Edited and prepared by Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU.

Great Interview from Anna Ratala, head of Slush Singapore explaining what is this event.

When is it on?

19th September in Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, Singapore. Slush Singapore is organised during SWITCH – Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology.

How many years has it been going?

We launched Slush Singapore last year. Back then, the event was put together in only 101 days with the help of our amazing volunteers and community. This year Slush Singapore is back bigger, better and bolder!

What was the inspiration to start it?

Singapore has a very buzzing startup ecosystem but the mindset towards entrepreneurship is still rather reserved. Many Singaporeans, especially young people, are still afraid of taking the risk, worried about what their family would say if they didn’t go the “traditional path” and get a corporate career. Slush wants to help change these attitudes. Also, Southeast Asia is a huge emerging market of 600 million people, leapfrogging their way to a mobile-first region. Countries like Indonesia and Vietnam are developing rapidly attracting tech talent and investors, while Singapore is leading the way as the smart nation of the region. Singapore is a perfect hotspot for this diverse market and with right support, the next big thing in tech will come from Southeast Asia.

What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2017 version?

Some of our key themes revolve around social enterprises and impact investment, corporate innovation and ethics, a topic not traditionally covered at tech events. Sustainability will play a big part this year – Slush Singapore wants to lead the way in making events more environmentally conscious. This will mean, for example, reducing the use of plastic bottles at our event, adding recycling possibilities and encouraging all exhibitors and startups to have their material online, as opposed to printed flyers. We will also invite many exciting sustainability startups on stage as speakers. Of course, we are expecting a line of world-class speakers. Our first revealed speakers are Taavi Roivas, Vice President of Estonian Parliament and former Prime Minister of Estonia – and Taizo Son, Japanese serial entrepreneur & investor, founder & CEO of Mistletoe Inc.

What opportunities are on offer for people / startups / investors and companies attending?

Startups are in the centre of everything Slush does. This year our Pitch Competition takes an international twist in the form of our prizes. Rather than pouring cash at startups, essentially is just a short-term solution in achieving long-term goals, Slush Singapore wants to give startups something more tangible. This year it will be a World Domination Tour – where winning startups will be taken to startup capitals of the world for an experience of a lifetime. (singapore.slush.org/startups) Investors will have a chance to schedule meetings with international startups, this year coming from Europe, Asia, US, Russia and Middle East. We expect big delegations from the Nordics, as well as Southeast Asia.

What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?

1) Prepare beforehand and set your goals – who would you like to meet, what would you like to achieve? This will help you prioritize between the various program at the event. 2) If you have a Startup, Investor, Media or Executive Pass make sure you sign up for the Meeting Tool (opens 2 weeks prior to the event). Scroll through the directories and pre-schedule meetings with interesting parties. 3) Slush is known for its kick-ass opening show and legendary afterparty! So don’t miss the opening – and definitely don’ miss the ending.

How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?

Ticket sales opened on 17th July and for the first 24hrs there is a 50% discount on all ticket types (ending Tuesday 18th at 9am SG time). Early Bird prices of -20% are valid until the end of July. Getting your ticket early will ensure a couple more treats before the event, such as Kick-Off Party in August!

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

Something new this year is pre-event program for various ticket holders. Founders Day for startup founders, Investor Day for angels and VCs and Partners Day for corporates – all organized on 18th September, a day before Slush Singapore. They will offer targeted content for each group and help make the most out of the event.


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