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Highlights from Slush

Posted 13/11/2015

What a great event again! Great topics, meetings, networking and greatly organized all by volunteers.

Here are some of my highlights:


 The best presentation was given by Robert Gentz, a co-founder of Zalando, Europe’s largest on-line fashion store. Zalando went to public last year and it’s doing great in terms of growth and revenue. However, Robert had got a wake-up call in his trip to China: Chinese online shopping is boosting and delivery can be as speedy as 3 hours thanks to local bag ladies. To be competent in European market Zalando has started a major change to become the leading technology platform for fashion including possibility for three hour delivery and stylist services.


Two interesting presentations by large companies pivoting themselves were Logitech and Nokia. Logitech needs to find new areas for its business when PC sales volumes decrease and there will no longer be such a need for keyboard, mouse etc. They continue to harvest PC peripherals area (tree) but have launched five new business areas (plants) and created 6-8 internal start-up innovation groups (seeds) to grow and find new businesses.     


It was interesting and encouraging to listen Risto Siilasmaa and his team to talk about what is going on in Nokia. Nokia’s pivot means that once the two announced transactions (Here and Altacel) have been completed, 99% of over 100.000 people Nokia employs, will be different from the people who worked for Nokia three years ago. And 95% revenue will come from different businesses than three years ago.  


This fall was the first time I was a coach at Start-up sauna. On Wednesday evening it was great to see how the pitches and business models of the 14 participating companies had developed over the five week coaching period.


Slush 100 pitch competition had great four finalists with amazing business ideas. The winner was CareMonkey from Australia. CareMonkey has a risk management system that automatically keeps medical and emergency data up to date and makes it instantly available on mobile devices. The winner received an award of 650.000€ funded by FIBAN angel syndicate and Evli. As a member of this syndicate I will shortly have a tiny share of this Australian company.