Slush 2019
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Suzanne de Kok Selstad is the CEO of a Norwegian start-up consulting organisation. She lives in Stavanger and is a first-time visitor of Slush, the annual innovation and Start-up festival in Helsinki. She writes about her experiences at “the World’s LeadingStart-up Event” for Innovation Origins.

Finally my first live Slush in Helsinki! I streamed it for four years but hadn’t been able to actually visit the festival. My daily job, being the CEO of a partnership called ‘Skape‘, where we offer free consultancy and education for start-ups in the Rogaland county in Norway. This is on behalf of our owners, the 26 communities, and our Rogaland fylkekommune.

Today, I met a lot of people who are considering to start a company or people who already have started one, everything from ‘basic’ to matured entrepreneurs, innovative ones as well as the ones that still have to do their research while establishing their company. I met investors, public funders and politicians who have to decide about creating public funding possibilities to help start-ups. Politicians are in the position to change the purchasing system, so start-ups can have some assistance to reach their markets.

Slush! We, me and my colleague need inspiration and learn from others, so it is great to be here, together with

  • 25,000 participants
  • 3,500 startups
  • 2,000 investors
  • 350 researchers
  • 2,400 volunteers

There Are speakers on four stages, several mini-stages, so we have to choose our topics.

What did we learn today and what will give more reflection in time?

During the grand opening, it was said that new companies can create opportunities for future challenges. There is a challenge, it’s going really fast these days! And everything should have a social and environmental impact. And yes, of course, it is all about people, your team, culture and talents.

Finding talents is a challenge for some disciplines, but the talent is universal.

One needs diversity between the different environments. One should also take responsibility for one’s own education through different channels, institutional and through self-study.

So we were challenged to be “fucking fearless” when it comes to marketing, challenge the systems, maybe even do it without a marketing team?

Be a changemaker, is what we hear. You have a choice, so make a change in your footprint. Create value and create it for the long term!

Slush 2019 day one, to me: a lot of lights, dark venue, good food, good logistics, lots of service-minded volunteers, a lot to see, good communication app. A great day!

Read the second episode here