How to Hack Slush
Make the most of your time at Slush.
Slush is a pretty big event and for two days in chilly November, it might be hard to figure out how to prepare and what to prioritize. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 6 ways you can hack Slush and make your visit count.
1. Matchmaking Tool
(and how to optimize your meeting time)
Over 10,000 pre-scheduled meetings were held at Slush 2021, all planned out through our Matchmaking Tool. This is the tool you want to use to fundraise from the 2,600 investors at the event.
Think about it: over $1 trillion in assets under management are just one click away.
Plus, this tool is designed to connect you to some (or many) of the 4,600 startups at Slush. If you’re B2B, these could potentially be your new clients.
We’ve spent months fine-tuning all the details of our Matchmaking Tool so you get lightning-fast search results, advanced filtering, and in-depth knowledge about the companies, VCs, and everyone in-between at Slush.
“It was the most efficient meeting-slammed week in my life so far.” – SendBird, Slush 100 finalist
Keep in mind that your time (and everyone else’s) is extremely valuable: you’ve got short slots with the people you meet. We’ve got 3 tips to maximize your matchmaking experience:
- Connect using the Matchmaking Tool:
- Find people from your industry, investors that could be curious about what you have to offer, and anyone else you want to connect to. Click “Visit Profile” and then “Schedule Meeting” when you land on a connection you want to come to life.
- Create an impression:
- Be transparent, well-prepared, and act as an active listener. Leave your matches feeling optimistic and don’t be scared to be honest. Here at Slush, we embrace transparency to the point of discomfort because honesty creates genuine connection.
- Establish how you connect afterward:
- We recommend you prepare a message template, connect to your newfound friends through LinkedIn, and create a timeframe for yourself to get into contact with them after the event.
Keep the conversation going: we at Slush want to see you succeed past the event itself and this is the first way to build those important relationships.
2. Slush 100 Pitching Competition
(and why this is something you can’t miss)
A world-first: the main prize for our Slush 100 Pitching Competition is a 1,000,000€ investment from Accel, General Catalyst, Lightspeed, NEA, and Northzone.
These VC funds have never collaborated on a project of this caliber and by coming to Slush, you’ll see it unveiled for the first time.
Our jury will consist of partners from every fund, asking all the right questions and selecting from their wealth of knowledge the startups with the most potential.
Who knows, maybe next year you’ll be onstage pitching at Slush 100 as well…
3. Slush Side Events
Slush isn’t just the official event. Slush Week, running from Nov 14-18, is full of hundreds of Side Events. Plus, you don’t even need a Slush Pass to access many of these events.
Side Events are the perfect way to get connected to people specifically in your industry and beyond, whether that be other startup operators, investors, and anyone in-between.
Pick from workshops, parties, pitching competitions, and sports to make your Slush Week an experience for the books.
4. Founders Day (Nov 16)
If we’re honest, the day before Slush is secretly one of the best days to arrive in Helsinki. Because Slush 2022 will have 4,600 founders and operators from around the world, we’ve created Founders Day (Nov 16), the best place to meet startup founders exclusively before the event officially begins.
We’ve got a whole program prepared just for founders from early afternoon until nighttime so you can network as much as possible (and enjoy yourself while you’re at it).
We’ve got day activities from 1-5 pm (what we call Daytime Tracks) which include:
- Sauna and ice-dipping in the Allas Sea Pool
- Scaleup tour across Helsinki
- Rib-boat safari in the Helsinki archipelago
After you’ve explored what Helsinki has to offer during the day, you can go together with your newfound friends at Slush to our Founders Day Festival, from 5-11 pm. See our stage talks, specifically curated for a founder-only audience.
5. Mentoring Concepts
Slush has 3 different kinds of mentoring concepts this year. As the name suggests, the mentoring concepts aim to host intimate discussion between a speaker and participants, where the speaker gives advice and mentor those who are early on their startup journey.
Check our 4 kinds of Mentoring Concepts:
- Builders’ Studio Chambers, which are only for startups. Builders’ Studio is essentially an opportunity for a Q&A after a speaker’s Builders’ Studio keynote. The concept is sign-up based (opening closer to the event), and will also host a queueing system for the latecomers, if there is space in the session.
- Partner Chambers host 30-60 minute workshops and mentoring sessions led by our fantastic partners. These sessions are curated for specific relevant audiences, including startups like yours. You can find the sessions in our Partner Chambers through our Side Event Tool.
- Roundtables. Roundtables host a handful of participants from different backgrounds to have a discussion on a curated topic. Roundtables are invite-based, but founders, investors and operators are all invited depending on the session topic.
- Lastly, we’re hosting a new mentoring concept at Slush 2022 called 1-on-1 Mentoring, where speakers specifically advice one startup at a time on the problems they have in building their startup.
6. Life after Slush
What happens at Slush doesn’t stay at Slush.
This is because we like to see Slush as one step in a longer journey rather than a once-off event.
Coming to Slush 2022 is about absorbing knowledge and setting up connections, but your path after Slush is massively determined by your next steps shortly after.
Here are some sure-fire ways to maximize what happens to you after Slush ends.
1. Secure your connections after Slush 2022
How do you make sure your visit at Slush leaves an imprint on your startup journey? See to it that you secure the connections you made by creating a game plan for how you’ll contact people after the event.
Templates, LinkedIn connections, and keeping in contact after the event ends will ultimately help you in the long term.
2. Join our community: Node by Slush
Looking for the resources you find at Slush but across the year? Look no further: Node by Slush is made just for you. Node by Slush gives startup founders access to the resources they need on their founder journey. 100% free, 100% online. Node organizes monthly Community Events where you can find:
- Founder Mentoring: mentoring sessions with leading founders, operators, and VCs. No boring webinars, but interactive sessions with hands-on learnings you can take into use immediately.
- Investor Matchmaking: you’ll get much-needed 1-on-1 time with investors in our Matchmaking Sprints to hone your pitch and seal the deal.
- Investor Office Hours: join sessions by our partnering funds to learn more about the funds and connect with the investors.
PS. All this material is available on-demand if you’re busy (which, if you’re in the startup life, you probably are). Check it out.
3. European startup advice curated for founders: Soaked by Slush
Wish you could get Builders’ Studio straight to your inbox?
Dive into Slush’s startup media offering concrete company-building advice for early-stage European founders and operators. Clarify your operator’s technical terms with the Soaked glossaries, take your first pre-P/M fit steps with the 365 series, or dive into a host of content optimized to help you build a better company.
Audiophiles can also enjoy the Soaked by Slush podcast, condensing the vast startup knowledge of our guests into a compact 30 minutes.
Sounds pretty relevant, right? Hop on in and subscribe here if you dare.
4. Organize Slush in your own country: Slush’D
Did you enjoy Slush? We hope so.
For those that think Slush is something your own ecosystem needs, we’ve got your back.
We give organizers the chance to use our materials and learnings and hold Slush’D events in their own city. In 2022, Slush went all the way from Mozambique to Denmark to Abu Dhabi.
You could be hosting Slush’D in your own city in 2023. See more by pressing that shiny button.