• En-Fi
The last time I visited Slush 8 years ago, this ‘cosy’ event was still held in Kaapelitehdas with few hundred participants. 8 Years later at Messukeskus, I am trying to make my way amongst the 20,000 attendees, 2,600 startups and 1,500 investors gathered for the startup event of the year in Europe. 
Can we call it a success story? I believe so. Was this year’s event impressive? Definitely. 

 I enjoyed the slightly oppressing ‘Blade Runnerish’ atmosphere and the organization was spot on.  


Surprise winner 

Before Slush, many of us were wondering, if the next Nordic Unicorn would come from innovations in Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain or Gaming. Who knew it would be related to the revolutionary process of industrial pipes cleaning? Not as cool on paper but potentially huge! 

 Indeed, the winner of the Slush 100 pitching competition is a Cleantech company called Altum a.k.a. the first and only company to use focused power ultrasound to remove fouling from industrial equipment with no production stoppages. 

During the Q&A with judges, the company’s CEO predicted that they would be a €1B company within 4-5 years, it could very well be the case! 


Innovations in marketing, blockchain and biometrics 

In the field of marketing automation, I was also very impressed by the pitch of AdLaunch, mentioned in our earlier article, and their usage of Artificial Intelligence in automated video creation. This could be a game changer in Digital Out-of-Home for SME’s that cannot afford expensive video production, but would like to use video on digital billboards. 

Blockchain was of course on the agenda as well, with some innovative startups such as Streamr are building communication layers and marketplaces for data. 

Blockchain enables the decentralization and securitization of the transaction, with the introduction a new payment token called DATAcoin. We can imagine that in the future, some of the data collected by OOH companies could also be available on this new kind of marketplace. 

Finally, biometrics authentication and facial recognition was also demonstrated by Finnair with its Face ID, enabling seamless check-in without the need to have travel documents. The intelligent camera can also recognize the mood of the passenger, which is something we have also tested at the ‘bus stop of the future’ during last year’s Junction hackathon. 

Cannot wait for next year! 

Xavier Jolas, the writer of this article, runs JCDecaux’s internal startup Alpha. His main focus lies in data, analytics, IoT and location intelligence. 

Published in Article , about #Slush, #Innovation