Slush 2023

The end of November in Helsinki is truly magical, especially when Slush week rolls around.
Our Herizon team—Mari, Viivi, and I—had the pleasure of joining the event, and what an uplifting time it turned out to be. A huge thanks to all of our community members and new international talent we met there. I can say we were so inspired by all of you!

I’ll be covering our Slush Day 0 to Day 2 – with insights and hopefully inspiration for you as well. 

Before the week, we set goals for ourselves:

  1. Discover and talk with startups keen on hiring professionals from our community.

  2. Interview and film female founders about their founding journey’s. 

  3. Chat up and celebrate our community members volunteering or showcasing their startups.

  4. Connect with folks to discuss topics like DEI, community, hiring, and scaling talent teams.

Unlike we do normally, we didn’t set any concrete numerical goals since our mindset was “as many interesting connections as possible.”, and oh we did achieve this. In total I’m estimating all of us three, that week we talked with over 400 people, over 100 hours of networking. 

Day 0:

The official unofficial day of Slush. We kicked off the day with a cozy co-working session at our favorite spot, the Oodi library, with 9 of our awesome community members.

  1. Viivi whipped up the coolest stickers for us to share at Slush.
  2. We snapped photos of each participant for our Herizon channels, hopefully helping them stand out in their job searches—stay tuned for those.
  3. Lunch was at Lie Mi Kamppi with our community members Nicoletta Franchino and Diana Aimaldinova, a great chance to get to know each other.
  4. Afterwards, we headed to different side events: Mari had a keynote at Miltton. Meri ran to Wolt’s Growth Marketing event alongside Yousician, Swappie, and Varjo, and Viivi to Naava x San Francisco’s Get to Know PR & Comms Mingle.


And then, it was time to call it a day, recharge for the official Day 1, and see what more Slush had in store for us.

Day 1:

  1. Started the day with morning coffee (shoutout to those oat milk lattes!), and breakfast at Slush, soaking up the atmosphere and chatting with companies like Deel and Remote, who shared some cool insights on hiring.

     

  2. The Slush Kickoff on the Founder’s stage was epic, led by three inspiring women from Slush’s leadership team. It set the tone for the day.

     

  3. Viivi and I were on a mission with seven meetings booked. Mari was pitching Icebreaker.vc’s companies.

     

  4. More coffee, water, coffee and water.

     

  5. We were filming awesome and inspiring female founders like Jasmine Tagesson from Hormona, Veera Siivonen from Saidot.AI, and Sofia Lund from The S Factor Company.

     

  6. Met many Slush volunteers. Collected quotes of being an international talent in Finland from them for a T-shirt – and the quotes are priceless.

     

Let's talk about Slush volunteers.

This student-driven, non-profit movement sets an example for big corporations. The atmosphere is something else. Many success stories start with people volunteering and end with them building their own ventures.

The event runs smoothly thanks to these amazing, talented, and responsible folks who are always ready to help. It’s inspiring to see so many friendships and work opportunities bloom. Many Herizon members volunteered, and seeing those connections form made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

Job opportunities were created.

This part was the best. A few of our community members shared how they had researched interesting people and companies attending the event. They reached out to these individuals while delivering amazing customer service, for instance, at the cloakroom. Contacts were exchanged, and conversations started from there. This showcases the magic of being a volunteer at Slush and the power of being proactive and reaching out.

Day 2 at Slush – where you start feeling like a space-navigation pro, knowing where the good food is, and remembering essentials like a notebook.

  1. Found Joanna Jasinska, our intern-turned-volunteer powerhouse at the Meeting area. She’s been rocking her networking goals during the internship.

     

  2. Had some exciting meetings, spreading the Herizon vibes and exploring collaboration possibilities with organizations across Europe.

     

  3. Hanna Toivanen launched a Stealth project, Starstuff, at Slush. Her storytelling, presence, and the idea of bringing camera rolls alive through spatial imaging AI are truly inspiring. Rooting for her and her team!

     

  4. Sanna Marin took the stage. And the amount of listeners was the most we encountered.

     

  5. Time for Afterparty; The legendary Käärijä moment. In addition to Käärijä, we met and talked with the Slack Co-founder and CTO Cal Henderson—time to high five and call it a night with smiles on our faces.

Our Slush experience in a nutshell:

We chatted with over 400 people during Slush week, discovering amazing initiatives, exchanging tips for job seekers, and connecting with companies eager to hire diverse talent.
While the tech industry still has work to do in terms of diversity, it was uplifting to witness a diverse mix of women and people from various backgrounds coming together—volunteering, representing, speaking on stage, and founding their own companies.
See you next year! 💜

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