Helsinki, Finland—ESN Slush’d its first delegation for 2016!

The European Startup Network (ESN) joined 15 diverse startups and associations too represent this year’s SLUSH Conference in Helsinki, Finland. The conference was held 30 November – 1 December 2016 at the Exhibition and Convention Center of Helsinki (Messukeskus), assembling over 15,000 reported attendants. According to their website, “Slush is built for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs.” At its very core, the conference is developed to facilitate founder and investor meetings and to build a world-wide startup community. “Speed to the market is often one of the key success elements in startup growth,” comments Karen Boers, CEO and Co-Founder of the ESN, “Through the ‘European Champion Startup’ delegation at a leading tech conference like Slush, we wish to accelerate the visibility and market access of high-potential scaleups.” With a high calibre of organisations in attendance, the opportunities to network, build relationships and expand the pan-European market all come together over this two day conference.

Delegates included: TeamLeader, Capsule Skateboards, Gnoothi, LOOK, BizzMine, Irestech, SoilTron, Piximate, Cloudalize, Vyking, Addocted, VictHorious, TraCar, Rise Tech Media and representatives from the City of Antwerp. Representing countries such as Belgium, Cyprus and the UK, these delegates come from a variety of backgrounds and reasons for being at the conference. For example, Capsule Skateboards, a sustainable IOT skateboard developer, were invited by the Finnish embassy after winning tickets to attend Slush. On the second day of the conference, TeamLeader CEO, Jeroen De Wit, was given the opportunity to give a brief speech and discussion about scaling in Europe. With their own expansion in the works, De Wit is a leading example for Belgian startups looking into international markets. ESN was not alone in bringing delegates to Helsinki. Cooperations with organisations such as Startup Europe allowed ESN to be put in contact with Europass winner, Vyking, from the United Kingdom. Presentations were also provided by Startup Europe, during the ICT Open Call 32.

This delegation is one of several opportunities the ESN hopes to facilitate in the next couple of months. As one of its Go-to-Market opportunities, ESN also plans on attending conferences such as CeBIT in Hanover and 4YFN in Barcelona. For more information about the European Startup Network or the Go-to-Market opportunities, please contact: hello@europeanstartups.org. Information can also be found on their website: www.europeanstartups.org. The European Startup Network is a non-profit organisation launched in 2016 as a grassroots effort towards developing the startup ecosystem of Europe. The goal is to harmonise and empower European startups with respect to: entrepreneurial culture, market access and access to information on how to navigate the legal environment (eg. bureaucracy, corporate law, data protection and taxes). To achieve this, the ESN has developed a joint Action Plan to collaborate with all relevant local communities, pan-European networks, as well as European Commission departments and officials to improve national and European policy making, facilitate an international Go-To-Market, as well as build and strengthen startup ecosystems.

Slush is a student-driven, non-profit movement originally founded to change attitudes towards entrepreneurship. In 2015, Slush was organised in Tokyo and Beijing for the first time. This year, Slush is spreading to Tokyo, Shangai and Singapore. Though held at one of the darkest times of the year in Helsinki, Finland, the conference has been characterised by a unique energy and enthusiasm.

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