Many German startups also presented themselves at the world's leading start-up trade fair Slush Helsinki on November 21 and 22. The AHK brought Finland almost 50 of them to Helsinki and accompanied them comprehensively.
Darkness, fog, temperatures around zero - this is southern Finland in November. The best time for the first snow that immediately turns into slush. It was exactly this time that the founders of the startup and tech event "Slush" chose to bring young companies together with investors in Helsinki.
Global new tech community
This tech and start-up fair has gone through an incredible development. What started in 2008 as a meeting of 300 local young entrepreneurs has become a global community. Today, the conference describes itself as the world's leading startup event. This year, 3,500 startups met 2,000 investors, and a total of around 25,000 curious participants came.
German pitching stage
Of course, German startups should not be missing there. We have been actively involved in the appearance of the AHK Finland for five years as an official partner of the Slush. Our German Pitching Stage is the official side event at the conference, at which German startups can present themselves in three minutes each - followed by Q&A and networking. This year, in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Economics, several federal states and regions, we brought a total of almost 50 German startups to the conference.
We are in contact with the companies long in advance. This will be followed by special briefings and workshops two days before the slush conference. The goal: to prepare the young companies so that they can present and network in the best possible way within this international framework - and also get to know possible partners and investors in so-called matchmaking.
Negotiate at eye level
Dmitri Sarle is the founder of the event organization ArcticStartup and has already advised many founders. In his presentation, he emphasized the different interests and needs that potential donors can have. On the other hand, as a startup you should also think about your own interests and represent them. "You also have bargaining power, especially if your startup is doing well," he said. Other speakers provided advice on legal and financial issues, for example on the establishment of a subsidiary in Finland.
At a start-up conference with around 25,000 participants, every entrepreneur has to talk a lot and get to the point quickly. And with all stress, pay attention to your own body language so as not to send wrong signals unconsciously. This was all about the pitch training for the participants. Because at the climax of the trip, your own appearance on the German Pitching Stage, everything should fit.
The slush begins on a typically dark, foggy November morning. And this is how it looks inside the huge exhibition center: Darkened, the fog here comes from the machine, neon light creates a futuristic atmosphere. The opening show will be a laser spectacle. All of this should show: look here, we are the future. So says one of the speakers on the main stage, the Founder Stage: Entrepreneurs have always been problem solvers. And today's problems are more complex than ever. That's why startups are needed more and more these days.
Germany @ Slush
Then the German Pitching Stage opens. Over a period of five hours, the startups present themselves to up to 100 listeners, many of them investors. This is how the Rhineland-Palatinate company cannyworld introduces itself and its global cloud platform app, which will soon be available as an app download and will have several hundred thousand active users. cannyworld is looking for seed funding of millions of euros. The founder Achim Wiedemann presents his vision and idea.
Great feedback from the participants
After the exciting pitching day, the feedback from all participants was very positive. The lavish opening show and the slush program geared to the needs of start-ups generated a lot of praise and amazement. Our program around the German-Pitching Stage as well as our networking event Beer-Together, which was organized the evening before, were an enrichment for the participants. A total of around 400 investors, startups, companies and other interested participants from 90 countries had registered for both side events. Only one wish came true after the slush days: to see more sunlight again.