Slush 2018 – Personal takeaways

I participated in Slush 2018 on Tuesday and Wednesday. I knew to expect a phenomenal event and it did not let me down. But I thought that it would be beneficial mostly for startups and investors, but fortunately I was wrong.

Besides being the number one start-up event in the world, Slush is an experience in itself. I spent there 10+ hours each day, and felt constantly inspired and even captivated with the people I met there.

While looking around and speaking with people, I made also some observations. My personal takeaways from Slush can be divided into three categories.


1. Diversity

I was positively surprised by how different people were holding startup badges in the event. The archetype of an entrepreneur is a young white male, just graduated or dropped out from a university, working together with a few very similar people to produce something that his peers would like to use.

Fortunately, that was not the case in Slush. There was a big number of female startup entrepreneurs, people were from all over the world, and there was quite a sizeable amount of grey haired startup owners among younger people.


2. Availability

The Slush matchmaking tool was this year opened to all attendees, not just startups and investors. I used this possibility with my heart’s content, and stroke over 20 meetings for two days.

I got to speak to a number of people that are extremely hard to reach outside the event. And the discussions were really good, as people were looking to each other very open-mindedly.

I also met a number of people ad hoc on the hallways, and had very good discussions that were open, honest, and positive.


3. Exove’s approach works

I secured the prearranged meetings by sending a couple lines’ message about querying the digital future of the recipient’s organisations and telling that Exove designs and delivers digital service channels.

More than half of the recipients accepted the meeting request. Some of the declinations were due to their focus on startups – which Exove is not – but they asked to come back to them after the event.

I had in total 29 meetings where we spoke about the digital future and digital service channels – 23 prearranged ones and six ad hoc meetings. Of those meetings, 25 will continue with further discussions.

Never in my life I’ve got such a tremendous hit rate (86%). Now, thinking about this after the dust has settled, I think that it boils down to a few items:

The right approach to digital service channels

Our approach to digital service channels works. We combine digital self-service, e-commerce, and digital marketing into a single solution. This concept resonates.

Excellent references

We have a number of good references on these solutions, such as Neste and eMessukeskus, and they are diverse enough to show our ability to tackle different business environments.

Everything in one place

Our service portfolio encompasses all relevant needs to build such services: user research, business analysis, development capabilities, and support & care.

Friendly and partnership focused approach

Our friendly and partnership focused approach, that is also agile and lean, resonates with the people needing such solutions.

Next steps

After writing this blog post, I will continue the discussions with the people I’ve met. The rest of December and most part of January will be very busy and extremely interesting times.

If you are interested in hearing more about us and our services, go ahead and contact me

Thoughts by

Janne Kalliola

Chief Growth Officer


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