Nov 8, 2013 Elena Zozulya
The pitching competition is always one of the most anticipated events at Slush. 100 early-stage companies across different industries will get to compete for the top spot of Slush 2013 in front of a jury of experienced entrepreneurs and investors. Only the four best move on to the finals, so the competition is certainly going to be fierce.
The winner of this year’s Slush pitching competition will not only be greeted with a big round of applause on the main stage but will also receive €10000 from Open Ocean Capital, the Finnish venture capital firm. We had a chance to interview Patrik Backman, Managing Partner at Open Ocean Capital to find out what they are looking for at Slush this year.
What kind of companies do you keep your eye on?
“At Open Ocean we try to “stick to our knitting”, in other words, we only invest in companies with a business model that we deeply understand. Based on our experience with MySQL and other European software companies with large user bases or communities, we want to partner with entrepreneurs in similar businesses and having the goal of building global category leaders.
For example, just a couple of days ago we announced our investment in Rapidminer, the most popular Predictive Analytics and Data Mining software provider, as a joint deal with our VC-friends Earlybird in Germany. It is a very exciting product with high potential.”
Your partner team played a key role in MySQL’s success. What advantage does your experience and expertise give you?
“The Open Ocean team’s involvement in MySQL gives us a good perspective on both the practical challenges that entrepreneurs face in their day-to-day work, and the ambition level that is required to build a global winner. We also focus on the “functional challenges” of building software businesses with large user-bases, like MySQL was. Having a large user-base or a community certainly affects how you should develop, market, and sell your products.”
Why did you recently invest in Nosto?
“There were many things that we liked about Nosto. The team really understands the e-commerce business domain and they have developed an exciting recommendation product for e-commerce sites. They have also quickly gained strong customer references, and built an innovative technology and business model to take the first product to market. Finally, Nosto has a number of additional product opportunities in the pipeline, which should make for a great opportunity to scale the business rapidly.”
Why do you partner with Slush this year?
“As an investor from Finland, it is an honor to be a partner of the premier start-up event in our home country. It is indeed the place to see and to be seen in our line of business! The pitching event in practice puts Open Ocean very close to our core mission of identifying and helping promising software companies move forward.”
What do you expect from Slush?
“We expect to meet lots of interesting people at Slush, be they entrepreneurs, investors, or gurus in other fields. Of course we are always on the look-out for the next Open Ocean portfolio-company, so we hope to find that hot European software company with lots of users and a promising business.”
Apart from having a booth where startups may exhibit their products and/or services, Slush Tokyo 2019 will be opening 30 stage slots for demo booth holders for a chance to pitch to customers. Showtech Time will allow chosen startups to pitch to customers for 3 minutes and receive valuable feedback from a Customer Panel thereafter. […]
The computing industry has a problem. Christina Sass, the Co-founder & President of Andela, discussed on the Founder’s stage the issues behind tech-talent recruitment. Andela is a software engineer and developer recruitment organization, mostly recruiting from Africa. On the stage, Christina shared how can a tech company utilize the tech talent available globally and the importance […]
First there was 100. Then there was 15. Then three continued. And today those three finally became one. Meeshkan was announced the winner of Slush 100 on the Founder Stage this evening. Meeshkan is developing a framework for interactive machine learning. The main purpose is to help teams train machine learning models faster. All of […]
On Evergreen stage today, Alex Bangash, the managing director and CEO of Trusted Insight and Jyri Engeström, Co-founder and general partner at Yes VC had a fireside chat about the trends in the VC scene at the Evergreen stage. Let’s take a look at the trends that stood out. Entrepreneurs can have portfolio too The […]
Brian Halligan, the Founder & CEO of Hubspot opened up the Founder stage on Day 2, at Slush18 by saying – “Dictionary.com named the word of the year – Misinformation.” Brian explained, that there is a huge trust issue between buyers and sellers, which companies need to react to. This is where, Brian states, customer […]
Slush Global Impact Accelerator (GIA) is a program created in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and other global partners to support startups in emerging markets offering sustainable and social impact solutions. 35 startups flew to Helsinki on Dec 28 for the Slush GIA bootcamp with inspiring trainings, workshops and sessions. Ten […]
Today on Founder Stage we got the privilege to listen to four successful VCs discuss the current trends and innovations in the funding landscape. Hosted by the Managing Director at Sapphire Ventures Beezer Clarkson, the insights were shared by Alice Bentinck, Co-founder and General Partner at Entrepreneur First; Rebecca Lynn, Founder and Partner at Canvas […]
Growth and profitability don’t necessarily rule each other out. Inevitably, at one point or another, founders are forced to prioritize between the two. Having made this difficult decision himself, Oisin Hanrahan took the Pink stage at Slush to tell us how Handy, the platform for booking household services, shifted focus from growth to profitability and how […]
The world of tomorrow is written with code. New solutions are desperately needed to produce skilled coders – from all walks of life. Ilkka Paananen, alongside an impressive lineup of big names of Finnish tech, introduced Hive, School for Coders which will open for applications on January 15th. Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen started the conversation […]
Read the most comprehensive data-driven analysis of European technology
We collect cookies to make your experience here smoother.