Now what kind of a title for a post is that you may ask. It’s a title that is trying to constructively criticise the traditional press about its methods. We’re talking about Slush Helsinki of course.
The sad truth is that the traditional press was uninterested in covering anything from Slush, be it a short article online or a in a more material format. A quick query with Ampparit, a Finnish news aggregator site, results in 0 results about Slush. The irony of this is that the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, has written an apology e-mail to Helene Auramo, one of the organisers, apologising that she was unable to attend (Helene wrote about this in Jaiku). The press did not bother to reply to any queries about coverage.
This is extremely sad, when Risto Siilasmaa, one of the most successful Finnish entrepreneurs said in his keynote about growth entrepreneurship the responsibility everyone has in times of crisis. He also nodded towards angel investors, as they need to believe more than anybody in these companies to invest in them – when it makes no economical sense whatsoever. Risto also talked about the responsibility of the media – these companies need visibility – ahem ahem, are we the only ones supporting this cause?
Slush Helsinki was an extremely successful event in many different ways. We managed to get the elite of the Finnish growth entrepreneurial scene under one roof for the first time in Finland and in a way that close to 400 people could listen and learn from these experts. This in itself is something that should interest many people, what do these experts have to say about pushing yourself beyond belief in a venture that only you believe in with endless passion – looking to make it big from the Arctic.
However, being able to organise such an event that created so many happy faces, so many positive thoughts about the future of the growth entrepreneurship and so many new deals during a time of huge, unimaginable financial crisis. I believe these sort of events are extremely important as they lay the foundation of hope for something that is crucial to the economy in terms of not only growth, but competition in the international markets when we, Finland especially, cannot count on the support of the more traditional industries such as forestry or machinery.
Then again, Slush Helsinki was not created with support of external financing nor official support from a member of government. It was created out of passion and belief that growth entrepreneurship does and will happen out of the Arctics. Maybe in a few years we can turn to the traditional press and tell them – we told you so.
Apologies for a long rant without any bigger news value (pun intended), but I believe this is an important issue that should be addressed and not only in Finland. We’ll be releasing lots of video material in the coming days to spread the knowledge from the event.