What is Slush
Slush is a big conference where founders of startups from all over the world can meet each other and exchange experiences, while also looking for investors who would support their ideas financially.
It’s been organised in Helsinki since 2008 - some of the early organisers include the folks from Rovio (the ones behind Angry Birds!). It grew from 250 to over 5000 founders, 3000 investors and 3,000 ecosystem players this year. So it’s kind of a big deal.
Why I went
I was part of the Game Changer programme organised by Games London and a mission to Slush was part of the programme’s curriculum. It gave our whole cohort an amazing opportunity to meet and network with other people from the startup scene and potential investors.
While Slush is not a strictly game-centred conference, there were a lot of people representing their game studios. Among others, there were 50 people on the trade mission organised by Games London (that includes 30 teams from Game Changer).
The chance to talk with people from other UK game studios was already very valuable to me: a lot of them have much more experience in running studios than me and are way further along on their journey. It was great to talk to them in informal settings, and go to karaoke or sauna together.
What I learned
The amazing thing about Slush was that it was easy to talk to anyone, not just our group. People were very approachable, eager to share tips about growing their business and getting funding. I ended up talking to inspiring founders of startups from areas ranging from e-commerce, through female health all the way to mobility.
There were a few trends I spotted: the main one was of course AI - pretty much everyone was using it in one form or another. Other things that stood out to me were sustainability, and mental health (or more generally: holistic health).
Seeing so many other startups focus on these important issues, each in their own way, fills me with hope for our future. It also makes me feel like it’s a good time to build my own studio focused on wellbeing through games, and making the world a better place.
I’m sure the relationships I formed during Slush will grow and develop for years to come. If there is one thing I learned so far it’s that events like this keep on giving and you don’t know their full impact until many months later.
The investors I talked to and the advice I got is going to help me propel my cosy business further. I’m very excited to see where this takes me and all the other founders from our amazing Game Changer cohort!
From the bottom of my heart, a huge THANK YOU to all the Game Changer organisers and all of Games London for this amazing opportunity 💜