Find it. Found it. Fund it – key takeaways and highlights of the Slush 2023 event

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LinkedIn

First launched in Helsinki in 2008, Finland’s annual Slush for startups and venture capitalists has become a major international event. Tesi has taken part in Slush since its early years, and naturally followed this tradition in 2023. We summarise here the main insights and observations from Tesi’s perspective.

During the event, Tesi met with numerous growth entrepreneurs and investors with the aim of supporting the growth and internationalisation of Finnish companies. The relationships and networks built at Slush are valuable for developing Finland’s venture capital and private equity (VC & PE) market. As in previous years, the event was attended by a multitude of international fund investors (LPs, limited partners), whose VC & PE funds (GPs, general partners) can finance the future growth and internationalisation of an ever-increasing number of Finnish startups and/or growth companies.

For this reason, internationalisation of Finnish VC & PE market benefits companies and thereby also society at large. Tesi has helped attract international LPs to Slush by arranging side events of interest to them, held around the main Slush event. This year, in collaboration with Nordea, Krogerus, Helsinki Partners and HSBC Innovation Banking, Tesi arranged an LP breakfast for Limited Partners, and – for the first time – a Slush X RAISE event, at which 20 GPs presented their funds to Finnish and international LPs.

These side events were a continuation of the work started in 2022 with Mountside Ventures, Slush, and PwC to develop LP operations at Slush. The relationships and networks built at Slush are extremely valuable, particularly in the case of Finnish venture capital funds: private international capital in such funds is currently only around 7%. Our goal is to connect international fund investors more closely with the Finnish market.

International cooperation is constantly growing in importance under which one significant element is EU financing. Tesi’s target is to double the amount of EU capital put to use in Finland. In addition to Tesi’s own capital, at present we manage one hundred million euros of EU mandates, from which we invest on equal terms with other investors in Finnish startups and growth companies. In pursuit of this target, and together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the EIC Fund of European Innovation Council (EIC), we arranged a side event for growth companies and investors aimed at developing networks and cooperation in the deep tech sector.

“Tesi’s goal is to deepen international collaboration with the various players and to bring them together. We are delighted to be able to take part in Slush and its official side events year after year, and to combine our expertise with other private and public investors in key positions. State-owned investors, such as Tesi, can only do part of the work needed to raise the ecosystem to the next level. It’s important that like-minded public and private investors participating in this event are prepared to co-promote development of the ecosystem and to work closely together.”Matias Kaila, Director, Fund Investments

First launched in 2008 by students, Slush is a now a major international startup and tech event for investors and growth companies. The event will be arranged in Helsinki next year on 20th and 21st November 2024.

Photos © Petri Anttila

Tesi (officially Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is a state-owned, market-driven investment company that invests in venture capital and private equity funds and directly in Finnish startups and growth companies. | X (Twitter) | LinkedIn | Uutiskirje