Luxus at Slush 16

Linda Bask

by Linda Bask

Another fantastic Slush event, summed up by a marketing wiz and a techie.

Last year, we sent our Luxus heroines to Slush 15 to explore the global startup event from a women’s perspective. What they found was a one-of-a kind event with an electric atmosphere and endless networking opportunities. In this regard, Slush 16 didn’t disappoint – it was hands down the hottest startup event of the year.

This time, we sent our marketing superheroine and one tech geek to Slush 16 so we could get the best of both worlds. One might assume that at Europe’s leading startup event, a marketer and a tech geek might take away largely different experiences - but what we discovered was something more unified, with marketing and technology as two sides of the same coin.

Linda Bask, Marketing Superheroine

As a marketer and social media specialist, I feel that year after year Slush manages to exceed all my expectations. It’s amazing to realize how active and well-branded Slush is. Social media channels are screaming the “Slush gospel” almost all year round, and the pace escalates smoothly day by day. There’s a lot of hype and positive vibes around Slush which makes this global festival so media-sexy, which must be why so many people - even some with little or no relation to marketing - want to be part of the Slush phenomenon. The value I get for participating Slush is two-fold; I get endless networking opportunities but at the same time I can jump into the world of startups and explore the wide range of super interesting technologies and innovations.

Mikko Torstila, Tech Geek

Slush 2016, what a ride! My mission was to see as many booths and hear as many pitches as I could bare. There was so much going on, I probably missed as much as I experienced. I’m glad that the organizers are no longer planning to expand the main event, and will instead keep it at its current level. Pro tip for next year: make a plan in advance to make sure you get what you came for. The event app helps you quite a lot on that, even though I would suggest some fundamental improvements to it. Here are my five observations as a technology geek:

1. Cream of the governmental crop

As in previous years, the high-ranking government officials were there to wave “the flag” and offered non-tangible “wisdom” on how big and important the startup scene is for the Finnish economy. Aside from the strong stand that “Team Finland” had, the other “wisdom” was just shameless self-promotion…

2. Platforms, platforms, platforms

smart measure tape.jpeg

This year I could spot the transition from physical objects and products to pure digital products. Platforms for every possible need could be found, from advanced big data analytics to securing your mobile banking. In the past, there were more physical non-connect gadgets, while now the physical manifestations were always connected to phone or a network of sorts. I went and backed the Bagel smart tape measure on the spot. This product is a connected… well, tape measure. It offers many ways to measure things by using ultrasound, tape, and a rollerball. Naturally all your measurements and voice memos are synchronized with your phones companion app. Go and get yours.

3. Bots and AI

As in the Lisbon WebSummit a few weeks earlier, the (ro)bots and AI were the talk of the town. I wouldn’t be surprised if the big players would throw their money at some of the AI and bot platforms presented here.

4. VR and AR

It was earlier predicted that 2016 would be the year of virtual and augmented reality. This scene was well presented, but the maturity of the tech and executions still need are a year or two before it’s ready for the masses. I was most impressed with a German company i-mmersive offering robust 360-degree video live-streaming capabilities based on a camera and platform they had developed.

5. What happened to 3D printing?

The past years the 3D printing was prominently presented. This year I didn’t find one startup flaunting their “better than competitor” 3D printers. Is this due to market being saturated by affordable household printers? Or perhaps people have just lost interest since the tech is currently limited to producing trinkets that you can store on your bookshelf.

More and more, we're seeing new technology improving and shaping the way we market goods and services, and Slush 16 demonstrated some of the amazing possibilities of this beautiful union. We already can't wait for next November.

Questions about new tech in marketing? Let's talk.