Europe’s leading start-up event goes Asia


November is the month that Helsinki hosts the wildly popular start-up event Slush, which has grown from a 300-person gathering into a mega-jamboree of over 15,000 start-up pitchers, investors and media reps from all over the world – all this in the course of only eight years. 

Asia has been taking notice and within the last year, a number of Slush partner events have been popping up in places like Tokyo, Singapore and, come October 31, Shanghai has its turn.

Slush Shanghai, held at the ­Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre, offers a bridge between the Nordic and Chinese start-up worlds. It is a forum for networking, collaborating, and continuing to build what Slush Shanghai CEO Chen Wang describes as a “relationship of mutual respect” between these two very different regions.  

“The Nordic region enjoys a great reputation in China regarding technology, innovation, design and education,” she says.  “The Nordic countries also symbolise a harmonious lifestyle, for which China has great admiration.”

What then is the appeal of bringing Slush to China? “Slush is a spirit to dream, dare and do. We want to build a global start-up community, and China is a critical part of this global vision,” says Wang. 

More than 5,000 attendees are expected at the inaugural Slush Shanghai event, rounded off by 400 volunteers working behind the scenes.

“Many of our dedicated volunteers even postponed their studies to join Slush full-time. It has truly become a global movement,” says Wang.

Text by Mark Fletcher

Image by Johannes Soila

This article was originally published in Finnair's Blue Wings magazine (October 2016).

Published September 28, 2016

Category: Local features