How to Prepare for Slush

Date: November 18, 2016

Author: Maria Sundström

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How to Prepare for Slush

 

After leaving Slush last year, we realized that there was so much more that we could have done and taken away from the event. Now that the next Slush is almost here, we thought that this time we would share with everyone how to prepare for the event and what to anticipate.

Set Clear and Concrete Goals

This is a bit self-explanatory, however, it is imperative that you do your research before going to Slush. Why are you going there and what do you want to get out of it? Are you going to Slush to find new potential clients, meet investors or partners or maybe recruit? If you’re interested in finding new clients, make sure to pitch and get media coverage. If you want to meet investors then you should utilize the matchmaking tool provided by Slush on their website and if you are after great employees then there are great tools for that as well.

Make a plan on who you want to meet and contact them beforehand. Try to set up a meeting even before heading out to the event. Not only should you read up on the companies that will be attending Slush but you should check who will be presenting and make yourself a schedule. If there is a presenter that you would like to talk to, you might be able to do so immediately after he/she has presented.

If you are going to pitch in Slush 100, the biggest piece of advice we can offer you is practice as much as you can. However, don’t just practice in front of friends. You want to create a similar environment to Slush. Pitching in front of a friend can be easy but when you pitch in front of hundreds of people, on stage, into a microphone, things can get stressful. So, practice pitching in several different situations, make sure to stick to your time limit and then go over your pitch once more. You only have few minutes to present your company, so make sure you only include the necessary information that catches the listeners attention. What helped us a lot was also watching old pitches on Youtube.

In addition, if you have a stand, having business cards, rollups, hoodies and other materials can help you stand out from the other presenters. Make sure you have created a short elevator pitch that catches peoples attention. Also, remember to be courageous and stop people that pass by your stand.

Remember to be open and receptive if you are going to Slush to network. A party is an excellent environment to socialize and Slush has some good ones. However, try not to get carried away with all the partying and try to keep your eye on the prize. Try to find out where the people you want to meet are going. You should most definitely have business cards with you and try to give them out when opportunity strikes.

Don’t forget to update your social media pages at Slush (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.) By using the right hashtags, you can keep yourself in the right feeds and that way you will be discovered by others easily. Also, many startups forget to contact journalists. Startups need media visibility and last year, more than 630 editors, writers and reporters from 50 countries ca,e to Helsinki for Slush. Make sure to spend some time going through the main technology and business journals and try to schedule meetings with the ones that are relevant for your field.

If you wonder what to wear, my advice is you can basically dress however you want at Slush – think relaxed corporate culture. Casual wear such as jeans and hoodies are fine.

Investor Meetings at Slush

Slush is a great place to meet potential investors. You should use the matchmaking tool to find investors that fit your profile. You will probably also get some invites from investors that are interested in you, but don’t count on them to do all the work. If you are looking for business angels, try to book meetings with them instead of VCs and vice versa. At Slush your time will be limited and you want to meet people that are potential investors, not just any investor.

Be on time. At least last year there was a que to the meeting area. Be prepared to do your investor pitch with or without slides and be ready to answer a lot of questions. When you actually have the meeting, be sure to prepare well by trying to understand what companies the investors have worked with previously. Checking their Linkedin profiles gets you a long way.

What Are Some Questions an Investor Might Ask?

  • What problem does your product/service solve?
  • How big is the market for your product?
  • What revenue model are you using?
  • Do you have any competitors?
  • What are strengths and weaknesses of your team?
  • Where will your business be in 10 years?

Alongside the questions above, you should also know your numbers such as:

  • MRR
  • Client Acquisition Cost
  • Number of clients/active users
  • Average Revenue Per User
  • Burn Rate

To conclude, Slush can be a great experience for you and your company if you prepare ahead. Ask yourself what you hope to take away from the event and come with your A-Game. It’s going to be fun, challenging and rewarding. See you there!

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