So, there I was talking to this amazing lady, whose work is in developing virtual reality games, yeah, you heard that right, virtual reality games!! I am speechless as she tries to explain to me what she does, I am mind blown. I have been reading about VR for a while and being a technology nerd, I know just how revolutionary the technology is, in my head it is all up there with AI and self-driving cars, and now for the first time I am talking to someone who is so well versed in VR that she thinks it is just easy. And all that was before even SLUSH itself started, this awesome tech conference which has over 15000 attendees from the most revolutionary companies in technology, I was thinking to myself, this is going to be epic.
I was representing my start-up company Tango TV at SLUSH. We got sponsored by TANZICT, and I owe them so much for this experience.
I had signed up to attend several side events before the main slush event, the most memorable of which being the failure festival where different people went on stage and told a story on how they failed at a business or a project. One young guy from China had failed at a startup so bad he lost $1 million of his own money while he was barely 25, wow!
But enough of the side events, let’s talk of the main Slush Event, as I said there were over 15000 attendees, that’s a lot of people, and all of them working on the cutting edge of technology.
On Wednesday November 11, the first day of SLUSH, I got off the tram and walked into the Messukeskus Convention center and it was huge. There were four big stages on which events were going on at all times, SLUSH also provided a special SLUSH app just to help you know what is going on and at what stage, later that day I was talking to a startup founder from Moscow, and he said exactly what I was thinking, “Man this event is like a rock festival, but for tech and business”.
Learn, Network, learn.
With 15000 people in a single venue, there is a whole lot to learn. I learnt a great deal in just a few minutes talking to the lady from the virtual reality company, and I talked to probably a hundred startup representatives, that’s a lot of knowledge gathered. Also, thanks to our amazing organization team from TANZICT, we had several coaching and training sessions on the two days before Slush, all very educational. And on the two days of SLUSH I got to learn so fast that my head was spinning.
Victor pitching Tango TV to YLE (Finnish National Broadcasting Company).
What l have come to realize in the past few months is that reading is a great way to learn new things, but talking to different people is an even greater way, and in that sense, for a tech entrepreneur, SLUSH is probably better than an MBA, as long as you network, meet people and talk to them.
What to do now?
At SLUSH there was a two day continuing pitching competition for startups from across the world. I noticed there was only one Startup from Africa on this stage, out of 100 startups that pitched. Only one from Africa, this broke my heart, knowing that it is partly my fault as well, so as a resolution I plan to pitch Tango TV as one of the Slush 100 in 2016. Time to get to work!