Unlocking Global Networks and Innovation: A Deep Dive into Slush's Value

With Slush 2023 now in our rearview mirror, the echoes of its impact still resonate strongly. This year, as part of a concerted effort by Founded in Groningen and Founded in Friesland, we joined the Dutch mission to Slush, with 15 promising startups from the Northern Netherlands. But why is an event like Slush so critical for startups and investors?

In this article Tjarda, Community Lead Groningen, delves into why Slush is essential for startups, highlighting its significance for the Dutch startup ecosystem.

An ongoing dance of opportunity

It's all about connecting founders with investors in an ongoing dance of opportunity. The RVO set up a booth with fresh coffee, quickly becoming a buzzing hub. This wasn’t just about grabbing a coffee; it was the place where connections formed. I saw founders and investors initiating potentially game-changing conversations.

What struck me was not just the business-oriented talks but also the genuine exchanges between investors with investors and founders with founders. These interactions transcended mere transactional relationships, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.

Being at Slush, I realized the significance of these meetings. They not only help individual startups grow but also strengthen the worldwide startup community, offering crucial insights into how the industry works together. And don’t just take my word for it. Here are some of the insights our startups have already shared:

Attending this world’s leading startup event has been nothing short of inspiring. Slush 2023 has been an incredible platform to exchange ideas and connect with visionary minds. The energy, the ideas, and the connections formed here are unparalleled!

Bioprex Medical

It was magnificent event and experience! And I can't highlight enough how valuable the Dutch network was inside Slush! Due to the knowledge and people inside the delegation I was able to take several steps forward inside half a day that normally would take weeks! This was value I didn't expect!

Nina Vielen-KallioFounder of eWening Star

It was such an amazing experience being part of this Dutch mission to Helsinki. We connected to and learned from so many startup founders, investors, companies and knowledge organisations. The journey might be over, our mission has just started!


Support organizations

RVO, Novel-T, 4TU and our teams at Founded in Friesland and Groningen played a supporting role, focused on helping startups and investors. Investors visit the Dutch stand, inquiring about startups for example involved in hydrogen, renewable energy, hardware, education, and more. Being there allows us to quickly inform these founders about interested parties. This way, we help create new connections for those who can't be in two places at once.

All focused on increasing visibility for the dutch startups. The collective efforts of these organizations created a supportive framework. We provide a stable platform for startups to launch into the global arena, equipping them with necessary tools and networks. 

Key Insights from Investor Niek Huizenga at Slush

Niek Huizenga, an investor from G-Force Capital, shares some essential takeaways from Slush, offering a strategic guide for maximizing the event's potential.

Embrace Continuous Learning: Slush is more than a conference; it's a hub of learning and growth. Niek Huizenga stresses the importance of being open to diverse ideas and strategies from various founders and investors. The key, he says, is to actively absorb, question, and integrate these new insights into your own strategies.

Strategic Networking: With a crowd of thousands, having a clear networking plan at Slush is crucial. Niek advises using the event's matchmaking tool and LinkedIn, as well as the support of the Dutch delegation, to forge deeper connections. His approach focuses on fewer, but more impactful meetings rather than a flurry of brief encounters. This strategy leads to more effective follow-ups and lasting relationships.

Value Your Relationships: Niek compares a strong network to a cathedral built on trusted, long-standing relationships. He emphasizes the importance of nurturing these connections while expanding your network with new contacts. Understanding and supporting the goals of your network is key to building a solid and effective community.

Niek Huizenga's advice offers a concise guide for making the most of Slush. He focuses on continuous learning, strategic networking, and nurturing relationships, essential for startups aiming for long-term success at the event.

More than just a conference

As our journey through Slush 2023 comes to a close, the experiences and insights gained stand as a testament to the undeniable value of such missions for Dutch startups. Participating startups like Bioprex Medical, Enatom, Powerchainger, and eWening Star, among others, have not only showcased their innovative prowess but have also imbibed invaluable lessons from this global platform.

Slush has been more than just a conference; it has been a melting pot of ideas, a bridge connecting Dutch innovation to the world. Startups like Naya, HULO.ai, and Hydrogen Prospect have demonstrated that the Dutch startup ecosystem is vibrant, diverse, and teeming with potential. Platforms like Slush provide these companies with the visibility and networks essential for their growth.

The participation of startups such as Flow Your Money, TAEM.io, and Staxxer highlights the diverse range of Dutch innovation, from fintech to sustainability, showcasing the breadth of our entrepreneurial spirit. Similarly, StreamLadder, Young Heroes, TAPP, VRelax, and PIE have shown that our startups are not just businesses, but stories of passion and resilience.

Events like Slush are pivotal in propelling them onto the global stage, providing exposure, connections, and learning opportunities. The energy, ideas, and connections forged at Slush 2023 will echo far beyond the event.

Pictures were made via the RVO, Novel-T and 4TU