Slush 2021 Warm-up – Interview with the CEO

Copyright : Esa-Pekka Mattila

In just a few weeks time, on December 1st-2nd, Slush 2021 takes over Helsinki again. We had a quick chat with the CEO Miika Huttunen. to get the latest news on the event preparations straight from SlushHQ.


Now that the event is sold out, is there a possibility for new tickets coming for sale closer to the event?

Unfortunately no, we are fully sold out which is of course great news! In case we manage to release some tickets (which is unlikely) we will distribute them to our waiting list. 

The pandemic is still among us and some people are not able or comfortable to travel or attend large gatherings. Will there be some online element to Slush 2021 to cater for those who cannot be there in person?

As always, we’ll livestream our main stages for free on our website. However, we didn’t jump into the hybrid model and instead focused on perfecting the offline experience. For example, we don’t have any hybrid sessions on stage – everything will be offline. 

When you look back to the day you took over as the Slush CEO almost two years ago and fast forward to today, what 1-2 things pop up and stand out about the journey? 

It’s a great question. I’d say these two:

  1. When you are working with incredibly ambitious, curious and humble people, you can get a lot done despite the uncertainty.
  2. I have understood what Ben Horowitz’s saying “run towards the pain” really means. It’s always better to solve the problems or worries proactively and quickly instead of waiting for them to fix themselves. 

With having skipped one year, what are you most excited about for the “come back” Slush? And most nervous about?

People are waiting for offline interactions more than before. I am most excited to see when all that energy bursts out in the main event. I think the atmosphere will be electric. What am I the most nervous about? Everything and nothing at the same time. I think that’s the right mood to have at this point. 

What is new or ‘revamped’ from previous years?

I could say many things here but I think one of the most exciting new things is the fact that Slush 2021 will be an 8,000 people event. Out of all visitors, ~60% will be investors and startups. That’s a huge proportion of all visitors. We have also built new concepts like Builder’s Studio. It’s a small 150 capacity stage dedicated for brutally honest, tangible advice for company-building delivered in 27-minutes keynotes. 

Anything else you would like to share or add?

Even if you couldn’t get a Slush pass this year, I recommend you to tune in to various side events during Slush week!

And the last one. Will there be a big Slush after-party this year?

Yes, of course!

Thank you so much for the interview, Miika!