Slush 2016 – Success to the world

As November turns to December one will witness many marvelous things, but one of the most positive is the event in Helsinki known simply as Slush. The most dynamic startups, farsighted investors and other conference-going people the world over assembles for two days to form one of the most unique experiences in the world. This year Slush was on fire, occasionally even literally!

For the second year in a row we were the recruiting partner for Slush and the interest towards internationalization and international talent that we witnessed last year continued. There is a lot to do! Our discussions with the attending companies begun well before the doors ever opened, and the buzz and rush were tangible!

A prevailing theme this year was, that the hiring of talent from abroad is a challenge that many companies did not feel capable of overcoming. Numerous startups were concerned over the costs involved if something went wrong. I saw the conflicting thoughts and emotions behind many eyes: On one hand the company representatives knew that they needed and wanted the best possible talent and that there is a drought of especially experienced talent that could train those hired straight out of school and lead them by example. On the other hand, the hiring of the first foreign employee is a frightening step. This challenging equation was solved with many promising growing companies in a positive spirit.

Because we live in a global economy where the market potential outside of Finland is enormous, it is perfectly natural that many startups attending Slush are seeking growth outside the Finnish borders. Many companies shared their plans for expanding to Saudi-Arabia, Singapore, The United States, or Japan for example. Some of the people we met had personal experience of international moves and wanted it to go smoother than “back then”. Others had no experience at all, and felt that help was very much needed. Assistance to establish a subsidiary, the management of registration and other authority related matters, and for example finding suitable accommodation were some of the things that they all were interested in however.

It was a very positive experience to see that Slush is interested in continuing the recruitment focus from last year. The recruiting area made a comeback on the second day and the stage had program related to the subject. The digital booklet How to Hack Slush had not one but two articles about recruitment, one of them penned by us. Recruitment is well on its way to make itself the third pillar upon which Slush is built, joining investment and media coverage.

Based on Slush we expect very positive news from the field of Finnish startups. Although the days are getting shorter and the air colder, there are still sources of light and warm, positive energy aplenty!