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Groundbreaking technologies on display at Slush

Highlighting increasingly mission-driven and technically advanced entrepreneurship.

There is an emergence of young companies having a go at some of the most momentous issues of our time, and developing truly groundbreaking technical innovations in the process.

Here are five fascinating technologies that will be on display on our stages this year.


Post-antibiotic era

It has become clear that the way we use antimicrobials, particularly antibiotics, has to change. Traditional antibiotics rely on imprecise, broad attacks on the microbiome. Some bacteria survive, and develop resistance. According to the UN Interagency Coordination Group On Antimicrobial Resistance, drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million annual deaths by 2050.

Eligo Biosciences is a French startup that is developing a new generation of antimicrobials. These Eligobiotics can be programmed to target specific bacteria based on their genome. Eligobiotics thus provide a new approach to exploring, understanding and controlling bacterial ecosystems.

The Co-founder and CEO of Eligo Biosciences, Xavier Duportet, will be speaking at Slush 2019.


Flying cars – they have arrived

Science fiction has told of a future full of small flying vehicles for ages. Now fiction is about to become fact.

Lilium is a startup from Munich, working on making urban air mobility a reality. Their full-scale, all-electric, five-seater aircraft underwent its first successful tests in May. It features 36 engines fitted to the wings, which allow for vertical takeoff and landing. When complete, the Lilium Jet will have an operating range of 300 km, and cover that distance in just one hour. Lilium aims to be fully operational in multiple cities by 2025. Eventually, Lilium could revolutionize the radius within which we lead our daily lives.

However, will small flying vehicles be just another addition to our superfluous and unsustainable flying habits? Not quite. By relying on electricity over fossil alternatives, and removing the most consumptive aspect of traditional flight – horizontal takeoff and landing – short-haul flying could be made significantly more ecological.

Their Chief Commercial Officer, Remo Gerber, will share his views on stage at Slush 2019.

Lab-grown leather

Driven by fast fashion, the global demand for leather is rapidly increasing, and the industry is predicted to slaughter 430 million cows annually by 2025. This amount of cattle is a huge contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. However, recent advances in stem cell research, biomaterials, and 3D tissue engineering have made it possible to remove the bovines from the equation.

VitroLabs is a Californian startup developing the world’s first fully scalable tissue engineering platform. Their first application has been to engineer lab-grown leather from cow, ostrich and crocodile cells, creating an end product that is indistinguishable from traditional leather. 

In the short run, the company is giving us sustainable leather, and in the future, their platform could lead to breakthroughs in regenerative medicine, stem-cell therapeutics and robotics.

Ingvar Helgason, the Co-Founder and CEO of VitroLabs, will take the stage at Slush 2019.


Sonic boom

Supersonic commercial airliners once crossed the Atlantic in half the time jets do now. Issues around safety and a general downturn in the global aviation industry post-2001 eventually led to the discontinuation of such planes.

However, since this, aerodynamics, materials science and propulsion technology have all progressed greatly, and the hurdles may no longer be insurmountable.

Boom Supersonic is a startup from Colorado working on bringing back commercial supersonic flights. They are developing a Mach-2.2 airliner called Overture, which would be the world’s fastest civil aircraft. A sub-scale prototype, the XB-1, is set to take flight next year. It is the first independently developed supersonic jet in history.

Eventually, the other side of the ocean could once again be just an afternoon commute away. In the meantime, their Founder and CEO, Blake Scholl, might have to rely on the subsonic Slush Flight when jetting over to Helsinki in November.

Counting all the possibilities

The quantum computing revolution has been expected since the 1980s, yet, the usability of current applications is still very limited.

IQM is a Finnish startup that is working on the next generation of quantum computer hardware. They are relying on superconducting components to develop processors for large-scale and fault-tolerant quantum computing, thus addressing that next big challenge in the field – building scalability. The team’s work has already yielded breakthroughs in thermal management and other critical areas that influence the computational speed and information accuracy.

Whereas classical computers are great at simple tasks that output one definitive result, quantum computers far surpass them at managing and outputting probabilities for particularly complicated calculations, where the number of inputs is too great to be altered one by one. This has the potential to transform computational efficiency in fields ranging from chemical analysis to encryption.

Learn more on the topic as we host IQM’s Co-Founder and CEO Jan Goetz on stage at Slush 2019.