Skip to main content


Slush is a not-for-profit organization on a mission to help and create founders to change the world. Based in Helsinki, Slush annually hosts the world’s leading startup event bringing together a curated crowd of European startups, world-class investors, and tech journalists. We stand by relevance over scale, bringing tangible value, and sharing actionable company-building advice. No fluff.

In addition to our event, we serve founders and investors with a year-round online community and matchmaking platform, Node by Slush, and support nascent startup ecosystems globally to build their own local events through Slush’D.

Slush is owned by the Startup Foundation, a Finnish not-for-profit working towards strengthening the Finnish startup ecosystem. Most of any profits made by Slush go back to the foundation which uses it to support other ecosystem initiatives.

Slush is run by a group of students and recent graduates, and our main event is made possible every year with the help of 1,600 volunteers.


We believe entrepreneurship is the most efficient way to change the world at scale. We need more builders. However, at the same time, we know that building companies is hard.

Therefore, our role is three-fold: inspire, help, and collide.

  • We aim to inspire the current and future generations to solve hard and complex challenges through entrepreneurship.
  • We want to help these people to build impactful and durable companies.
  • We ensure that the people building and enabling the success of such companies collide.

In other words, we want to create and help founders to change the world.


At Slush, we believe that entrepreneurship is the most efficient way to change the world at scale. Right now, perhaps more than ever, we face pressing problems to solve.

Our goals for the decade are derived from Entrepreneurship Redefined, a whitepaper we wrote in 2020. In it, we explore three important axes of change we think the entrepreneurial ecosystem should focus on.

  1. Firstly, we need companies to be built by a diverse set of individuals. After all, people solve problems they themselves face.
  2. Secondly, we need those companies to take extraordinary risks that, if successful, change the future beyond recognition.
  3. Thirdly, we need them to pursue the most pressing problems of our time. For that, we need the society at large – investors, LPs, academia, corporates, and regulators – on board.

The change doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something we can just focus on during one event, tick a box, and consider it done. That’s why we’ve dedicated the 2020s to really working on it.



Slushers are some of the most curious people you will come across. We ask a lot of questions. We have strong opinions, but we are curious to hear reasons why we might be wrong. We refuse to act on information we don’t fully understand. Many of us are avid readers. When we meet new people, we delight by being genuinely interested in them. Internally, we share what we’ve read and learned in Slack channels like #learning and #great-content. Some of us have personal interests that border on irrational.

This is important for three reasons:

  • Slush is a workplace that will give young people more responsibility than any other. What we lack in experience, we must make up for in curiosity.
  • In our efforts to build a one-of-a-kind event and community, we have ventured beyond where any other event organizer has gone. No playbook exists for the work we do. Every day, we must answer questions that haven’t been asked before.
  • Slush is not a destination, it’s a launchpad. While we truly care about the work we do at Slush, ultimately, we recognize that the measure of our time here will be everything Slush helps us do down the line.


At Slush, trust is not earned, it can only be lost. From your first day as a Slusher, every person will believe in you more than you believe in yourself.

We show this trust in ways that set us apart from most workplaces:

  • At Slush, almost all* decisions should be made by the team member who owns the corresponding domain. We trust each other to seek out the necessary perspective to make an informed decision.
  • We share all information openly. We document our work publicly in Notion and do not allow private Slack channels. The only exceptions are channels in which sensitive people-related or confidential commercial matters are discussed. We believe that ample access to information results in the best work and trust our colleagues to do what’s best for Slush with this information.
  • We are flexible on our working habits. Whenever possible, you are free to choose where you work from and when. We trust and encourage our team members to arrange their work in a manner that maximises their productivity and wellbeing.
  • At Slush, leadership is a division of responsibilities, not an expression of hierarchy or a command chain. We trust every Slusher to act as if they were the founder of their own domain.
  • Within your first month at Slush, you may well find yourself giving a lecture at Aalto or on a call with a unicorn founder. From Day 1, we trust our colleagues to be exceptional spokespeople for Slush.

Importantly, a company operating at this level of trust can only ever work if each of us tries hard to live up to that trust. In doing so, we are guided by our other eight values.

*For Slush to operate efficiently, certain areas call for alignment and accountability. Therefore, there is a short but important list of decisions that must be made centrally. It includes culture, core routines, high-level strategy, target-setting, compensation, and organisational structure.


Andy Grove has said: “Only the paranoid survive”. At Slush, we prefer the version: only those who never settle thrive.

In the past decade, we’ve built the world’s leading startup event with a group of students and volunteers. This is an exceptional feat. However, we are only getting started. We will never stop asking “What next?” and “How could this be improved?”.

In fact, we work in an ecosystem that was designed to dethrone incumbents. Therefore, we, if any, should know that category-leadership is transient. Getting here was the easy part. The hard one is that which stretches out ahead.

The startup ecosystem also reminds us that legacy and creativity are hard to reconcile. While we build on the great work we’ve done over the years, we must constantly evaluate that work from first principles, as if nothing had come before us. Equally, we don’t hire people who can execute a checklist, we hire those who can throw it out the window and redefine how to get to their goals. At Slush, every day is Day 1.


Attention to detail compounds over time. Even in startups, excellence is nothing more than a habit. For that, we have high standards for ourselves in doing the basics right:

  • We respect the intense struggle of the entrepreneurial process. When dealing with our community, we always show up on time and communicate promptly.
  • We always close the loop—both internally and externally. If we are unsure, we say “I’ll figure it out and get back to you.”
  • We understand that there is always more work to be done than hours for doing it. In order to achieve our objectives, we actively take time to prioritize, de-prioritize, and plan our work.

By being consistent with the basics—even when no one is watching—we create an environment where we can expect the same from others. That, in turn, preserves our headspace for solving hard problems that deserve our attention.


We are a complex company. Very few organizations of 30–50 people have 15 teams, 1,500 volunteers, 3 main products, dozens of revenue streams, and thousands of customers. Even fewer employ a team whose average experience with the company is less than a year.

For these reasons, we try to be very clear in the following three actions:

  • Communication. The most common root cause of failure at Slush is unclear or insufficient communication. Therefore, we are concise in our communication, ask the right questions while providing the needed context, and question our colleagues when we suspect we’re being asked the wrong ones. We put extra effort into documentation because we know it’s a gift to our peers and future generations of Slushers.
  • Decision-making. Every Slusher owns nearly all decisions related to their domain. Even after heated debate, once a decision is made, we expect our colleagues to stand behind it. Therefore, we seek ample perspective before making a decision, reason rigorously, and then communicate clearly. At Slush, a decision isn’t considered made before it has been communicated to everyone who it might affect.
  • Leadership. As leaders, we recognize that our most important job is to set our teams up for success. Our responsibility is to reduce complexity—we set goals that clearly communicate what we expect of our team members and by when. Subsequently, we help our teams do intentional, clear, and specific work. We ask “why?” over and over again. When a team member gets really stuck we are there for them with clear guidance, ready to get our hands dirty and tackle the challenge together.

Each of these modes of clarity is underpinned by a clarity of thinking. That is one of the core traits we look for when hiring.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that clarity and complexity can rarely be reconciled verbally. Therefore, in pursuing clarity, we default to writing.


We care deeply for our work, and about our colleagues. We are curious to get to know our team members and proactively ask how they are doing. Even if in a hurry, we take time to pause and listen.

Work at Slush is about us, not me. Our community is unique in several ways:

  • To date, over 10,000 people have passed through the Slush team leaving their mark on the community. We recognize that without our amazing volunteers, Slush as we know it would not exist. Therefore, we care deeply about making their experience and Slush journey as meaningful as possible.
  • We win and lose as a team, and help beyond our own responsibilities. We own our failures and embrace them as a collective opportunity to learn. Moreover, we make sure to celebrate everything from the tiniest wins to major achievements. Internally, we spread positive news through channels like #posiposiposi and celebrate our colleagues both in public and private.
  • Each year, the team shapes the company and event to look like their own. When hiring, we seek people who share our values and culture while adding to our team with their backgrounds and personalities. We want this to be a great place to work, and it’s the team in place any given year who decides what that looks like.

Finally, we give and ask for candid feedback to help each other grow. We steer clear of gossip and encourage giving feedback directly by asking “Have you said this to…?”. When encountering something uncomfortable or against our culture, we don’t close our eyes but run toward the pain.


Like the startups we work with, Slush works best when we execute early and iterate rapidly. While we value rigorous thinking and thoughtful plans, we acknowledge that we rarely know the final solution before starting to work on it. We believe everything is a “work in progress” and therefore share our work openly for feedback, both internally and externally, ****already ****before it’s ready.

We recognize the difference between half-done and half-thought. While the former is acceptable and part of the iterative process, the latter is something we try to avoid. We aim to think-share-improve instead of making our colleagues do the thinking for us.

We are frugal like a startup, and default to solving problems with creativity over budget. Whenever it makes a difference, we are ready to get our hands dirty and do things that don’t scale.

Slush trusts you more than you do. To complete our work, we first ask ourselves “Can I do this myself?”, and only then ask for help. More often than not, we learn something very useful along the way.


Slush exists to help and create founders to change the world. To pursue our mission, we actively put founders first in everything we do.

We acknowledge we’re not (yet) founders ourselves, and make an effort to understand the founder mindset by going out there to ask, listen, and read.

At Slush, all founders are equal. It does not mean that we serve every founder similarly, as founders’ needs differ based on where they are in their journey. It means that we obsess about solving founders’ problems at all stages, and the Slush experience of a pre-seed founder is equally important as that of a main stage speaker.

We recognize that, while we’re at Slush, we have been put in charge of a project that is not our own. Ultimately, we know that doing what’s best for Slush translates into maximal personal learning for ourselves.


At Slush, we believe that entrepreneurship is the most efficient way to change the world at scale. Right now, perhaps more than ever, we face pressing problems to solve.

For these reasons, we feel a sense of urgency about shaping a brighter entrepreneurial future in Europe. We believe that it requires three axes of systemic change:

  1. Firstly, we need companies to be built by diverse individuals who build in collaboration with the rest of society, including academia, governments & the arts.
  2. Secondly, we need those companies to take extraordinary risks that, if successful, change the future beyond recognition.
  3. Thirdly, we need them to pursue the most pressing problems of our time.

We call this redefining entrepreneurship.

As Slushers, we can enact this change. Therefore, as a company work to live up to these same virtues. Therefore, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability are the core guiding values we use when making decisions. Therefore, they guide us in everything from target setting, budgeting, concept work, and team operations. By keeping these principles in mind in every single action you take, we collectively create meaningful change.


The Slush team consists of students and recent graduates looking to build a better world through entrepreneurship. Slush is not a destination, it’s a launchpad—we’re here to learn how to build great products and companies, and the measure of our time here will be everything Slush helps us do down the line.



Chief Content Officer


Lead Developer

Operations Producer

Head of Partnerships

Head of Investor Relations

Head of Marketing Campaigns


Partnership Manager

Marketing & Comms

People Operations



Investor Operations

Startup Operations

Head of Brand & Growth

Program Curator, Founder Stage

Program Curator, Impact Stage

Expansion (Slush’D)

Partnership Manager


Head of People


Head of Program

Art Director

Partnership Manager

Head of Production

LP Operations

Head of Node

Marketing & Comms

Partnership Manager

Head of Finance

Head of Media & PR

Head of Startups

Program Curator, Startup Stage



UX Designer