After a year’s hiatus, Slush will host an in-person startup event in Helsinki on December 1–2, 2021. This year, 3,200 startup founders and operators and 1,500 investors are expected to join Slush, with 8,000 attendees in total.
What started as a gathering of 300 local founders in 2008 has become a community of true global magnitude. Yet, the mission of Slush remains the same: to create and help the next generation of groundbreaking entrepreneurs.
Slush is a student-driven, not-for-profit movement originally founded to change attitudes toward entrepreneurship.
Such movement has enabled it to scale to one of Europe’s most significant tech events.
The entire city gets involved, and thousands of university students volunteer for the good of the city and the ecosystem. The collegiate nature of the Slush experience has reflected how Helsinki has grabbed the opportunities of tech with both hands.
Slush has even seen ex-employees go on to found big startups. For example, food delivery startup Wolt, co-founded by Miki Kuusi, an early C.E.O. of Slush, raised €762 million since 2014 and was acquired by DoorDash on Nov 09, 2021 for $8B. Other big startup companies from Helsinki’s ecosystem include Smartly, ZenRobotics and Blok.
Slush’s ability to attract V.C.s to a Northern European country in the middle of winter was impressive. First, the city rolled out the red carpet. That meant inbound V.C. exploded. Crunchbase lists 57 venture funds of various guises in Helsinki.
Helsinki startup ecosystem has showed great resilience during the pandemic. Venture capital flow into Helsinki-based startups keeps growing and the message is clear – there is quality in the ecosystem.said Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development, City of Helsinki
Startup Genome marks out Helsinki as one of the top global ecosystems. For 2021, it valued the Helsinki startup ecosystem at $6.6 billion, with total early-stage funding of $549 million, a little bit higher than the global average for emerging ecosystems.
For many reasons, startups want to come to Slush and present their solutions to find investments, hire talents and establish face-to-face connections.
Meet European Cybersecurity startups joining at Slush 2021
CAPSLOCK re-skills and trains adults to become cyber security professionals at no up-front costs. Their 4-month online bootcamp costs £0 until a learner lands a job paying over £27k. Then, they pay CAPSLOCK 15% of their income for three years, capped at £18k. Enrolled learners receive professional coaching, and the careers team actively work with employer partners to place graduates into the industry.
The U.K.’s most innovative cyber security startup(voted by TechUK & Government).
CAPSLOCK was founded by Dr Andrea Cullen, Jonathan Slater, and Lorna Armitage. They received £1.04m pre-seed funding from Ufi Voctech Trust, G.C. Angels, and several angel investors whilst the current C.F.O. of VC-backed’ Raisin’ contributes as a N.E.D.
Dr Andrea & Lorna designed & delivered one of the U.K.’s first cyber security masters degrees in 2004 and hold senior cyber security leadership experience. Jonathan is an experienced entrepreneur and worked within the I.T. & cyber staffing industry.
Xiphera’s product portfolio consists of secure and efficient cryptographic Intellectual Property (I.P.) cores, which enable the design of an embedded system meeting the cybersecurity requirements for confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, and non-repudiability.
Xiphera’s design philosophy targets a direct implementation of the cryptographic algorithms in hardware, and therefore the cryptographic I.P. cores have been designed for FPGAs and ASICs as the target technology.
The co-founders of Xiphera, Matti Tommiska and Kimmo Järvinen, first worked together in an academic cryptographic project from 2002 to 2004. They continued to stay in touch for more than a decade. In 2016, they started to seriously discuss the widening gap between the solid theoretical foundation of cryptography and the often poor implementations of cryptography in mission-critical systems. Xiphera was founded in July 2017
DeepSign focuses on an invisible continuous digital fingerprint based on keyboard and mouse interactions. Everyone has a unique way of interacting with these devices. DeepSign technology can analyse this and use it to prove who is using the computer even if the attacker has all passwords and the physical computer.
The client-server architecture is like an anti-virus program that protects against physical attackers.
You can run the test on the website by typing “How unique am I?” in the text field. Then, compare against others and yourself.
The co-founders, Jannis Froese and Nils Vossebein, both studied at the renowned Saarland University and combined knowledge about I.T. security from science and practice. While Jannis Froese focused on machine learning, Nils Vossebein’s speciality is data acquisition, processing and storage.
They are currently supported by two working students who take on programming tasks and marketing content creation. Now, the team is looking for more team members to process customer requests faster.
An app for browsers and smartphones that turns the annoying login process of websites into a magical moment. Instead of typing passwords, you click once, and you’re two-factor protected via your smartphone. With Heylogin team features, you receive complete control for managing which logins your employees can use.
Dominik and Vincent founded the company in 2018. Dominik has a PhD in I.T. Security and experience in I.T. Security consultancy with German government contractors and Enterprise companies. Vincent developed and led end-to-end encryption projects for the German XING business network and others. They built heylogin as a scalable I.T. security product for the B2B market with a team of 5 over the last 1.5 years and are ready to hit the market in 2022.
The LAAVAT solution for IoT security is an A.W.S. cloud-based solution for the controlled and secure execution of cryptographic operations across the IoT device lifecycle.
It supports operations such as key lifecycle management, digital signing, software encryption, management of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) hierarchies, and issuance of x.509 certificates for various use cases.
It is built based on industry-standard security best practices, such as the utilisation of a Hardware Security Module.
The LAAVAT foundation (Kaustabh Debbarman and Lauri Hokkanen) comes from Nokia, Microsoft, and Intel. The founders have built and managed solutions that have secured hundreds of millions of intelligent devices. This gives them a holistic view of the security requirements across the whole IoT device lifecycle.
The team prides itself on having some of the best cryptography and embedded security talents available. Their customers also value the expertise in A.W.S. and Azure cloud technologies and container orchestration platforms such as Kubernetes.
Cybersecurity SaaS platform enables S.M.E.s to achieve basic cyber hygiene and meet the demands of government-grade certifications such as the U.K.’s CyberEssentials, in a simple and accessible manner.
CyberSmart’s application, Active Protect, continuously monitors for vulnerabilities and basic cyber practices, delivers cyber training, ensures policy deployment and management is in place, and then provides all this information in easy to digest format to the central dashboard.
The CyberSmart team is varied and inclusive. Team members are now based in 6 countries of multiple nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, but all with the same mindset and mission: to protect and empower S.M.B.s. Two co-founders: Jamie Akhtar and Mariella Rosa Thanner.
B2B2C platform that bootstraps trust and legitimacy to the Web.
Through a human-centric approach, the solution goes past Domains and padlocks to make it seamlessly obvious if a URL has been authenticated by the company the user intended to interact with or not.
Empowering Brands through Self-Sovereign Identities enables them to take ownership of their digital presence throughout the Web. Thereby displacing cybercriminals’ ability of impersonation as they abuse the agnostic nature of the Web.
Three co-founders: Marco has won a Mozilla Builder Award as well as a Digital Security Innovator Award. Bruno Macedo has extensive experience as a data scientist and as a lecturer on information security and CxO related positions. Top World 50 Fintech Thought Leader & Influencer. Dhruv has extensive expertise in Cybersecurity and DevOps as he scaled infrastructures for Financial Services under the most stringent S.L.A.s.
Open Network Detection and Response (NDR) cybersecurity solution.
It enables customers to deploy and operate a diverse set of security tools, called Instruments, on a single platform. Benefits include improved reaction capability, cost savings and simplified security monitoring architecture. The current portfolio comprises SensorFleet O.E.M., open-source and 3rd party proprietary Instruments.
Security culture company which created methods and tools for building security awareness and culture. At Slush, they promote a new CyberCoach app.
CyberCoach is there 24/7, in the channel’s employees usually use (M.S. Teams, Slack), to train and support everyone with cybersecurity and data privacy.
Cult Security was founded by Maria Bique (C.E.O.), Teemu Turunen (C.S.O.) and Mikko Toivanen (C.T.O.). Together founders have over 50 years of experience combined in the intersection of tech, security and business. Within the current team of 6: – 50% gender diversity – 3 different first languages – 2 nationalities – 6 different degrees/study paths – 6 have work experience outside cyber – People in their 20s, 30s and 40s It’s a start they’re pretty proud of.
The team offers a different range of products & services:
– .protect: Detecting exposure to digital threats
– .secure: Internet access network via an encrypted and decentralised communication system. It is operated on an independent network (+25000 km of optical fibre).
– .radio: Spaces supervision (land, maritime, air, space) & alert to populations (cell broadcast).
Mobile application is focusing on the weak link of cybersecurity – the human factor.
Rona provides awareness content that is timely, relevant, actionable, trustworthy, and tailored for each user based on the role of reducing incidents, business disruption, and loss of revenue, productivity, and reputation. In addition, Rona enables Secure Emergency Communication during incidents by providing a secure channel to end-users.
A diverse team of lifelong learners, tested entrepreneurs, inventors, accomplished experts within their respective fields joined by a passion for information security, privacy, and lucky enough to work together to create solutions helping companies and individuals be safer in the digital world. Two co-founders: Oskari Räisänen and Zeljko Boskovic.
Configured Things are building the operating system for securely shared systems. Although, it is built on a policy principle as configuration and robust audit, the platform can be used to build large scale distributed systems that can be shared with multiple organisations.
This platform enables decentralised control and privacy-preserving data exchanges across connected spaces such as smart cities.
Presently, Smart Cities are limited to little more than IoT data analytics projects and pervasive CCTV.
Patrick was a lead researcher on a comprehensive variety of systems technologies, from soft-state configuration systems, including the successful SmartFrog open source project, to the security and scalability of clouds and non-volatile memory machines.
Simon has been granted several patents in the areas of systems modelling and network security. Simon has previously worked on multidisciplinary projects and produced industry guidance with academia and government.
A cybersecurity human risk management platform (SaaS) quantifies human risk and delivers targeted awareness training based on employees’ security behaviours and attitudes.
Forrester and Gartner recognised for their unique and innovative approach; OutThink is the highest-rated security awareness solution in the January 2021 Gartner Peer Insights report.
OutThink was born from research at the world-renowned Information Security Group (I.S.G.), Royal Holloway, University of London.
Flavius Plesu is the Founder and C.E.O. of OutThink. As a former CISO, he has led complex cyber security transformation programmes across large, global organisations. His passion for security motivated Flavius to challenge the status quo and start OutThink to solve the People challenge.
Predicta Lab 🇫🇷
An Open source intelligent platform to prevent yourself from digital threats and protect your loved ones.
It helps to evaluate your digital footprint and identify your vulnerabilities through Social network supervision, Community & trend analysis, Link identification, Exposure assessment, Investigation, Fact-checking.
C.E.O. and Founder Robert Baptiste is a French Ethical Hacker.
An automated Threat Modeling platform that performs risk analysis and creates a threat model of a software application at the design phase and maintains live it once in production.
The threat model includes recommendations on addressing the risk and specific source code examples on how to implement features securely. IriusRisk then enables the user to manage security risks throughout the rest of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) with best-in-class architectural diagramming and full customisation to allow every stakeholder to collaborate.
Iriusrisk is proud to have as part of their Technical Advisory Board the two best-known thought leaders of the CyberSecurity sector: Dr Gary McGraw and Adam Shostack. In addition, the five investment funds that are part of the Board of Directors are cybersecurity experts, Paladin Capital amongst them.
As C.E.O. of IriusRisk and one of the founders of OWASP, Stephen de Vries, leads a young and highly motivated team spread out across Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. Companys has a 5-star score on Glassdoor.
A deep-tech company provides a new operating system to enable product manufacturers O.E.M.s from all industries to develop future-proof and scalable products.
Gapfruit provides a rock-solid platform containing an inherently secure operating system and security features to develop future-proof and scalable products. In addition, Gapfruit supports several runtime environments to run all existing software solutions.
The founding team developed a military-grade operating system for national governments and security agencies around the world. The team has worked together for over ten years.
CEO and co-founder, Christian Kielmann.
“Retina” platform is the first Industry 4.0 cybersecurity solution for digital manufacturing delivering:
– Automated threat detection for digital and physical systems
– Retina’s security analyst A.I. core automates the analysis of cyber-physical system behaviour.
– Retina understands operational control processes responding to threats automatically based on their impact
– Cost-Efficiency By Design
– Retina upcycles existing data without requiring new infrastructure
Experts from multidisciplinary backgrounds, including technical (security operations, state-of-the-art R&D in AI-driven methods for cybersecurity in cyber-physical systems, software development) and managerial (business leadership, product development).
The company also has the support of an Advisory Board of highly reputable experts. They provide an authoritative input and direction on cybersecurity and operational resilience in the digital manufacturing sector.
Muninn A.I. Detect is a network-monitoring based cyber security technology.
By ingesting data from devices, the computer network, cloud services and more, the Muninn machine learning model builds an understanding of normal behaviour thus enabling the system to detect unknown, unforeseen threats. As a result, Muninn A.I. Prevent can autonomously block threats in real time, saving companies $M in avoided ransomware attacks, amongst others.
Andreas Frederik Wehowsky, Founder & C.E.O., has a background from M.I.T. Several team-member have experience from government defence organisations. Uffe Damtoft Pedersen, CCO, has a proven track record in building, scaling and selling software businesses.
SharkGate provides a solution that does not depend on one solitary party but instead on a network of websites who all share in the evolving of the firewall.
It shifts cyber protection to a situation where an attack on one site enables a global immunity to be immediately developed to protect all sites in the network from similar attacks.
In addition to owners benefiting from an infection-free website, they will also be incentivised by a tokenomics model to contribute value in witnessing attack data to the distributed network.
Founder members have worked for over 20 years with several leading multinational companies to build and deliver the industry’s leading enterprise and cybersecurity systems.
Marc Roberts – Founder of a popular Threat Analysis Website and Scam Detection System that is now used by millions of users,
Tomi Kervinen – 17 years of I.T. project experience. Owned and ran outsource teams providing all of the technical services for Nokia’s global B2B portal and eCommerce systems,
Jonathan Morrissey – Certified Architect and Application Developer with over 20 years of experience working on mission-critical and high throughput large-scale systems.
Tool to discover and test an organisation’s external attack surface. Identify the online exposure and simulate attacks to validate the security of an organisation. Team crowdsources new attack methods from their freelance hackers and implements unknown attack vectors in 15 minutes to identify security issues.
Organisations use Detectify to validate the security status of everything they expose online.
Founded by a group of the world best hackers. Today Detectify is a diverse organisation in a homogenous cyber industry. 45% women, 30+ nationalities and a management team with 5/7 being women.
C.E.O. and co-founder Rickard Carlsson is a tech nerd that went from Applied physics/math to a management consultant at McKinsey to co-found Detectify. Lived and worked in multiple countries, e.g. US, India, Denmark, Belgium etc.
Data protection company specialising in C.P.A. approved encryption by the UK NCSC. The portfolio includes Email Encryption, File Encryption, Secure File Transfer, Secure Workspace & Electronic Document signature.
Available as a complete package or modular, all with central management. Software-based solution deployment is known as fully on-premise, cloud or hybrid.
Every great innovation is born out of a need to solve a problem Galaxkey was taken from the need to create a security platform with the highest level of encryption while offering a simple-to-understand user interface. After exploring multiple models from 2010 to 2014, co-founders Randhir Shinde and Ricky Magalhaes developed Galaxkey’s most secure platform.
This year’s theme is built around the new age of entrepreneurship: the entrepreneurial renaissance.
Slush 2021 will spark a discussion on how entrepreneurship should change.
In practice, the program aims to give founders the tools to tackle the most critical challenges of our time. As a new addition to the program, Slush brings out Builder’s Studio, a concept where people behind startups show how an excellent startup is built over 15 hours.
There is a clear demand for face-to-face interaction in the startup world. It might seem that we are more connected than ever, but the truth is, some things can’t be achieved remotely.says Miika Huttunen, CEO of Slush.
Sharing the highs and lows with peers, getting and giving advice and having serendipitous meetings are essential for every founder’s journey.
Slush creates an environment where these things will happen, under one roof for two days.