About 30 direct leads. That’s what Teamleader brought home from Slush in Helsinki. Together with 14 other startups from all over Europe, the Gent-based CRM-specialist inaugurated the first ever Startups.be/European Startup Network booth in the Finish capital. 

Nobody in their right mind would come to Helsinki in November? That’s not counting in 15.000 techies from all over the world attending Slush. Yes, Finland’s most reputable tech event attracts more people every year, and that’s not without reason.

All attendees would have to agree that Slush still manages to draw a very interesting and highly selective mix of entrepreneurs, developers, investors and journalists from all over the globe, and that the organization tries to organize things in ways that have never been done before. What certainly makes the event ‘stand out of the crowd’ is the large Asian delegation, with a whole lot of new ties being forged between the two continents.

"It seems to be the center of the universe in technology right now," Slush's website quotes Niklas Zennström, co-Founder of Skype and Atomico, and the 2016 edition was even extra special for the eight Belgian startups that made the trip to the Finish capital with Startups.be.

That’s because for the first time in history, we shared a booth with our colleagues of the European Startup Network (ESN)With startups from Cyprus all the way to London, you could say that our booth was a concretization of European ideals, and certainly an initiative worth repeating.

“Slush offered our entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their business, pitch their ideas and interact with a vast spectrum of people”, nods Michalis Stylianou from the Gravity Incubator in Cyprus.

“These are experiences that are hard to get in closed environments like Cyprus. We had very interesting meetings with potential investors and partners, as well as with quite a few other startups. The good thing about sharing a booth with companies from all over Europe, is that you can exchange ideas and over-view common opportunities more easily than ever.”

Our Belgian start-ups speak about a successful edition as well. CEO Jeroen De Wit from Teamleader, for instance, got to pitch for a high-level audience of investors and potential clients, and brought home about 30 interesting direct leads. “We’re most certainly coming back next year.”

"Experiencing Slush for the first time has certainly been an enriching and rewarding experience, both for me and for my startup”, adds Thibaut Nyssens, the 18-year old founder of Gnoothi (and probably the youngest founder in Helsinki).

“Meeting entrepreneurs from all over the world, pitching to investors and testing the latest technologies (Hololens, VR, ...) was really exciting for me. I would advise all (young) entrepreneurs to attend Slush at least once in their lifetime.”

Benny Willen, CEO of Cloudalize, concludes: Slush worked for Cloudalize as well, we’ll also be back next year. We didn’t meet all the top investors we wanted to meet - as 1.600 startups were simultaneously trying to talk to the same people - but we did get to meet a whole range of unexpected partners, leads and ecosystem players, especially during the network events in the evening.”

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