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SLUSH 2023 - Colouring Helsinki orange with 4TU tech startups

Friday, 1 December 2023

28 startups of the four technical universities went to Helsinki, Finland, from the 28th of November until the 2nd of December to experience Slush: the most founder-friendly startup conference in the world. This is what they got out of it.

The 4TU joined RVO and a few local startup ecosystems in the biggest Dutch delegation to go to Slush ever, making it the largest international delegation at the event. Joining this mission enables startups to get in touch with investors, either to get an investment or to lay the groundwork for future connections. Mike Verkouter (UT) was one of the people who led the 4TU mission: “Of course, you could also have an online conversation with potential investors. But in order to get the maximum out of a meeting, you have to look each other in the eye without a screen interfering. The dynamics of a face-to-face conversation are completely different than online. Slush gathers all startups and investors in one place to facilitate these meetings and make them fruitful.”

Matchmaking at side-events

Even though the conference started on November 30th, the mission began on November 28th with a visit to the residence of the ambassador of the Netherlands in Finland. Afterward, the entire Dutch delegation had dinner, at which a bingo wheel decided on the table setting to stimulate the networking within the delegation. On the second day, Slush hosted the Founders Day at which the first matchmaking started. Simultaneously, the 4TU hosted a side event on tech transfer to present the uniform deal terms and discuss them with university representatives from other countries, such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany and the UK. This resulted in valuable feedback for the 4TU knowledge transfer offices.

After a full day of networking at the conference on the third day of the mission, several startups got to pitch on stage for selected investors during the (deep) tech drinks. This side event was opened by special envoy Constantijn van Oranje and attracted attendees from multiple nationalities. The winner of the pitches was Konekti from TU Eindhoven, who provide a way to make process data preparation easier.


Exceeded expectations

After a lot of networking and two days of meetings during the conference, the startup founders went home satisfied. Shira Hollanders from Populytics (TU Delft): “It exceeded my expectations. If I went home with one good match with an investor, I would’ve been happy already. But now I have six follow-up meetings with relevant investors who are interested. So that’s incredibly valuable to us.” BrewRight from WUR also had great conversations with investors during the conference. Yoni Mol: “We’re still in an early phase with our startup so we hoped that there would be investors interested in what we do. And we were actually offered an investment of €150k, so we’re really pleased with that.” The ‘Slush vibe’ will continue next year in the Netherlands on August 29th during the official satellite event Enschede Slush’D:

·         Find out more about the startups that joined:

·         Check out the Dutch 4TU Tech Startups LinkedIn page for a full overview of the mission: