrive, Põhjala Brewery (one of the top 100 breweries of the world) and Veriff.
Baltics VS Nordics. Leading Baltic VCs take on sourcing and sharing deal flow, competing outside of the home turf with the Nordic heavyweights and taking down the barriers to invest and co-invest globally.
A start-up goes through stages, until one day, it might not be a start-up anymore. Growth constantly brings new challenges. How do you decide where to take your business? What sets a good partnership apart from a bad one? And how do you maintain your culture when your employee numbers double?
Adyen was founded in 2006. In 2018, we had one of the biggest IPO:s in Europe. In this session, we share the lessons we’ve learned along the way of how to build an organisation and a product with scalability at the heart of it.
Fintech has had a stellar year on a global scale, with a record number of deals and a record surge in investment. The unicorns are growing bigger, new startups are joining the fray, and banks are increasingly joining the race of digital innovation. Last year introduced blockchain, bitcoin and ICO’s to the mainstream audience, and artificial intelligence, automation, and mobile banking are having an increasing impact on the financial sector. However, as the startups grow bigger and start facing regulatory challenges in Europe and beyond, the question arises on whether fintech startups will shift from disruptors to partners in the financial industry.
The panellists will discuss:
Announcing the Fifty Founders Battle finalists
What is your purpose? Do you have a dream of making the world better? Let’s discuss how people all over the world are waking up as entrepreneurs and working to build a better future. It’s one of the greatest times in history to be an entrepreneur, but that does not mean that it is easy. What are some of the best lessons from helping entrepreneurs in over 200 cities worldwide? Let’s discuss them.
Europe has a wealth of talent and entrepreneurial spirit, and 2018 was another record year for growth and investment. As Europe reaches new peaks in innovation, so does the rest of the world - the global competition grows only more intense. The panel brings together leading experts on European policy, investment, digital policy, and entrepreneurship to discuss the current state of innovation in Europe, how much is it affected by policies and politics, what have been the successes of the recent past and the main obstacles and opportunities of the future, and what can - and should - be done to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship and competitive long-term growth in the region.
I believe that the most important thing about your startup is the reason you are doing it and the changes it will evoke in the world.
European startup scene weather forecast. There are bigger challenges coming, as the issue of demographics, the potential looming financial crisis, regulations impacting everything from governments to corporations to startups, while creating opportunities for others, like fintech for instance.
The digital age is changing our perspective on education, creating shifts not just in the approach of educators in the learning and teaching process, transforming the way we learn, but also for parents, governments and institutions, raising difficult questions on how to raise the next generation ready to make the most of their future, ready to adapt to the changing needs of their future jobs - at a moment we don't even know what the jobs of the future will be.
Modern microcontrollers make it easy to bring your ideas out of your brain and into the world. Learn how anyone can get started with hardware prototyping, beginning with the Particle board, an internet-enabled microcontroller. This session will give you a basic understanding of code, circuits and familiarity with the latest tools. Let’s pick up our soldering irons and put on safety goggles—it’s time to make things!
When two former Skype engineers decided to form a company, they knew - in order for startups to scale faster - product quality always has to come first. A few years later TestDevLab was founded - quality assurance company with a team of highly skilled and experienced engineers in testing the broadest range of software products across all forms and platforms. TestDevLab works with top global brands including Skype, Twilio and Microsoft. In this fireside-chat, you’ll learn why quality matters and how early should you start thinking about proper testing if developing a tech product.
Jaimy Nijnens is an entrepreneur and a circular economist at YSE. He embraces new circular initiatives and technologies and feels there should be space for problem-solving ideas. Currently, he works with Philips on the role of digitization in achieving sustainability goals and generating circular revenue. Jaimy is passionate about the impact of AI and IoT on resource efficiency and waste minimisation. He has encountered challenges and opportunities for these technologies to contribute to circular business models in multiple industries. In his keynote you’ll learn more on how circular economy can help your business.
Humanity has an unprecedented opportunity to make data useful! Machine learning and artificial intelligence are no longer science fiction, but what does it take to harness their potential? Let's strip away the jargon in machine learning and AI to take a look at what’s easy, what’s hard, how to spot opportunities, and what you need to know to avoid the two biggest threats in AI. Along the way, we’ll meet an emerging discipline that focuses on using machine learning and AI to improve your business: decision intelligence engineering!
Traditional announcement based PR is broken for startups! In his presentation, Craig, an editor, journalist, and PR expert looks at the problems facing startups getting media coverage and offers some tips for how they can catch the right people's attention. By understanding what types of stories engage the media, and creating interesting narratives about interesting aspects of their company, team, and culture, startups can truly stand out from the crowd and get the recognition they deserve!
Big Tech appears to be caught between a rock and a hard place. When platforms such as Facebook and Twitter ban speech that is deemed inappropriate, they are accused of bias and censorship. And when the platforms keep up content that others believing is sowing discord, chaos, and misinformation the companies are accused of being neglectful. And while tech companies have an incentive to make a frictionless experience online, that very lack of friction may increase negative behaviour online.
Users are now demanding a more proactive response from both large tech platforms and startups. But how should they move forward and what are the risks?
Do users trust tech companies to make the types of speech determinations that have typically been determined by the legal system?
Will platforms ever increase friction online if that means lower user engagement?
People are often removed from a platform after running afoul of the site’s Terms of Service, which serves as a legal contract regarding the rules of usage. Should platforms be allowed to create whatever rules that would like regarding speech, or should it coincide with our conception of the freedom of speech?
Our determination of allowable speech varies dramatically from country to country. Should large global tech platforms adopt universal standards or customize its policies for the norms of each country?
Is the use of algorithms to promote (or lessen) the popularity of speech an editorial decision?
Modern myths and data-driven insights of 290 Slush pitches and 1042 investor questions
A lot of businesses underestimate the power of a brand. The main reason is they usually confuse brand with visual identity, look&feel or even just a logo. Fortunately for companies, a brand is much more than just visuals. A brand is, together with a good product, the most valuable asset a company can have.
With Typeform’s growth story as an example, Alex will share achievements and failures, so you get first-hand insight on how defining a brand will have a positive impact on scaling your business.
Many companies work hard to instill core values into their business. But many times, these values remain simply aspirational slogans or when incorporated, suffer as a company grows. This talk will unpack what it takes to build a value-driven business with impact. We will engage with how founders can incorporate a value system into the work that they do, how this can be used to generate a strong company culture at scale.
"If I would have understood the importance of my investor network I would be a millionaire"
Pekka will present the topic of “Companies have to do reporting because they don’t communicate” and sharing his own experiences over the last 20 years, especially the mistakes. Engaging for both investors and founders.
This fireside chat with the CEO of Quro will show you how combining new digital technology & assets with a forward-looking vision can create an entirely new economy, rewarding sustainable behaviours & empowering the next generation to fight climate change.
'Waste not, want not.’ Or so the saying goes. The problem is, we’re a nation of wanters, and considering the shocking statistics on our trash tendencies, we’re a nation of wasters, too and it's driving our planet to shocking sustainability problems that are getting bigger with every year, e.g., we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food every year, and more than half of it’s perfectly edible. Meanwhile, 1 in 7 people across the world doesn't have enough to eat. In this fireside chat, you'll be able to learn how to reduce your food wastage.
Both Nordigen and Giraffe360 are Latvian startups that have gone through the process of raising seed rounds during the last year. Each of them has gone through their fair share of challenges related to cap tables, term sheets and investors. With Andris K. Berzins, their investor from Change Ventures leading the discussion, we will dive through some of the do’s and don’ts of early-stage funding rounds.
We’ve been eating meat since we lived in caves. And today, some of our most magical moments together happen around meat: Weekend barbecues. Midnight fast-food runs. Taco Tuesdays. Hot dogs at the ballpark. Those moments are special, and we never want them to end. However, animal agriculture occupies almost half the land on earth, consumes a quarter of our freshwater and destroys our ecosystems - that’s a fact. Now let’s talk what can be done about it considering the rapidly growing food-tech industry - because no doubt using animals to make meat is a prehistoric and destructive technology that could drive our planet into even bigger suffering.
Lauri will speak straight & from the heart, based on personal experience as a co-founder of MarkIT.eu (now over €110M annual sales) and early leader at Monese (now reaching 1M customer signups and 220+ people team) about universals which are true for any founding team on the journey from an idea to a successful business. No pink glasses on this one, as down to earth and pragmatic as they come.
Printful is not a startup anymore, but they have kept a couple of things from the startup culture. Within a year it has helped them to double the employee count. Now Printful has more than 200+ employees in the Latvian office. Raitis is confident that Printful is the best place to work, and therefore he will share a few tips on how:
Venture capital is often criticized for the severe power imbalances that taint relations between investors and entrepreneurs. But why do these power imbalances exist? How are they stunting innovation? And how can we challenge them?
This session will:
This panel will be all about identifying ways in which various key stakeholder can have an impact on the world we live in today. Over the past few years, we have seen an increasing number of social entrepreneurs and impact startups trying to tackle some of the worlds biggest challenges. When considering the magnitude of the task at hand it’s becoming apparent that they won’t succeed alone. From new advanced research to policy making, corporate partnerships and of course the exposure of modern media, numerous key stakeholders are part of the picture. Thus, making it extremely important to understand what role each stakeholder plays and how they can work together in order to achieve a great impact.
There’s been a backlash against a number of ventures in Silicon Valley… rocks getting thrown at tech workers as they head to work signifying a much deeper problem is starting to emerge. The mantra “move fast and break things” no longer works in building startups. At the root of these issues, founders can drive their ventures so that they increase their chances of success in a new way that will have an impact on the health of their venture, their community, and the world. What should founders do to avoid these pitfalls but also take advantage of the underlying societal shift emerging? The founder must learn to grow along the way, or often times find himself/herself Kevin will share his personal perspective and share examples from around the world.
The main topic of the panel is the global investment scene and investor's outlook on the recent changes in venture capital, discussing and touching upon the biggest investing milestones and trends we've seen over the past year (beyond scooters!) and expected future trends in 2019, regional differences and changes over time such as the longest battle of Silicon Valley vs the rest of the world, as well as the impact of recent political turmoil and regional competition on both sides of the Atlantic. As our core topic this year is Impact, we'll also discuss whether investors also share the responsibility on how the startups invest in change and disrupt industries, should diversity be a factor in investing, and the impact of VC's on innovation.
The finalists: Hive Identity (Ukraine), Jeff App (Latvia), ZitiCity (Lithuania), Kipwise (Estonia), Precision Navigation Systems (Estonia), Neuroflux (Finland), and PowerUp Fuel Cells (Estonia)
Fifty Founders Battle winner announcement