Findings from Slush by Taha Jiwaji

Slush definitely lives up to its hype of a tech conference not to be missed. In my opinion its somewhere in between a rock concert and a

proper conference. Laser lights and stage smoke were just a few of the effects you’d see on a daily basis. There’s also serious stuff off course with lots of intense startup pitches, frenzied networking and amazing talks covering topics ranging from fundraising, gaming to leadership and impact investments.

Although the focus was mostly on Scandinavian and Eurasian startups, key takeaways for African startups including Bongo Live was the think global mindset since almost all of our economies are fairly small as independent markets. Finland only has 5 million people, so their startups have to think global or atleast cover Europe from day 1.

Overall I personally learned a lot about the Finnish tech scene, particularly in gaming. I also got to experience their work hard, play hard attitude which kept Slush both serious and enjoyable like tech conferences should be.

To summarize some more thoughts:

The pros:
Talks were to the point and didn’t go longer than 30mins. Some were just 5-7mins.
Good mix of large enterprise/corporations and smaller startups showcasing their products/services.

The cons:
upto 12,000 attendees. making it extremely hard to stand out.
The African startup landscape was very unfamiliar to almost everyone I met. So there was a lot of educating to be done.

Taha Jiwaji, Bongolive.



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