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Hey Superstar!

Welcome to the Volunteer Handbook of Slush 2023!

On behalf of the whole Slush team, we’re beyond excited to welcome you to the Slush community and introduce you to our Volunteer Handbook; your go-to resource for the Slush Fall ahead. We have full trust in your abilities to provide exceptional customer service at Slush, and we believe that delving into this Handbook will provide you with valuable insights into what Slush represents. We hope that as you read through this, you will share the same enthusiasm for our mission and values as we do.

Speaking about what’s coming, this year Slush is organised around the theme ”Building to Last”. Startups and investors are facing an increasingly difficult environment, which is why building a lasting foundation has become key to success. Slush wants to be there for the founders and show that changing the world takes time and determination. Change is incremental and each part counts. Read more abot our theme in our CEO Eerika’s part!

Within these virtual pages, you’ll find insights into Slush’s operations and facts from how we have evolved since the first event in 2008. We also provide you with detailed guidance on navigating the Messukeskus event and all volunteer activities offered during the Slush week. Along with this, you will also find some frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) and the Slush Code of Conduct, which will provide you with all the essential information so you can give your everything and enjoy Slush week to the fullest.

In an uncertain world one thing is for sure, the Slush Fall is past before you even realize it. This is the moment to learn new things, meet new friends, and have fun while at it! Slush memories are truly built to last forever.Thank you for joining us on this exhilarating journey. You make the magic happen.

Best regards,Rebecca, Jessica, Maija and Joel
The Slush People Team


I couldn’t be happier to welcome you as part of the Slush community! At best, you’re about to embark on an experience that will change the trajectory of your life. At the very least, you’ll make new friends, learn a ton about startups and tech, and have great fun while doing that. Either way, we’re thrilled to have you on board.

At Slush, we believe that entrepreneurship is the most efficient way to create human progress. Therefore, we need more builders. However, building companies is incredibly hard. In order to have significantly higher chances of solving the most difficult challenges of our time, we need to:

  • Create more entrepreneurs
  • Help the current ones

In other words, help and create founders to change the world. That’s our mission, and our event is a powerful tool for achieving it.

What’s unique about Slush is that from the very beginning, it’s been a community effort. We’ve managed to build the world’s leading startup event with a group of students and volunteers. That’s an exceptional feat, and something that repeatedly puts our visitors in awe.

However, we shouldn’t take that for granted. Each year, we work hard to show our customers the Slush magic — something that others can’t steal from us. Slush magic is born as a result of thousands of small and genuine encounters between our visitors and the Slush volunteers. Every greeting with a smile on, every jacket hung on a cloakroom, and every coffee cup served contributes to it. Let alone hearing the magic words of a Slush volunteer: “let me figure that out and get back to you.” Thank you for helping us to turn that magic into reality.

I volunteered for Slush for the first time in 2014 as a construction volunteer, and came back in 2015, this time volunteering for the startups team. What got me was the excitement of working with incredibly ambitious, curious, and driven people. With these people, even a small or simple task gets a new meaning when everyone aims to make it world-class. Slush introduced me to the world of startups and venture, and I never looked back. I hope the experience is something similar for you.

Welcome to the team and see you at Slush,
CEO at Slush


At Slush, we want to see a future in which companies are built by a diverse group of individuals who focus their efforts on tackling problems that matter, and do that with the ambition to change the world beyond recognition. That’s what we have dedicated much of our work to in the 2020s.

That conviction also serves as the foundation for the theme of Slush 2023: Building to Last.

The reality for startup founders looks drastically different compared to only 18-24 months ago. Suddenly, building enduring companies is more important than explosive growth. Now, perhaps more than ever, startups need to be built on first principles, and founders should prepare themselves for the long haul. For the truth is that it takes persistence to build a company that lasts.

However, rarely has a stagnant time felt so exciting. Across industries fundamental to human progress, from artificial intelligence to quantum computing, and biotechnology to sustainable energy, what was once science fiction has become reality. More importantly, we haven’t ended up here by accident. It really takes persistence to reach a technological breakthrough.

We’re convinced that this decade will be viewed as pivotal in humanity’s efforts to reconceptualize the way we live, work, and interact with nature, technology, and each other. For that, we need society at large – founders, investors, academia, corporates, and governments alike – to work together for the betterment of us all. Because ultimately, it takes persistence to change the world.

On Nov 30 – Dec 1, 2023, we’re bringing together our community of 13,000 curious minds to celebrate entrepreneurial grit and what it takes to build a world-changing company. We’re beyond excited to have you on board. Welcome to Slush 2023 – Building to Last.



What is Slush about?

Slush is a student-driven, not-for-profit movement with the mission to create and help the next generation of groundbreaking entrepreneurs, originally founded to change attitudes toward entrepreneurship. The Slush 2023 event features two days full of stage programs, in addition to several side events, talks at networking sessions, roundtable discussions, and facilitated workshops. Our speaker line-up includes successful founders, top-notch investors, and other startup and tech influencers.

When does Slush take place?

Slush 2023 will take place physically on Nov 30–Dec 1, 2023, at Helsinki Expo and Convention Center (Messukeskus).

Where is Slush organized?

Slush is organized in the Helsinki Expo and Convention Center. Address: Messuaukio 1, 00520 Helsinki. Helsinki Expo and Convention Center is located just a few kilometers from the Helsinki city center – you’ll be able to arrive at the venue within 15 minutes from all around the city.

What is the number of volunteers this year?

In 2023 the Slush Team consists of 47 Team Leads, 194 Group Leads, and 1378 volunteers. In total, this results in about 1,600 volunteers.

What are the important dates for volunteers?

The Slush Fall contains tons of fun events. To get the most out of your volunteer experience these are the important dates that would require your physical presence in Helsinki:

  • 11 Nov: Volunteer Day 09.30-15 @ Kattilahalli, Sörnäisten rantatie 22 or remotely
  • 27 Nov–1 Dec: Slush week
  • 2 Dec: Volunteer Afterparty 21-02:30 @ Ääniwalli, Pälkäneentie

What are the different volunteer roles at Slush?

Team Leads are the link between core team members and volunteers. Team Leads work as part of the Slush Fall Team, consisting of full-time members and Team Leads. Team Leads also recruit and train Group Leads for various tasks.

Group Leads are responsible for running the core operations during the event days. They are also recruiting and training the volunteers for various different tasks.

Volunteers will be the biggest helping hands during the event days. They will be responsible for helping and executing various different tasks, mostly during Slush week.

Does Slush cover travel and accommodation costs?

Generally, Slush can’t cover the costs of travel and accommodation for volunteers.
However, to alleviate this issue, this year we’ve allocated 72 volunteers to the Sleep with Slush quota and everyone is able to use the discount code “SLUSH23” to get a 10% discount from hostel rooms in CheapSleep Vallila.

How should I proceed if I need a visa traveling to Finland?

Slush can help the recruited volunteers with their visa applications by providing them with an invitation letter. Contact [email protected] for this matter. Read more about Finland’s visa policies on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.




The Venue Tour is as close as it gets to the actual event. This is a unique chance to see the venue completely ready before the doors are open for our guests and to learn how to navigate Messukeskus. Remember that we want to keep everything as a secret, so no pictures allowed! Observe that this is when you will receive your Volunteer Pass. You also have the opportunity to get your volunteer photo taken and get your Slush 2023 ‘CREW’ merch ofc!

  • Location: Messukeskus
  • Dates for Team Leads and Group Leads: Tuesday 28 Nov
  • Dates for Volunteer Venue Training: Tuesday 28 Nov and Wednesday 29 Nov.

Exact schedule will be communicated by your Group Lead later on!


Your Group Lead will provide a badge and a wristband for you. Remember to wear them both at all times while attending the Venue Tour, Main Event, Side Events, Slush Afterparty and Volunteer Afterparty. The badge and the wristband are mandatory for all participants during all events related to Slush.


Every year the merch is unique. Your volunteer t-shirt indicates that you are on the shift, ready to help our guests at all times, and stone-cold sober. You will get your merch on the Venue Tour, before the Main Event. We hope you will wear your ”CREW” shirt with pride at all times!


We highly encourage you to discover everything that Slush 2023 has to offer outside of your volunteering shifts! Enjoy the program, hang out at the Volunteer Area with your peers, attend the Side Events around the city and use our Matchmaking tool for your own good.


All of our Volunteers are insured during their shifts. Safety first!


Volunteer area

  • Thursday: 8 am – 6 pm
  • Friday: 8 am – 6 pm


  • Thursday:  8 am – 6 pm
  • Friday: 8 am – 2 am


During your shifts Group Leads will inform you about the right time to have a break and get food from designated service points in Messukeskus. Volunteers will eat in the Pihka Fair Buffet restaurant. This year, your badge will be your ticket for the food. One shift equals one lunch or dinner (read: one meal per 6h+ shift), and all allergies are covered in the menu. Other than that, coffee and small snacks will be available at all times in the Volunteer Area. Remember to bring your own reusable water bottle!


  • Thursday & Friday: Continuous Lunch + Dinner 11 am – 7 pm
  • Afterparty on Friday: Night food 10 pm – 12 am


One camera, 1600 pairs of eyes. This is massive, so make sure to be there!

  • Time: 30 Nov at 6:15pm
  • Location: Founder Stage


At the end of the second day of the Main Event, it’s finally time for the legendary Slush Afterparty! The Slush venue will transform into a playground with many things to discover, in a true festival fashion. Here’s some highlights of what we’ve got lined up for you…so far:

  • Finland’s Eurovision hero Käärijä is performing on Founder Stage – It will be crazy. Do we need to say more?
  • Dutch DJ/producers Brooks & Vluarr will team up for a special back-to-back set, closing Founder Stage with the most energetic EDM experience seen at Slush to date
  • Singa Karaoke Party is back bigger than better than ever – don’t miss out on this Slush Afterparty classic!
  • Loska Studio: Get your rave on and let yourself loose at this brand new concept! Great music and great vibes guaranteed all night long by some of the coolest and slushiest DJs from the local dance music scene.
  • Pop-up bars offering a variety of delicious beverages, from cocktails and mocktails to some certain uhm…grey colored Finnish staples


  • Time: Friday 1 Dec at 6 pm – 2 am
  • Place: Messukeskus

Remember that this is the official Slush Afterparty, and the Volunteer Afterparty that takes place the next day is a separate event only for Slush Volunteers.


Volunteer Afterparty is an epic event organized only for our superstar volunteers as a big thank you for all your efforts! The only goal for the evening is for you to dance & have fun with your fellow volunteers for one last time this Slush Fall. Very important that you bring your ID & Slush Badge to the event! Note that no quota volunteers are allowed into this event, as they have the volunteer experience counted as school time.

Time: Saturday 2 Dec at 9 pm – 2:30 am
Location: Ääniwalli, Pälkäneentie 13


Are you looking for afterworks to grab a cold one (it’s November, maybe a warm one) with like-minded people just before Slush, or a breather after a tightly scheduled first Slush day? You found the place!

Iconic Mummotunneli will get Slushy rebranding and turn into The Slush Street. Slush Week will be a full one, starting from day zero. But for two evenings the bars and restaurants on the afterwork avenue will cater to rewind with fellow minds. Evenings program is very casual: come for sparkling, stay for acoustic music or dance away to the greatest hits with karaoke.

Time: Wednesday and Thursday (29th & 30th Nov) at 6 pm until late
Location: Mummotunneli, Aleksanterinkatu 46


We are curious

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 read voraciously. When we meet new people, we delight by being genuinely interested in them. Some of us have personal interests that border on irrational.

This is important for three reasons:

  • Slush is an organisation 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.

We trust by default

At Slush, trust is not earned, it can only be lost. From your first day as a volunteer, 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.
  • At Slush, leadership is a division of responsibilities, not an expression of hierarchy or a command chain. We trust every volunteer to act as if they were the founder of their own domain.
  • Within your first time at Slush, you may well find yourself on stage or chatting with a unicorn founder. From Day 1, we trust our colleagues to be exceptional spokespeople for Slush.

We never settle

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?”.

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. only those who never settle thrive.

We have excellence as a habit

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 time for doing it. In order to achieve our objectives, we actively take time to prioritise, de-prioritise, and plan our way of action.

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 strive for clarity

We are a complex company. Very few organisations of over 1,600 people have 40 teams and thousands of customers. Even fewer consist of people whose average experience in the organization 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 communicate succinctly, ask the right questions while providing ample context, and question our colleagues when we suspect we’re being asked the wrong ones.
  • Decision-making. Every volunteer owns nearly all decisions related to the task. 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.
  • Leadership. At Slush we make our task our whole world. As volunteers, we recognize that our most important job is to do everything in our power to lead our task successfully to the goal. By our work we subsequently help our teams do intentional, clear and specific work.

Each of these modes of clarity is underpinned by a clarity of thinking. Even when situations get hectic, this is what we strive for.

We care deeply

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. 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.
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…?”.

We default to action

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.

We stay humble

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.

For us 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.

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.

We redefine entrepreneurship

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:

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

We call this Entrepreneurship Redefined. We cannot enact this change unless we as a company live up to these same virtues. Therefore, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability are core to the way we build Slush and the core of building lasting companies.




We solve problems. Whenever you see a problem you should take ownership of solving it. It’s okay not to know the answers to every question. More important is that you show a genuine eagerness to help. Remember that this is a team effort, so do not hesitate to ask for help!


Small gestures simply matter, in most cases, they are the secret to getting from meeting expectations to exceeding them. Smile, listen, and thank the customer for the feedback you receive. Embrace good humor and quick wit.


Leave a handwritten note, express that you are here to help, and recommend your favorite arctic experience in Helsinki. Stop to think ”How could I make this person’s day better?” And just be yourself.


If you see someone who seems lost, always ask ”Can I help?”. Always make sure the question a guest has is answered. If a guest gives feedback, be receptive and thank them.



By coming to Slush, you’re expected to respect all event-goers regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, or other aspects of what we look like, where we come from, and who we are.

This Code of Conduct applies to all parts of the main event, the side events and any related activities, whether digital or in person. Slush is meant to be a 100% inclusive experience from the beginning till the end for all of our attendees, employees, and contributors.

Some examples of disrespectful behavior include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age or religion.
  • Deliberate intimidation, discrimination, or bullying.
  • Inappropriate physical contact or any other form of harassment.
  • Sustained disruption of talk or other events.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.What happens if you violate the Code of Conduct?
  • You will be expelled from Slush at the discretion of the organizers.

Get it? Perfect! Let’s celebrate entrepreneurship together: equally and respectfully.

See something? Say something. If something disturbing happens to you or you see something inappropriate happening at the event, here what you should do:

  • Reach out to security personnel or Slush Safety mediators at the event (you can recognize them from a safety vest).
  • Go to Security Helpdesk, located next to the southern cloakroom
  • Contact Slush Safety mediators in the Slush App chat.



What are safety mediators?

As the Slush Code of Conduct states: “Slush is meant to be a 100% inclusive experience from the beginning till the end for all our attendees, volunteers, and contributors.” Our Safety Mediators work to ensure this will be true. Their responsibility is to help solve conflicts and offer conversation help to anyone who has had a negative experience at the event.

Who are the safety mediators?

Our Safety Mediators are licensed psychologists from Laavu. We have Safety Mediators working all of the biggest concepts:

  • Founders Day
  • The Main Event and the Afterparty
  • Volunteer Afterparty

How to reach the safety mediators?

At the event you can reach the in two ways:

  • Find them live at the venue. You can approach any of our Security personnel and ask for the mediators or go to the Security Helpdesk next to the Southern entrance. Our Security personnel will find the Safety Mediators for you and stay with you while you wait.
  • Use the Chat in Slush App. You can also chat with our Safety Mediators in the Slush App chat. You can find a chat channel with the Safety Mediators by navigating to the chat in your Slush app.



101 on interactions with journalists and SoMe

You are more than encouraged to publish Slush-related content and share your volunteer experience on your social media. The official hashtag we use to share our stories is #slush2023.

Few guidelines to remember

Please do not publish any Slush-related content that has not been officially published on Slush channels before the Main Event. This means that taking pictures from the venue of Slush 2023, at events such as construction and Venue Tour, is strictly forbidden. However, feel free to post from Slush activities throughout the fall, e.g. from the Volunteer Day.

If media approaches you, please inform our Head of Media and PR Laura Roca (tel. +358402586937) before continuing. At the Main Event it is of course okay to answer customer service related questions from people with the Media pass. However, always kindly but decisively turn down Slush specific inquiries. All informal and formal interviews need to be approved by Slush Head of Media and PR Laura Roca.

This way you help us to stay on track on Slush related media inquiries. If you are unsure about something, ask your Group Lead/Team Lead.

What to do if media approaches you at Slush

  • Customer service first! Understand what the journalist is asking for. If asking for media coverage or an interview, proceed to the next step.
  • Thank for the interview request, but decline. Example:
    ”Thank you for asking! I unfortunately cannot answer anything right now. Can I take the matter forward by giving your contact information to the Slush PR team?”
  • If urgent, contact Slush Head of Media & PR Laura Roca (tel. +358402586937). If not, contact your Group Lead or Team Lead, who will take it to Laura.
  • Wait for Laura to get back to you for instructions!




Slush wants to leave the world better than we found it, whether it’s in event production, operations, social inclusion or in helping startups change to the world. To minimize our carbon footprint at Slush 2023, we aim to put focus on both smaller details like carbon-neutral cloakroom tags made of wood-based pulp, and bigger things like completely offsetting all emissions connected to the event, with the help of our partner Supercritical.
Below are five areas where we are making Slush more sustainable:


  • This year we are happy to join forces with Supercritical for carbon removal offsets.
  • Slush offsets all of our year-round day-to-day operations
  • In addition to offsetting all conference related emissions, we have decided to compensate for emissions on behalf of the attendees – this includes all travels, domestic and international (flights, cars, trains) as well as hotels etc.
  • Craving scientific facts regarding Supercritical’s process? Read more about their durable carbon removal offsets on their website here


All restaurants at Slush, including our staff restaurants, will serve delicious dishes, which all happen to be vegetarian or vegan.

Water Points

BYOB! – We have 20 water points around the venue, where you can refill your own water bottle.


  • Every waste station has a recycling advisor to guide our guests. Last year our recycling rate was 82%, can we beat it this year?
  • This year we are introducing washable and reusable cups, which you can return to any recycling point – just make sure you don’t throw those in the trash!
  • All disposables are biodegradable.


Slush 2023 merch is provided by Globe Hope, who produce sustainable garments from 100% recycled materials.

So what can you do to help out at Slush?


  • Take care of sorting your own waste (and why not others as well while at it!) There will be 35 recycling points around the venue, so it shouldn’t be too tricky to find one! Also, there’s no such thing as useless trash. Everything we recycle at Slush will be re-used in one way or another with the help of our partner Lassila & Tikanoja.
  • Remember: all disposables, i.e. food items such as candy wrappers, plates and cutlery, are biodegradable at Slush!


Slush provides volunteers without pre-existing HSL tickets with 4x AB/ABC one-way tickets. We encourage everyone to opt for sustainable public transport. Put Messukeskus as your destination and look up your most convenient route in the HSL Journey Planner here!


Sustainability is also about creating a safe, inclusive space for everyone. See our Code of Conduct for more on this.


Our partner Lassila & Tikanoja is the main cleaning company in Messukeskus during the event. In the Siipi wing of Messukeskus, SOL is the main cleaning company. Cleaners are working constantly in the venue to keep it clean, and in normal situations no actions are needed from you. If visitors ask for your help with cleaning, or you see something that should be cleaned:

  • Think if you can clean the mess yourself.
  • If a professional is required for the cleaning, tell the visitor that you will take care of this as soon as possible, and do the following:
    • Ask the cleaners working in your area for help.
    • If you don’t see the cleaners, ask your Team Lead to make a cleaning request for you, or ask your Group Lead to contact your Team Lead.

No need to panic or make the situation bigger! You are not the only one making cleaning requests. That said, remember to always be patient and try to solve the issues yourself as far as possible, without neglecting your main tasks.


FOR 2023

This year all the 1,600 of us volunteers are divided into teams within 10 different domains. Curious to know how we volunteers run the event? Here a brief explanation of each function.


The Program team is at the center of one of Slush’s most visible parts of the event: Speakers and stages. Program team volunteers make sure our speakers have a smooth and superb experience attending Slush and visiting Helsinki. These are the volunteer roles in the Program team:

  • Stages
  • Mentoring Area
  • Speaker Buddies
  • Drivers

Meeting Operations

People come to Slush to meet relevant people for their ventures – and we’ve taken it to our heart to provide the world’s best meeting experience for them. We connect 1) startups <> investors, 2) investors <> investors, and 3) startups <> partners. Meeting Operations volunteers make sure everyone using the Meeting Area at Slush has a superb experience. They also gather feedback from the customers. These are the volunteer roles in the Meeting Operations team:

  • Meeting Experience
  • Meeting Area


The Investor team is responsible for attracting the world’s leading venture capital investors to Slush, and creating the best investor experience of any event on the planet for them. Investor team volunteers work on the concepts and events offered to the investors visiting Slush and make sure they get excellent customer service in every encounter with Slush. These are the volunteer roles in the Investor team:

  • Investor Lounge Area
  • Investor Experience Events
  • LP Operations
  • Investor Side Events
  • Investor Day


The Startup Team has the exciting responsibility of taking care of our largest core visitor group – the startup founders and operators. This is done with concepts like Founders Day, Slush 100, Startup Studio, Nordic Showcase, and Startup Booths to mention a few. Startup team volunteers make sure all founders are treated like royalty in every encounter they have with Slush. These are the volunteer roles in the Startup team:

  • Startup Booths
  • Slush 100
  • Startup Studio
  • Founders Day
  • Startup Activities


The Slush Production Team’s main goal is to guarantee Slush a seamless customer journey through the biggest and most complex event production in Finland for all our 13,000 visitors. Production volunteers work on making sure we do the basics better than others. From the badge claim at the airport to the cloakroom, production customers serve our customers at critical points of the customer journey. Also, if you’d like to get your volunteering done before the event consider teams like construction and pre-badge claim! These are the volunteer roles in the Production team:

  • Recycling
  • Badge Pre-Print
  • Pre-Badge Claim
  • Event Badge Claim
  • Cloakroom
  • Hydration
  • Production Help
  • Construction


Slush’s Finance volunteers have the opportunity to work at the Slush Store, the coolest clothing store in Pasila. The store sells merchandise from the event. This is the volunteer role within the Finance team:

  • Slush Store


Studio is a combination of the Marketing and Design team, like two peas in a pod. We work closely together to create and curate the external and visual communications for Slush. Studio volunteers film, photograph, and write content from the event. Also the Customer Success team makes sure our customers online and in Messukeskus get answers to their questions. These are the volunteer roles in the Studio team:

  • Content Curators
  • Live Streams
  • Online Customer Success
  • Quick Visual Content
  • Text Production
  • Videography
  • Photography
  • Offline Customer Success

Media & PR

The Media & PR team has two core responsibilities at Slush: attracting the world’s leading media representatives to Slush and creating the best media experience of any event on the planet for them, and building compelling narratives to showcase Slush as an organization to media. Media & PR volunteers make sure all guests in these concepts have a stellar customer experience. These are the volunteer roles in the Media & PR team:

  • Media Experience
  • Media Side Events


Volunteer Area volunteers make sure we serve our volunteers just as superbly as we serve our customers. They work in the dedicated Volunteer Area where volunteers get to chill, network, and have fun. This is the volunteer role within the People team:

  • Volunteer Area


The Partnerships Team brings the world’s leading corporates, scale-ups, country delegations, and research labs to be involved in Slush activities as partners. Partnerships volunteers make sure all partners have a stellar experience with Slush in each encounter. These are the volunteer roles in the Partnerships team:

  • Partner Side Event Ops
  • Partner Day
  • Partner Badge Claim
  • Partner Buddies


Matchmaking by Slush is an in-house tool, rebuilt better than ever for this year, enabling attendees to discover and book meetings with each other. This year, we added a chat function as well! All volunteers have access to the Matchmaking Tool, so make sure to utilize it during your free time at Slush.

Meet up with startups to learn more about job opportunities, learn from people interested in the same field as you or just casually meet other Slush attendees.

Matchmaking tool in practice:

  • Create a profile on and join Matchmaking. Note that you need a volunteer pass for this and you need to use the same email address as in your volunteer application.
  • Carefully fill in your Matchmaking profile. This is what people will see when you request meetings, so make it stand out.
  • Now that you are in Matchmaking, you can search for attending startups, investors, partner companies and all other participants.
  • Utilize the search field and filters to narrow down the search results to match your interests.



Back in the day, in the year 2008 to be more exact, Slush had humble beginnings. It all started with a one-day event, just 250 attendees at Korjaamo. A startup founder had this idea to create a community focused on building companies in Finland. Little did they know, that was the birth of something special.

Over time, Slush went through different phases. There was the Aalto Entrepreneurship Society era when the event moved to Kaapelitehdas. Then it was all about building up the startup scene, making everyone aware and hyped about entrepreneurship, and turning the Nordics into a big tech hub. Numbers-wise, Slush went from 150 startups to a whopping 780, from about 50 investors to 300, and attendees grew from 1,500 to 7,000.

Then, Slush hit the expansion years. The Main Event had to move to Messukeskus because of the sheer amount of  people showing up! Since then Slush has even spread worldwide with events like Slush Tokyo, Slush Beijing, and Slush China. Slush became the ultimate startup event, hosting over 3,000 startups and around 1,800 investors. So many people from Silicon Valley wanted to show up that Slush even had to charter a transatlantic flight from SF to Helsinki to get them all to the cold, dark and slushy Helsinki.
As the Nordic and Finnish startup ecosystems started to mature, it was time for Slush to focus on impact for the coming decade. The Main Event activities are back in Finland, yet the main vision for the next era was for Slush to be more than an event organizer. The Covid-19 pandemic further forced Slush to double down on non-event activities, and allowed time to rethink the Main Event concept. New initiatives were launched, including Node by Slush online community for early-stage founders. Slush’D is also a new concept, which is all about turbocharging emerging startup scenes around the world, breaking through local startup roadblocks, and giving organizers the resources they need to make it happen!

One significant axis of Slush’s impact is the team members and volunteers that it accelerates towards meaningful careers in the startup ecosystem. Slush alumni have built companies like Wolt (acquired by Doordash for €7B in 2021), Flowrite, Carbo Culture, Thingtesting,, Blok and Singa, as well as not-for-profit initiatives like Inklusiiv, Wave Ventures and deidei.

As you can tell, Slush’s history is relatively short. What it will look like after the 2020s remains to be revealed in time. One thing remains certain: some of you readers will be there to write it.



Stage program & speakers

  • We believe it is those who have built iconic startups who provide the most valuable advice for founders. That’s why we’ve gone above and beyond to bring some of the most successful company builders in the world to Slush to share their lessons in building legendary companies. Speakers this year include Claire Hughes Johnson, Chief Corporate Advisor of Stripe, Tony Xu, Co-founder & CEO of DoorDash, Cal Henderson, CO-founder & CTO of Slack, and Shuo Wang, Co-founder & CRO of Deel.
  • In addition, this year we’ve put effort into curating the best & most diverse topic-focused stage program Slush has ever seen. From solar panels and quantum computers to sex tech and AI – not to mention the ever-popular B2B SaaS – we promise that there’s something for everyone to learn from and enjoy.
  • People will ask you which speakers or stage talks you are looking forward to most. Prepare to have a few names in mind (it’s a bonus if you can also remember what they’ll talk about & when)!
  • Joining Slush’s mission of helping founders, each speaker dedicates one hour of their time to mentoring during the event. During the two event days, founders have the chance of participating in Speaker Q&A’s, roundtable discussions and 1on1 mentoring, gaining invaluable insights and access to mentors otherwise unavailable to them.


  • Slush 2023 is the world’s largest gathering of venture capital, bringing together 3,000 investors with more than $3T in AUM (assets under management). Both of these numbers are higher than ever before at any Slush event.
  • Some of the top VC firms joining us again this year include Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark, NEA, and Sequoia (the list goes on). A couple of exciting top-level newcomers are Greylock & Khosla Ventures.
  • This year, we’re taking our investor offering to a whole new level with the new and improved Investor Day, aiming to strengthen the VC networks in Europe. Furthermore, we’re staying more true than ever to our founder focus by putting effort into gatherings that connect investors with startups at large, such as Investor Office Hours together with funds like Index Ventures.
  • Last but definitely not least, we have more Limited Partners (LP’s) at Slush this year than ever before. In this economical climate, supporting emerging managers and bringing international capital to Finland and Europe has never been more important. Around 200 LP’s will be joining Slush, including institutional investors and charitable endowments such as LGT, Top Tier, Northwestern University & MIT.


  • We have more startups than ever joining us at Slush: 5,000 founders & operators will fill the Messukeskus halls.
  • Our startups are also more international than ever: more than 75% of our startups come from outside of Finland, and after our home turf, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden and the US are the most common geographies that our startups come from.
  • Startup Studio will once again showcase a mixture of early-stage startups, operating in future-defining fields such as AI, biology, space and energy. We’re especially proud of having the most diverse lineup ever of both companies and founders on stage: we have as many African as Finnish companies represented (8 each), and the ratio of female speakers is 42%, up from 22% last year.
  • With an improved process & bigger focus on supporting the participating startup during each stage, Slush 100 is on a great trajectory to become a stamp of approval similar to getting into Y Combinator. A great win for us is that all five participating funds from 2022 are continuing to work with us on the competition this year, with the aim of finding & funding the next European unicorn.
  • The range of events and other concepts designed to help early-stage founders is wider than ever before. From Founders Day to the Late Stage Dinner to a deep-tech gathering to our six hyper-relevant Slush Official Side Events, every founder regardless of industry or stage will be able to find incredibly relevant ways of spending their time at Slush.

Matchmaking tool & meeting experience

  • Investors and startups alike come to Slush to meet each other. This year, we’re making that easier than ever before through our matchmaking tool, built in-house by our fantastic team. What’s more, we’re in the early days of building the world’s largest year-round database on early-stage startups. In other words, we’re on a path to change the way deals flow.
  • This year, we’ve chosen to focus on a few select things to further improve the Slush meeting experience. Firstly, we’ve focused on increasing the meeting request response rate, by actively educating our audience to use our tools and providing better features for inbox management. Secondly, we’ve made significant improvements to the experience at the event by bringing the development of the Slush App in-house. Through the app, all of our visitors will be able to book, reschedule, and find their meetings effortlessly while at the main venue.
  • In 2023, we also have something completely new to offer investors joining Slush: the Investor Tool, designed specifically to help investors find, filter & export data of startups joining Slush.
  • We are the biggest organizer of 1on1 meetings adjusted for attendee count in the event industry — 1,000 meetings per hour take place during the main event.
    In 2023, we’re expecting more than 20,000 meetings to take place at Slush, of which most will be held at our record-large 300-table Meeting Area.


  • This year, we’ve increased both the number of journalists attending as well as the relevancy of the outlets compared to 2021 & 2022. Some top outlets joining us this year include Forbes, the Financial Times, Insider, Axios, the Economist & Bloomberg.
  • Secondly, we’re providing the best ever event experience for the journalists joining us: from curated program on Day 0 & a highly functional Media Area to press Q&A’s & moderation opportunities, journalists will finally be able to experience Slush at a level on par with our other core audiences.
  • Finally, we’re helping early-stage startups get media visibility by highlighting them in Stage Announcements and connecting them with journalists directly through the Startup PR-actice & the Media Bank. The Media Bank is an absolutely beautiful part of our platform


At Slush, we are dedicated to research that fuels the European startup community. For the 9th year in a row, we’re co-authoring the State of European Tech report together with Atomico, which will be unveiled on stage during Day 1. For the second consecutive year, we’re also partnering up with Creandum in conducting their Founder Salary Survey, aiming to bring transparency to the topic.


  • Deriving from our theme, this year we use organic and eternal elements from nature in our production: keep an eye out for rock, sand, water, plants, and even ice, to name a few.
  • Our event this year will be ridiculously well-functioning: we’ve taken feedback from previous years to heart, and put extra resources into really making our event operations a 7-star experience. From badge claim to the food court and beyond, the event will run like a well-oiled machine.


Who on earth would organize a festival in November in Helsinki? The Slush team, of course. For the first time post pandemic, the Slush Afterparty will fill the halls of Messukeskus on Day 2, from 6 pm until late. As our headliner & Eurovision song contest hero Käärijä puts it: it’s crazy, it’s party.





Well look at you Superstar! 
You’ve reached the grande finale of this year’s Volunteer Handbook. But don’t worry, your journey is just beginning!

Remember to cherish every moment, even when it gets hectic or difficult. This is when we grow the most, not only in self-discovery but also in understanding the people around us. Dive headfirst into everything, because moments of regret tend to stem from undiscovered opportunities.

Now let’s not forget the most important part – to have an absolute blast while at it!
Slush this year offers an abundance of epic unforgettable parties and elements to maximize your Slushy experience. So get out there, enjoy and experience everything you possibly can.

Together we build memories that last.

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