Mar 29 Arttu Närhi
CEO Antti Sonninen & Tom Kelley Fireside Chat
The program began on The Dome with a Fireside Chat between Slush Tokyo CEO Antti Sonninen and IDEO Partner Tom Kelley. As both have a long history with Slush Tokyo, they had a lot of good memories to share from over the years. Tom, of course, was a speaker at the first Slush in Tokyo in 2015. He also said it provided influence in founding the D4V VC Fund here in Tokyo, a VC focusing on Japanese startups looking to go global. Read more about his talk here.
Fumiko Kato & WAmazing
Before noon, The Dome was taken over by Founder and CEO of WAmazing Fumiko Kato. Having a background in working at Recruit Co., Fumiko founded her company in 2016 with an idea to make traveling around Japan easy for tourists. WAmazing helps arrange a SIM-card with free minuted and data ahead of the journey. The catch is you can pick it up at a vending machine in the airport, prepaid and ready to go!
Fumiko identified the main concern that tourists have in Japan is the lack of public WiFi. Not only does WAmazing provide a data contract, but also the chance to book places at popular attractions, tables at restaurants and other tickets you might want on your journey.
Max Kordek & Blockchain
Max Kordek, Founder, CEO and President of Lisk entered the Dome Stage in the afternoon. Max started off with a short fact-check about what blockchain is. He presented one of Lisk’s projects, the Lisk Academy where anyone interested in blockchain, what it is, and how it works can learn the theory behind the concept for free.
Max told about Lisk’s journey, what the team has learned, and focus on while doing business. He highlighted the importance of acknowledging regular startup practices and avoiding regular and time-consuming mistakes. Another key learning was to keep the focus on key markets, not drifting too far from your core idea. Max also raised questions about how to build a successful team in a decentralized market and how to keep up with a network that is immutable and always awake.
Bureiko Lunch at The Crossing
As the core idea of Slush is about meeting different people as equals, Slush Tokyo celebrated this by inviting it’s visitors to lunch together at the Crossing Stage.
Investors, corporate partner representatives, founders, tech enthusiasts and students all came together, with the special task to skip the Japanese way of communicating honoring the old and the young, but as equals. The topic was free, with the challenge to discuss with everyone at the same table, welcoming curiosity and equality. A well-established item on the Slush Tokyo Agenda, the Bureikoi Lunch drew a large crowd of both participants and spectators.
Pitching Contest Winner: Artisense
The annual, highly anticipated Pitching Contest came to a close at the end of the day. The winner, selected out of 80 participants, 20 semi-finalists and four finalists was computer vision and AI company Artisense. Their product is a 3D mapping tool for creating a dynamic crowdsourced 3D map of any given area. Check out what they had to say at the end of the contest in this post.
Photo: Petri Anttila
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