Startup event Slush takes over Tokyo – Helsinki and Finnish companies well represented


Visitor at Slush Tokyo in 2017. Photo: Taichi Kitazawa

Over 6000 technology industry professionals will gather in Tokyo in late March at Slush, the startup event that promotes change in the global business culture. Among the Finnish companies that will be participating are ten pioneering startups in the fields of augmented and virtual reality.

Slush Tokyo is the leading international technology and startup event in Japan, bringing together over 600 startups an 200 investors under the same roof from 28 to 29 March 2018. The event is being held this year for the fourth time.

Slush serves as a platform for new ideas and success stories. It aims to facilitate access to seed funding for promising startups while also serving as a unique meeting place for technology professionals, investors and international media.

Originating in Helsinki, Slush decided to travel to Tokyo based on the wishes of locals and their interest in developing the region’s business culture in a more innovative direction. The Tokyo event is being organised by a local group of young people, volunteers and entrepreneurs.

“Slush is considered important in Asia thanks to its strong international focus. Our global network can help startups grow locally, of course, but also internationally,” says Alexander Pihlainen, President of Slush.

Slush’s global conquest began in 2015, when the first events were held in Tokyo and Beijing. Slush events have also been held in Singapore and Shanghai since 2016. In 2017, over 70 associated events were held in addition to the four main events.

Virtual Helsinki on show in Tokyo

Development work on virtual technology is first class in Helsinki. The city has strong technological expertise that has created an active startup hub. Helsinki will present its diverse digital know-how on its Coolest Tech Hub stand at Slush Tokyo.

Finnish virtual expertise will also be very much on display at Slush Tokyo. Helsinki and Business Finland will host an event on 28 March that looks at how virtual expertise can be utilised in tourism marketing. Finnish virtual reality pioneers, including ZOAN and Arilyn, will also be present.

For a virtual reality pioneer like ZOAN, Slush provides an important platform for meeting clients and investors. ZOAN is a rapidly growing VR startup that has created interactive digital environments for the real estate sector since 2010. ZOAN has created a Virtual Helsinki that can be visited using VR glasses, even from as far away as Japan. This interactive virtual model offers a wide range of potential activities, including the chance to travel back in time to Senate Square in the 1830s or to see the Northern Lights.

“Even the most traditional organisations are getting excited about virtual reality. Our clients range from museums to media houses. At Slush Tokyo we have important meetings with potential strategic partners and possible clients. In addition, we will be promoting discussion about virtual tourism,” says Miikka Rosendahl, Founder and CEO of ZOAN.

Focus on responsibility

The theme of Slush Tokyo this year is Breaking Barriers. The event will examine funding and other challenges encountered by startups. The aim is to stimulate debate about equality and develop the global business culture in such a way that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to succeed regardless of their culture, language, gender, age or other characteristics.

At the heart of all Slush events is active volunteer work that offers interested people the chance to do something innovative within an international environment. A record 600 people applied to volunteer at Slush Tokyo this year.

The parent event Slush will be held in Helsinki from 4 to 5 December 2018.


Further information:

Saara Pelto-Arvo
Head of Communications, Slush

Nita Pilkama
Project Manager, City of Helsinki

Helsinki Business Hub at Slush Tokyo
The Coolest Tech Hub in Europe



Slush is Europe's leading startup event connects startups & tech talent with top-tier international investors, executives and media. Slush is a non-profit event organized by a community of entrepreneurs, investors, students, and festival organizers. It has grown into one of the leading events of its kind from a once 300-person assembly. Since 2015, Slush has also run events throughout the world, including Slush Tokyo, Slush Shanghai, and Slush Singapore.

Helsinki Marketing is a company owned by the City of Helsinki. It is responsible for operative city marketing and business partnerships for Helsinki. Helsinki Marketing interacts with local residents, visitors, decision-makers and experts. 

About Us

Helsinki Marketing is a company owned by the City of Helsinki. It is responsible for operative city marketing and business partnerships for Helsinki. Helsinki Marketing interacts with local residents, visitors, decision-makers and experts.