SLUSH appoints Eerika Savolainen as new CEO

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The former COO of Slush, Savolainen will succeed Miika Huttunen after him being in charge of Slush for two years.

Mikko Mäntylä continues as President of the company, leading Slush’s content, core audiences, and digital products.

Eerika Savolainen Slush CEO
Eerika Savolainen Slush CEO

Eerika Savolainen

  • Slush Volunteer in 2014 and 2015
  • Strategic Partnerships Manager in 2019, Head of Program and Head of Node by Slush in 2020, Chief Operating Officer in 2021
  • Bachelor of Science (Economics and Business Administration), Aalto University

I first visited Slush in 2014, when I volunteered as a bright-eyed first-year university student in the construction team. The people of Slush left an indelible impression on me, which pulled me back to work as a full-time member of the Slush Partnerships team in 2019.

Eerika reconts

In 2020, she led Slush’s response to the pandemic and the online platform Node by Slush. In 2021, she was appointed as Chief Operating Officer.

Eerika Savolainen at Slush 2021
Eerika Savolainen at Slush 2021

Savolainen is in charge of the main event held from November 17th to 18th in Helsinki.

During my years in different roles, it’s become clear that Slush equals the people around us. The Slush community is the invisible help connecting us to the right people, giving advice when we ask for it, and firing up the city of Helsinki with parties during the event week.

The people of Slush are something that makes this organization unique.

The most recent Slush event in December 2021 was a gathering of 8,800 people, with over half of the audience belonging to Slush’s core customer groups: startup founders operators, and investors. Slush 2021 is said to be the most customer-focused Slush event of the past decade, which made the team rethink its fundamentals and what the future of a world-class event will look like.

It is now clear that a smaller and even more curated event works. In the 2010s Slush focused on expansion and created a base for us to build on.

Now, we see the 2020s as an era of concentration – we focus on serving our core audiences in the best way possible.

We focus on bringing together Europe’s most promising startups and the world’s most prestigious investors.

says Savolainen

Slush was established in 2008 to bridge the gap between European startup founders and investors. Today, this is less often the key bottleneck that founders encounter.

As the ecosystem evolves, the challenges have moved into the later stages of a company’s life cycle. We can help by curating the best advice around themes like recruitment, international expansion, or product strategy.

At the same time, the European startup ecosystem has created a number of success stories on an international scale. Savolainen mentions that she is excited about the effects these companies will have in the future.

For example, the Wolt acquisition will create dozens of new Finns in the next few years with existing networks, know-how, and capital to set up businesses.

Moreover, these second-generation founders are able to tackle even bigger problems – we are seeing an increasing number of companies working on climate and health tech, for example.

Slush is working to accelerate this transformation.