Our Crown Jewel
Just a little gathering of 25,000 changemakers, including 4,000
startups and 2,000 investors on Nov 21–22, 2019.
Slush is built for people who change things.
Around the world, movements that want to drive entrepreneurship and empower the upcoming generation can start under the Slush name. Sometimes these movements continue to grow from quirks and sparks to wildfires, sometimes they change shape and take a different form or brand.
Currently, Slush events and communities have been started, in addition to Helsinki and Shanghai, in Tokyo, Singapore, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, New York, Trondheim, and more than 40 other cities.
to Silicon Valley
Slush events happen all around the globe and range from intimate, local gatherings to our flagship, 25,000-strong event in Helsinki. Regardless of size, our events remain true to Slush's mission: connecting the next generation of entrepreneurs with what and whom they need.Read what Slush is all about
THE BRIGHTEST STARTUP MINDS ON
These and many more speakers have given talks, speed mentoring, and workshops to help our attendees grow their companies.
As Co-Founder and CEO of Eventbrite, Julia Hartz has helped drive the company from an innovative ticketing solution to a comprehensive event technology platform that today powers millions of events around the world. Since the company launched operations in 2006, Eventbrite has generated more than $10 billion in gross ticket sales.
Under Julia’s leadership, company culture and workplace performance has remained an integral part of Eventbrite, which now boasts over 1,000 employees in 11 countries across the globe. Eventbrite has been recognized multiple times on Fortune’s Best Workplaces lists, including the Bay Area (2017 and 2018), Women, and Millennials and was also named a best company to work for in San Francisco by the San Francisco Business Times the past nine years running. In the years since founding Eventbrite, Julia has been honored as one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40 business leaders (2015 & 2017), Inc.’s 35 under 35 (2014), Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs (2013), and has been profiled for her leadership and impact in top publications around the world.
Julia landed in Silicon Valley via Hollywood where she began her career as a development executive at MTV and FX Networks. In today’s digital age, Julia believes that real-life, human experiences lead to individual happiness and strong global communities. This belief continues to fuel her passion while running Eventbrite today.
Michael Moritz is a partner at Sequoia Capital, which he joined in 1986. He has helped Sequoia adjust to the profound changes in global technology and was one of the co-founders of its business in China and India as well as Sequoia Global Growth, a global technology fund; Sequoia Heritage, the firm’s single pool of globally diversified, long-term assets; and Sequoia Capital Global Equities, a public market fund. Michael has represented Sequoia on the boards of a number of companies including Yahoo!, PayPal, Google, LinkedIn, and Kayak; and younger businesses such as Instacart, Klarna and Stripe. Prior to joining Sequoia, Michael co-founded Technologic Partners and was a correspondent for Time, where he was the San Francisco bureau chief. Michael graduated from Christ Church, Oxford in 1976 with a MA in History and is an Honorary Student of the College. Together with his wife, Harriet Heyman, he has made a series of major donations to educational causes. He received a knighthood from the Queen of England in 2013.
Dr. Werner Vogels
Dr. Werner Vogels is Chief Technology Officer at Amazon.com where he is responsible for driving the company’s customer-centric technology vision.
As one of the forces behind Amazon’s approach to cloud computing, he is passionate about helping young businesses reach global scale, and transforming enterprises into fast-moving digital organizations.
Vogels joined Amazon in 2004 from Cornell University where he was a distributed systems researcher. He has held technology leadership positions in companies that handle the transition of academic technology into industry. Vogels holds a PhD from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and has authored many articles on distributed systems technologies for enterprise computing.
Alex Chung is currently the Founder and CEO of GIPHY, the people who bring you all the GIFs. Before founding GIPHY he was a Hacker in Residence at Betaworks and directed media technology for companies such as MTV, Viacom, Comcast, managed research for Paul Allen’s R&D lab, and started his career as a hardware engineer at Intel. He’s a serial entrepreneur whose past projects include The Fridge (a private social network acquired by Google) and several others backed by investors such as YCombinator, Mitch Kapor, Google, Intel, Yahoo, and others. He was named on Business Insider’s Top 25 most influential technologists in New York, Fast Company’s most creative people in business, Ad Age’s 50 most creative people of 2016, and has degrees in philosophy, computer engineering, and graphic design.
Martin Lau is the President of Tencent. Martin joined Tencent in 2005 as the Chief Strategy and Investment Officer and was responsible for corporate strategies, investment, M&A and investor relations. In 2006, Martin was promoted to President and managed the day-to-day operation of Tencent. In 2007, he was appointed an Executive Director of the board.
Prior to joining Tencent, Martin was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C’s investment banking division and the Chief Operating Officer of its Telecom, Media and Technology Group. Prior to that, Martin worked at McKinsey & Company, Inc. as a management consultant.
Martin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA degree from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.
In 2012, together with CEO Toni Petersson, John began to turn a 30-year-old maker of oat drinks, Oatly, into a global movement focused on the development of a more sustainable, plant-based lifestyle. By eliminating the marketing department and replacing it with the Oatly Department of Mind Control, his team of creatives has created a voice that often questions the role of companies and brands and has become instantly recognisable for its consistently inconsistent approach to encouraging people to take small steps in order to upgrade their lives and the sustainability of the planet.
April Underwood is a founding partner of the angel investing collective #Angels and a member of the board of directors for Zillow Group. Until 2019, April was the Chief Product Officer at Slack Technologies, Inc., a cloud-based software company that builds professional collaboration tools. Prior to joining Slack, April was Director of Product at Twitter from 2010 to 2015. Previously, April has held product, partnerships, and engineering roles at Google, Travelocity, and Intel.
April holds a B.B.A. in Management Information Systems and Business Honors from The University of Texas at Austin (2001), and an M.B.A. from The University of California at Berkeley (2007). April has received numerous honors, including Fast Company’s “Most Creative People” (2015), Fortune’s “40 Under 40″ (2016), and the highest alumni honor for professional achievement from The University of Texas at Austin, the “Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award” (2019).
Arlan Hamilton is a remarkable entrepreneur who built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Started in 2015, Backstage has now invested nearly $5M into 100 startups led by underestimated founders and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Quartz.
Arlan entered the venture investing world from an unconventional path. Before launching Backstage Capital, she authored the groundbreaking blog “Your Daily Lesbian Moment”, which she grew to a monthly readership of 50,000 fans worldwide. She has written for AOL, SuicideGirls, and Curve Magazine, and founded and published the internationally distributed indie magazine Interlude. Arlan was also a live music production professional, having served as a tour coordinator to numerous international artists including Toni Braxton, and Jason Derulo.
In 2018, Arlan co-founded, along with Investment Partner Christie Pitts, Backstage Studio, a new venture studio designed to build products, services, and initiatives that serve the mission of eliminating underrepresentation in tech by empowering founders and their teams to succeed. Backstage is a fully-remote team that has quickly scaled to 17 employees working together with an ever-expanding roster of world-class mentors and partners. Arlan and Backstage Studio were the subjects of Season 7 of the popular Gimlet Media podcast, StartUp.
Kevin Lin is a 2004 Yale graduate and Co-Founder of Twitch, a global community that comes together each day to create multiplayer entertainment: unique, live, unpredictable experiences created by the shared interactions of millions. Kevin was instrumental in the 2011 launch of the service when he joined Justin.tv in 2008. Kevin now leads Culture, Strategy, and Innovation, where he is responsible for new Twitch programs including original content and corporate strategy.
Brian Halligan is co-founder and CEO of HubSpot. Prior to HubSpot, Brian was a Venture Partner at Longworth Ventures and VP of Sales at Groove Networks, which was acquired by Microsoft. Previously, Brian was a Senior VP of Sales at PTC.
He has co-authored two books, “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs” with Dharmesh Shah, and “Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead” with David Meerman Scott and Bill Walton. Recently, he’s been writing about how to turn your startup into a scale-up.
He was named a Top-Rated CEO by Glassdoor in 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Brian was also listed by Comparably as one of the Top 5 Best CEOs for Women and for Diversity in 2018. He was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of the Year in 2011 and an Inc. Founders 40 in 2016.
Brian is a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School Of Management where he teaches Course 15.392called “Scaling Entrepreneurial Ventures.”
In 2017, Brian donated $1.6 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center for Jerry Garcia’s guitar to support two things he cares deeply about: social justice and music. Around his hometown of Boston, his favorite charity is Camp Harbor View, serving over 1,000 youths from Boston’s at-risk neighborhoods through summer camp on Boston Harbor.
He has a BSEE from the University Of Vermont and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School Of Management.
Ilkka Paananen is the CEO and co-founder of Supercell, the Helsinki-based mobile games developer behind Clash of Clans, Hay Day, Boom Beach and Clash Royale. Since its founding in 2010, Supercell’s games have remained in the global top 10 years after launch. In June 2016, Supercell became the first European technology start-up to reach a valuation of $10 billion.
In addition to his role at Supercell, Ilkka helps other entrepreneurs as both an investor and as an active member of the Helsinki-based startup community where he mentors and coaches other founders. Alongside his co-founder Mikko Kodisoja, he has established the We Foundation to fight social inequality and help disadvantaged children in Finland.
As PayPal’s Chief Operating Officer, Bill Ready is responsible for product, technology and engineering at PayPal, as well as the end-to-end customer experiences for PayPal’s portfolio of brands. Bill came to PayPal with the acquisition of Braintree in 2013, where, as CEO, he and his team fueled the mobile commerce revolution by building one of the most innovative and influential startups in the payments industry. With its emphasis on mobile-first experiences, elegant tools for developers, and incredible customer support, Braintree developed industry-leading payment solutions that power many of the world’s most disruptive businesses, including Uber, Airbnb, Houzz and HotelTonight.
Prior to Braintree, Bill was executive in residence at Accel Partners, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital and growth equity firm. A veteran of the payments industry, Bill served as president of iPay Technologies beginning in 2008, guiding the company through a period of rapid revenue and earnings growth, and its sale to Jack Henry & Associates for $300 million in 2010. He also worked as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company, where he advised leading financial technology companies, and was an early engineer at two other successful start-ups: emphesys (merged with Humana in 2001) and Netzee (IPO November 1999). Bill holds an MBA from Harvard Business School where he was an honors recipient and a bachelor’s degree in information systems and finance from the University of Louisville.
Daniel Ek is the Chairman and CEO of Spotify, where he sets the company’s overall vision. Daniel oversees Spotify’s business and product strategies and is responsible for building a progressive, forward looking global organization. Daniel was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden where he founded Spotify in 2006.
Together with Hans Rosling and Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund founded Gapminder in 2005. Gapminder’s mission statement is to fight devastating ignorance with a fact-based world view everyone can understand.
She designed the user-interface of the famous animating bubble-chart tool called Trendalyzer, used by millions of students across the world, to understand global development trends. The tool was acquired by Google, and Anna worked at Google in Mountain View, CA as a Senior Usability Designer 2007 to 2010. At Google Anna improved search results for public data, developed data exploration tools for Public Data and made a bubble tool gadget (Motion chart) in Google Spreadsheets. In 2010 Anna came back to Gapminder to develop new free teaching material. Anna is now Vice President and Head of Design & User Experience at Gapminder. She also sits in the Gapminder Board. Anna holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography.
Anna founded Dollar Street, the biggest systematic image bank with representative home documentations based on data. At the moment we have almost 30 000 photos and 10 000 video clips, which are free to use under Creative Common license.
Cal Henderson is the co-founder and CTO of Slack. He led the technical development of Flickr from its founding, pioneered the use of APIs, and created the basis for oAuth and oEmbed, now used by YouTube, Twitter, and may others. Cal has a Computer Science degree from the University of Central England.
Carl Pei is Co-founder and Head of Global at OnePlus. Raised in Sweden, Carl built and currently oversees the global business of OnePlus. Founded in 2013, their debut smartphone, the OnePlus One, was hailed by TIME as the ‘phone of dreams’. In 2017, OnePlus has 5 flagship smartphones under its belt and has been the number one best selling device at Elisa, Finland’s leading network operator, for 7 months in a row.
Before co-founding OnePlus, Carl has been running different online content, community, and e-commerce ventures since the age of 12. Carl enjoys chocolate and ice cream, as well as chocolate ice cream.
Mr. William Li is the founder, chairman and CEO of NIO. In November 2014, Mr. Li founded NIO with the goal of building the first User Enterprise in the world and to redefine the whole car ownership experience.
Mr. William Li is a serial entrepreneur. He established Bitauto Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BITA) in 2000, where he serves as the Chairman of the board of directors. Bitauto is one of the biggest providers of online content and marketing services for China’s automotive industry. While he was still studying at Peking University, he founded Beijing Antarctic Technology Development Co., Ltd, one of the earliest internet companies in China. Mr. William Li has co-founded and invested in over 40 companies in the internet and automotive industries.
Mr. Li was recognized by Sina Finance, People’s Daily and Wu Xiaobo’s Channel in January 2018 as one of the “2017 Top 10 Economic Personages of China.” Mr. Li was named GQ Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2017. Mr. William Li was recognized by the China Automobile Dealers Association in 2008 as one of the top 10 most influential people and distinguished people in China’s automobile deal industry in the past thirty years.
Mr. William Li was born in Anhui, China. He received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Peking University where he minored in law.
Katarina Berg joined Spotify as Chief HR Officer in 2013. She heads up the company’s global HR, Strategy Operations, and Workplace Solutions departments, leading the people strategy development and execution in the transition from startup to a mature international company.
Before Spotify, Katarina held high-profile HR roles in various multinational companies, such as Preem, Swedbank, Kanal 5 (SBS Broadcasting) and 3 (Hi3G Access)
As well as catering to the people needs of a diverse, nimble and ever-changing organization, Katarina is also focused on building teams and reinventing processes to establish an environment where creative and passionate people can be their very best, have fun and develop great careers.
Katarina also serves on the board of directors of recruitment tech startup Sqore, and the advisory board of directors for Swedish fitness magazine Topp Hälsa.
Outside work Katarina loves to spend time in the archipelago. When she is not eating her way into new cultures or cooking for friends and family, she dreams of the days back when she traveled the world whitewater rafting.
Partner & Co-founder of Yes VC. Board member, Public Goods, Sundance. Formerly Co-founder of Flickr, Chairman of Etsy. Advocate for online community, social software, art, literature, myth and poetry.
Justin Rosenstein is the co-founder of Asana, the fast-growing work tracking app for teams. Asana’s mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly. He’s also a featured author in Wavelength, an online publication for teams who aspire to do great things together—through a mindful, purposeful approach.
Justin has driven the development of products that billions of people use daily.
At Facebook, he co-invented features such as the Like Button and Facebook Pages. At Google, he managed several products in the communication/collaboration division including Google Drive, and helped create GChat. At Asana, he’s helped build one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies, most recently valued at $900M in Series D funding led by Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management.
Justin majored in Math and got part way through a Master’s in Computer Science at Stanford. He is a devoted student of yoga, meditation, and cats.
Casey Winters is a full time advisor and consultant to top tech companies like Eventbrite, Thumbtack, and Reddit. Casey recently was the growth advisor in residence at Greylock Partners, where he helped startups on their growth strategies and scaling challenges. Prior to Greylock, Casey led growth at Pinterest, helping kickstart international growth. Pinterest recently crossed over 200 million monthly active users. Yes, those annoying signup prompts are his fault.
Prior to Pinterest, Casey was the first marketer at Grubhub, helping the company grow from 30,000 users to over 3 million by leading acquisition and retention marketing. Casey is responsible for some of Grubhub’s worst performing ads, but definitely not its best. Grubhub went public in April 2014 and is now valued at $10 billion. Prior to Grubhub, Casey worked in online marketing at Homefinder and Apartments.com. Casey has a BBA in Marketing from Loyola University Chicago and an MBA from Chicago Booth, but he isn’t like those other MBA types. He blogs, not as well as most, at caseyaccidental.com.
As Vice President of People & Culture at Reddit, Katelin is passionate about building scalable, inclusive institutional cultures. First introduced to the notion of intentional cultural development at Pixar Animation Studios, she studied alongside the storytellers that would ultimately change the course of her career. From film to tech (and a few interesting layovers in between) the one common denominator behind Katelin’s career has been to enable people to create beautiful, innovative products by building a culture of belonging.
Niklas Zennström is CEO and Founding Partner at Atomico. He is an experienced technology investor and entrepreneur, having previously co-founded and managed globally successful technology companies including Skype, Kazaa and Joltid.
In 2006, Niklas founded the venture capital firm, Atomico, to help entrepreneurs, primarily from Europe, to scale their businesses globally. Atomico has partnered with and supported a growing number of highly successful technology companies, including Supercell, Klarna, Rovio, ofo and many more. It raised its fourth fund in 2016, which was the largest independent venture capital fund ever raised in Europe. In addition to overseeing Atomico’s strategy, he works closely with a number of founders of portfolio companies and sits on the boards of Rovio, Mapillary, Pipedrive, Lilium and Farmdrop. Niklas is most excited about founders that are solving major world problems using digital technology.
Prior to Atomico, Niklas co-founded Skype, which became the first truly global category winning online company to be founded outside the US. He has also co-founded and managed other globally successful technology businesses, including Kazaa and Joltid. Niklas helps support the European tech ecosystem as President of the European Tech Alliance (EUTA), a group of fast-growing tech companies that have all been built in Europe.
In 2007, he co-founded Zennström Philanthropies with his wife, Catherine. They invest strategically in two areas: human rights and the environment. Niklas focuses primarily on sustainability projects, supporting organisations that are tackling issues such as climate change and the state of the oceans. The foundation is also funding a professorship at Uppsala University to establish an academic environment focused on climate change leadership.
Niklas also founded the Race for the Baltic, a foundation for a well-managed and sustainable Baltic Sea, one of the most threatened major bodies of water in the world.
Damien Hooper-Campbell is eBay’s first Chief Diversity Officer and has deep expertise as an agent of change within the technology and finance industries, non-profit sector and academia. He is responsible for leading the design and implementation of eBay’s strategy for embedding diversity and inclusion across its global workforce, workplace and marketplace. He also leads eBay’s University Recruiting & Programs team.
Prior to eBay, Damien served as Uber’s first Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion where he helped to set the company’s foundational Diversity and Inclusion strategy and led its community engagement efforts with the City of Oakland, CA. Before Uber, he advised Google’s senior leaders and built partnerships within the Black community as a Diversity Strategist within the company’s Diversity team. Prior to Google, Damien coached Goldman Sachs’s senior-most leaders as a Vice President in its Pine Street Leadership Development Group. Prior to Goldman Sachs, he led underrepresented minority outreach for Harvard Business School’s Admissions Board and empowered Harlem’s non-profit community as an Associate Program Manager at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ). He also completed the Investment Banking Analyst Program at Morgan Stanley.
Damien has served on the Board of New Jersey Needs You and as a mentor in Morehouse College’s Executive Mentorship Program. Recently, Damien was selected for Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 List. He graduated with a B.A in economics from Morehouse College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was both a Bert King and Morgan Stanley Fellow.
Ana is partner & Head of Operations at Mubadala. Previously, she was partner on the Corporate Development team at Andreessen Horowitz (‘a16z’). She covered the a16z portfolio from a strategic perspective, helping portfolio companies define and execute strategic plans, including M&A, strategic fundraising, and strategic business development. Ana also maintained all of the corporate development relationships on behalf of the firm. Prior to joining a16z, Ana was a part of the Technology, Media, and Telecom Investment Banking Group at Goldman Sachs, where she led cross-border M&A and IPO transactions for a variety of Internet companies. Ana started her career in the Deal Advisory Service Group of KPMG. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney.
Pärson has been a general partner at Northzone since 2004. At Northzone, his primary areas of focus are disruptive businesses in consumer internet, health and fintech. His portfolio includes multi-billion dollar exits in market-defining companies such as Spotify, iZettle and Avito, as well as Pricerunner, Jasper, Videoplaza, and current companies like fuboTV, Spring Health, Play Dots and others. He appeared several times in Forbes’ Midas List.
Before joining Northzone, Pärson ran his own investment firm and was a consultant at McKinsey. He holds an MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics.
Elizabeth Stark is cofounder and CEO of Lightning Labs, where she is building a programmable financial layer for the internet with fast, scalable bitcoin transactions. She is a fellow at Coin Center, the leading digital currency policy organization, and an advisor at Chia, a company building a new cryptocurrency protocol based on proof of space and time. Stark previously taught at Stanford and Yale University about the future of the internet, and was a visiting fellow at Yale’s Information Society Project. She has advised startups ranging from decentralized technology to AI and was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Stanford StartX. Stark holds a J.D. from Harvard Law.