Slush Shenzhen: Tech event provides start-up matchmaking, networking platform for young entrepreneurs
Southern China's city of Shenzhen has long attracted tech companies and start-ups from around the world. But the city has also become a launchpad for up-and-coming businesses. And that's exactly what event organizer "Slush" is hoping to promote. Hailing from Finland, the platform has expanded to China, Japan and Singapore. Our reporter Omar Khan takes a look at this edition of the event in the southern tech-hub.
OMAR KHAN SHENZHEN, GUANGDONG PROVINCE "It's perhaps one of the more unorthodox ways to host a serious tech event. Bright lights and loud music, with an almost club-like feel. But founders of the Slush platform believe that inspiring the next generation of innovators, can combine both business, and fun."
Then throw in the fact that the event is mostly run by student volunteers – Slush is embracing the idea of youth engagement when it comes to the tech scene. With that fresh and youthful mindset, organizers hope to facilitate business ties between young start-ups, and potential investors.
WANG CHEN SLUSH CHINA, CEO "So actually they are the next generation who are going to define how the world is going to look tomorrow. And also we want to spread the seeds, so they can do it, and they are the change-makers in the world."
As for the students running the event, they're hoping that their time and efforts here, can kick-start potential endeavors down the road."
WANG XUETAO SLUSH VOLUNTEER "Well I think participating in the Slush event would give us young teenagers, a very good opportunity of meeting the start-ups and investors. I think this would be helpful for our future career."
But aside from providing a platform for young people and companies, what else does the Finnish-founded platform hope to achieve? And, what's with the name?
PETER VESTERBACKA FINEST BAY AREA DEVELOPMENT, FOUNDER "So Slush is about bringing the whole ecosystem together, start-ups, founders, investors, media, everybody, so everything that you need as an investor, everything that you need as a start-up, everything is here, everybody is here. And I think this is the most important thing with events like Slush."
"We organize in November, in Helsinki, and when you come to Helsinki in November, I promise you that it's going to be cold, it's going to be dark, and there's going to be slush on the ground. So it's not the Silicon Valley, it's better."
Peter Vesterbacka is perhaps best known for being behind Rovio's mobile phone video game sensation - Angry Birds. The Finnish tech entrepreneur is now exploring new fields, all with a focus on cultivating the next wave of talent both globally, and here in South China.
PETER VESTERBACKA FINEST BAY AREA DEVELOPMENT, FOUNDER "And what I see here in the Greater Bay Area, 80% of the world's hardware, electronics are from Shenzhen. It's an amazing place. Everything is happening here. It is global, but still we need these hot spots, and that's why it is super important to be here in Shenzhen and the Greater Bay Area."
With an aim to go beyond Asia and Finland, the self-proclaimed "Slushers" may well be on track to finding the world's next breakthrough innovation. Omar Khan, CGTN, Shenzhen.