Enschede Slush’D started out with a bang!
Novel-T were our fantastic organisers for this first edition of Slush’D in the Netherlands. Slush HQ was blown away by the the seamlessness of the event and the quality of the stage content for the attendees. The event boasted 3 stages with truly fantastic program and the worlds calmest organisers under pressure.
But let’s hear it from Rens, one of the fantastic lead organisers of Enschede Slush’D:
BECOMING PART OF THE SLUSH’D COMMUNITY
At Slush 2022, I got in touch with Roald from Leuven Slush’D. Roald had put Leuven Slush’D in his title in the networking app, so I reached out as I wanted to know more. He explained the concept and their ambitions and showed me where to find the application form. After the first two selection rounds, I informed our team lead. Long story short: Enschede Slush’D happened on the 31st of August 2023!
Our Slush’D was built around the theme of ambition. In our startup ecosystem, the social and financial safety nets are there to build ambitious, exponential, and thus high-risk startups. However, a lot of our founders opt to not go that route and instead aim for sensible, safe, and thus: not on the radar of the international startup scene.
With three stages, more than 25 speakers, 100 investors, and former scalers like Kees Koolen of Booking.com we aimed to show these founders the other sides of ambition and international scaling.
Each year we host an international mission to Slush in Helsinki. Each year it is oversubscribed and more founders want to join than we have room for. International fundraising is now being discussed more often in our incubator. Scaleup founders are still giving back to our first-time startup founders. We cannot allocate all these things only to Enschede Slush’D, but let’s say that this single-day event brought a lot of good energy into the community.
THE HIGHS AND LOWS
The Slush name helped out significantly in convincing investors to join in. We expected this effect for Enschede Slush’D and it worked out. However, selling tickets during the summer holiday is not per se the best tactic, nevertheless, we made it work and sold out 10 days prior. Sanity checking with the Slush expansion team was very helpful. We have experience with setting up events of this size, but all feedback is very much appreciated.
Big highs are: being able to give out a €10,000 prize to one of our startups, giving away 2×2 tickets to Slush, a crazy party that lasted until the early hours, a BBQ for 350 people, and above all a community, stakeholders, investors, and more, who are still talking about how cool this event was, more than a month later.
LEARNINGS FOR FUTURE EVENTS
Next year, we’re going to curate the attendee list even more. We want to spend more time organizing/facilitating matchmaking. We feel that the quality of the attendees is now the biggest step up for a new successful edition.
The impact of a great Enschede Slush’D, is that the early bird registrations are going wild! We are already in discussions with our partners for the next year’s edition. Investors, speakers, and high-profile attendees have confirmed their desire to be there next year as well.
All in all, organizing Enschede Slush’D was clearly worth it. What helped was the open communication with the Slush HQ, a clear story about what the event should accomplish including KPIs, and a dedicated team willing to put in all the effort to get to the very best result.
You are all very much welcome at Enschede Slush’D 2024!