Slush is back in full swing post-pandemic. Sting Bioeconomy was present at the world’s largest fair for startups and investors. A total of 13,000 people visited the fair. 5,000 startups with hang-arounds and 3,000 investors.
Audiences and participants from all over the world were present and the quality of what was presented on the four big stages (Founders Stage, Builder Stage, Horizon Stage and Startup Stage) was very high. Both entrepreneurs, who have successfully navigated the challenging Unicorn journey, and investors sharing the latest trends, left an indelible impression with their remarkable contributions.
University students as volunteers
Involving university students as volunteers proved to be a brilliant move. Good service and information about everything, from where you could have your 1-2-1 meetings to how to sort your waste, worked flawlessly. The entire large exhibition hall was delicately set up with good sound systems and subdued hi-tech-inspired lighting. The entire experience established an atmosphere that practically transported you, creating the sensation of strolling through a spaceship journeying into the future.
Great focus on AI
While there was a significant emphasis on AI and neural networks, it also presented an opportunity for Finland to showcase itself as the nation that has made the most strides in the development of quantum computers – Computers that, with their capacity, are predicted to take over the market from today’s energy-guzzling supercomputers with much lower power consumption, greater computing capacity and much higher speed. The Finnish startup IQM Computing, just four years old, not only secured the largest seed funding in Europe during the pandemic (32 million Euros) but is now at the forefront of the Quantum race.
Startups in AI have taken a big step forward in 2023, from a focus on text and advanced chat functions to audio and video. Companies like Veed and Synthesia impressed me with their solutions to easily create your own avatars and clone voices.
The automotive industry demonstrated great interest in incorporating innovative sustainable solutions within its exhibits and presentations. Companies such as BMW (with brands such as Rolls Royce and Mini Cooper in the portfolio) and Stellaris (Topolino, Fiat, Ferrrai, etc.) have both started their own accelerators and investment portfolios for startups. Companies such as BMW (with brands such as Rolls Royce and Mini Cooper in the portfolio) and Stellaris (Topolino, Fiat, Ferrrai, etc.) have both started their own accelerators and investment portfolios for startups.
There were also exciting bioeconomy startups on site. There was an extra strong focus on new sustainable building materials and fighting and preventing forest fires. We met companies from Finland, Germany, France and Sweden who were all interested in collaborating with Sting Bioeconomy.
Slush is back in full swing, and the fair was buzzing with optimism for the future. “Everyone” working on cutting-edge business ideas was there. We too will return to Slush in 2024.