Technology / Mobility
5 things to look forward to at Slush this week
We pick the highlights from the return of the startup and tech event in Helsinki.
29 Nov 2021

After a year’s hiatus, Slush is back as a physical two-day event this week, bringing together the world’s leading founders, investors, executives, and media for a curated gathering of 8,800 attendees.

Here are our 5 highlights for Wednesday and Thursday in Helsinki:

ANYONE, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME – DEMOCRATIZING GAMING, Dec 1, 11:14 am – 11:39 am, Amphitheater
While cloud-native games have opened up access to high-end games, instant games have shattered the gaming industry from bottom up: games are accessed through peer-to-peer links from social networks like Discord, Twitch, and Messenger, enabling unseen distribution and staggering user growth. At the intersection of the two, a new wave of democratization is set in motion. Speakers: Thor Gunnarsson, Mainframe Industries and Jon Lai, a16z.

NORTHVOLT’S MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR ASSAULT ON OIL, Dec 1, 1:38 pm – 2:03 pm, Founder Stage
Last fall, Daniel Ek took the (virtual) Slush stage to announce his commitment to invest €1B in European moonshots. A few weeks later, we learned that his very first bet was Swedish lithium-ion battery cell manufacturer Northvolt. On stage: Tove Larsson of Norrsken interviewing Northvolt’s founder Peter Carlsson.

STORYTELLING IN DEEPTECH, Dec 1, 4:36 pm – 5:01 pm, Founder Stage
In 1961, John Kennedy announced his ambition to ”put a man on the moon”. This marked both the beginning and the end of great storytelling in deeptech. Deeptech startups often struggle to articulate their ambition, and explain what exactly they are building. On stage: Einride’s co-founder and CMO Linnéa Kornehed and Ted Persson from EQT Ventures.

NFT – THE GREAT EQUALIZER OR AN EMPTY PROMISE?, Dec 2, 11:09 am – 11:39 am, Amphiteater
Blockchain enabled NFTs are a way to earmark files, allowing creators to own and efficiently monetize their digital work. Within the creator economy, they represent a promise for a brighter future. However, many wonder whether NFTs are able to live up to their promise: are they a way to reduce inequality within an economy where wealth tends to accumulate at the top, or merely an attention hack that runs the risk of turning into a bubble? Speakers: Aleksander Larsen, Axie Infinity, and Wendy Xiao Schadeck, partner at Northzone.

LEARNING TO FLY – THE FOUNDING STORY OF LILIUM, Dec 2, 11:30 am – 11:47 am, Founder Stage
Flying taxis might sound like a futuristic dream, yet Lilium, one of Europe’s most outrageously ambitious and innovative startups, aims to make it reality by 2024. Speaker: Patrick Nathen, Lilium’s co-founder and VP of Product.

Slush 2019. Photography: Esa-Pekka Mattila