SLUSH is practical learning – Victor from Tango TV

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.

2015-11-12 11.38.57-1Victor 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!

Ecosystem – Slush 2015 Reflection, Written by Rose Funja, Agrinfo Founder & CEO

My journey started way back in 2013,I had joined a group of now over 200 tree farmers in Iringa Tanzania. As a group, we meet once a year in a day called “Chai day” as an Annual general meeting, collective the group has about 7000 acres. But one thing has been missing, the information was only passed over emails and mostly in the hands of few individuals. Fires have always been a threat and every year some members’ investments have turned to ashes. I thought there has to be a better way.

I embarked on ways that I could use my knowledge in information and communication to make matters easy. It has been a rough road since but a very rewarding one, full of discoveries and eye openers. Agrinfo was born through that struggle and now we have a platform, team and believers. Amongst them is Tanzict which is a Finnish –Tanzania collaboration that afforded me a chance to be at slush 2015.

care_monkey2015 pitching competition winners- Care monkey

Slush was amazing – coming from Buni innovation hub, I thought I knew all to know about start-ups. I had expected slush to be just one more exhibition of technologies. Well it was – but much more!! I saw passion, I saw commitment, I saw a working ecosystem! Serious government leaders, smart international investors & executives and passionate innovators come entrepreneurs! In the two days I spent most of my time at the pitching stage where 100 startups were competing for the 650,000 USD equity funds! Every company that took the stage displayed the best tech and analysed their business in the shortest amount of time with the hope to get in to the next round. The woman’s miniskirt concept was observed; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.” ― Winston Churchill!

Amongst the slushers were the tech gurus the google, amazon and tesla the electric car! I was impressed by the runner-up the Astro digital and was routing for them to win but I guess it was just the day for care monkey!

rose and teslaRose, Tesla and Spotify shining on the background.

Let it be remembered that slush is organized by student volunteers. The speakers worked well in a hall with four stages and leaving room for side meetings and chats, all taking place at once. The coat room accommodated all 15,000 participant coats and it took just a few minutes in the line to store or retrieve one’s coat. The innovation theme was in the air from the sets to the dishes that food was served, sound systems and never failing wifi!

It would be a miss if I didn’t mention the level of honest culture starting with the Finnish people and picked up by the 100 different nationalities represented by the slushers! Phones and handbags that were misplaced made their way safely to the owners! Amazing!

Did I mention that slush opened with a countdown –yes it did! As if it were a New Year countdown!! It also ended with the organizer announcing the next year’s slush week—28 Nov to 2nd Dec 2016! That tells you how far ahead the planning goes! I was impressed! So what is slush—to me its an ecosystem that offers inspiration for international high growth entrepreneurs!


I had an imagination of the previous networking conferences I attended, BUT Slush proved to be different. So many people but all aiming at something similar, very focused audience with well organized programs in a way that you get what you want.

It is one of the best networking meetings I ever attended. It was so motivating exchanging ideas with fellow startups; you speak same language and related challenges with different ways of solving the challenges.

Meeting with Investors, partners and agencies who really have a heart to work with startups! People who value your work as a startups, a lot of Congratulations for a good job, it added my fuel and am very much motivated. The challenges are a stepping stone for me now.

I would encourage startups, if you are looking for something to get you from where you are to another step in any angle- Slush is the event to attend! I loved it!

Please utilize the opportunities very well! Work on all information you receive from the organizing committee. Book your meetings earlier-it is very important.

I will always cherish the memories of my Slush experience.

Really SLUSH was the event to attend!!

I was fascinated by these young children I met at SLUSH2015 the “young entrepreneurs in Finland_ Pikkuyrittajat” who do graphics, baking and making jewelries. I was inspired by their zeal, innovations and marketing strategies they used to sell their unique products and learned a lot from them. Being at SLUSH2015 has increased my network, knowledge and experiences from other startups. Other people in SLUSH and different speakers on the stages which widened my understanding about entrepreneurship.2015-11-11 15.12.32-1Modesta’s  OurCries aroused lots of interest and she was also interviewed by a Finnish online TV.

Most of all, I learned a lot from my fellow Tanzanian delegates especially from those I shared a room with. They didn’t hesitate to talk to me whenever I was wrong and also share their experience. It was very encouraging, inspirational and motivational to me. I am another person NOW!






SLUSH learnings: How to travel by Basil, Buni

2015-11-23 10.32.25-1

Basil sharing his views from SLUSH on a commuity session 23rd Nov.

★ Travel with goals. Always set travel goals you can achieve, do not be too ambitious. Expect the best settle for nothing less.

★ Passport and visa. Make sure you prepare all your documents at least one week before travel. The process of getting a visa especially to the Schengen region can sometimes be tedious and frustrating.

★ Secure meeting appointments early. Schedule your meetings and appointments in advance, navigating through new cities trying to locate your meeting points can be hectic.

★ Health Insurance. It is a preliminary requirement by most embassies that you must posses a travel visa before leaving for your designated country.

★ Flight ticket. Secure earlybird flight tickets months prior to your travel to avoid paying more.

★ Accommodation. Always book an hotel prior before travelling, you will always be asked where you plan to stay while in a foreign country by the immigration officials. If travelling in a group, consider renting an apartment that is where Airbnb comes to play.

★ Maintenance money. Always budget for enough maintenance money when visiting foreign countries, some cities can be pretty expensive to get cheap quality basic needs.

★ Event ticket and business cards. If attending events, conferences etc. always purchase/secure your event ticket at least the day before the event. Your business cards should always be ready at all times, they are always conversation starters.

★ Culture shock. Be ready for a reverse culture shock while visiting cultured communities, always know the basic ‘do’s & dont’s’ of new cultures.

★ Convenient travel bag. Carry what you need not what you want. This way you end up carrying just enough baggage you require for your travel.

★ Social media updates. Social media is the best for communication abroad especially if you are not ready for hefty roaming charges. I always find my contacts via my social media accounts when mobile phones do not respond as fast when I urgently need them.

★ Based on the people you follow and the people who follow you. Always keep your twitter, facebook and Instagram family updated with the most relevant trending updates as you travel the world and meet new people.

★ Key learnings and observation. Note down and share your experience with the relevant people in need to learn more about your views and opinions on topics of interests, places etc.

★ New networks. As business cards exchange hands, always remember that it’s never enough to simply dish out your cards while creating networks. Create long lasting and sustainable relationships. It’s always easy to make business follow-ups with new networks with whom you have a relationship.

★ Fun Life. It’s never too cruel not to have some fun. Never try to find fun, create fun where none exists and just live your life.