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Slush little baby

December 31st, 2016

SLUSH 2016 was held at Messukeskus, Helsinki on November 30th and December 1st, with around 17,000 attendees. Organizers had given a lot of attention to the environment, from eco-friendly waste management to the decorations made out of recycled materials.

One of this year’s novelties was the “Speaker Studio”, a space where selected speakers talked about their experiences as entrepreneurs. The audience could ask them questions to get deeper insights into their thinking.

Akiko Naka, founder and CEO of Wantedly, was one of the speakers at the Speaker Studio. Akiko talked about her experience in entrepreneurship in Japan, giving advice on how to find motivation and developing it. Danae Ringelmann, co-founder of Indiegogo, spoke about her transition from a steady job in financing to starting a crowdfunding platform. Both of these talks were very encouraging – it takes effort to launch ideas and hard work to make them succeed.

Welcome to the future world

By viewing the SLUSH 2016 topics, one can form an idea of where the future is heading. Many startups are focusing on novel areas such as the future of food, space as a new business opportunity, as well as artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

An example of this trend was the winner of SLUSH 100 pitching competition: CyberAngel, a startup focused on securing companies’ assets from online breaches. By using data mining of online sources, they can find whether a company’s data has been leaked or if there have been security breaches. Large companies like Microsoft and IBM also showcased their efforts in AI with their services aimed to extract knowledge from data for image, voice, and language recognition.

Slush 2016

Dream in virtual

Virtual reality was a big topic at SLUSH. Startups as well as large companies like Google and Nokia are focusing on hardware and software to improve the quality of VR. Companies utilize virtual reality from machinery maintenance to gaming, film and entertainment, to health.

Google described their plans for their virtual reality marketplace along with their new headsets. Startup demo booths showcased applications for virtual and augmented reality with full-sized 3D scanners, indoor location positioning systems, and 360° videos.

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