By @SimonCocking. Irish Tech News’s first time at Slush, and (as often seems to be the case) we were the only Irish media outlet here, invited by the City of Helsinki to cover it. 

Day one of the event proper began smoothly. Pre-registration ensured no queues to get in. Once inside the various stages were well designed, creatively lit, with large amounts of fire and lasers where ever possible. There was a good mix of styles to create some differentiation between the different stages and some interesting ideas to ensure maximum visibility for the audience. The attendance level mentioned was around 17,000 and this felt like a good amount relative to the size of the arena. You could easily and quickly move between different stages which were all nearby.

For those who feel the need for a gender head count on stage, this felt like a well balanced event with lots of great speakers from all varieties. The talks ran on time and were informative and aimed to keep pushing the speakers to offer useful takeaways for the audience. How was the wifi you ask? Well for general users it did get a little slow at times, but messages got through eventually, it may have forced some to look up from their screens and engage with the people around them too.

Overall day one felt like a success, and with so many different options happening in the evening it will be interesting to see how the experience was for others. For us we went to Startup Maria, a new startup working space in a converted hospital. This seemed like a very interesting reuse of an urban building. The Finns, with their own dark sense of humour also seemed to feel that the graveyard next door was a useful existential element too, to give founders and entrepreneurs the right sense of perspective.

We look forward to seeing what day two is like, and to bring some more insights on what is hot (and Slush-y) in the world of tech and startups. One company we’re especially interested to check out is ZooProtien, who are making protein supplements from insects.

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If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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