‘Everywhere, the Immigrant Talent is the Power,’ Says CEO of €1 Million Winner Immigram at Slush

A woman walked to the ticket stand at Messukeskus in Helsinki on Friday, on the last day of Slush.

“I want to buy a ticket,” she said.

“The event is sold out.”

“What? At any other fair I’ve attended, I can just walk in and buy a ticket. Why is yours different? The price doesn’t matter. Just give me a ticket, goddamnit!”

Slush, the annual focal point for European and Asian startups and tech talent, the two-day event that this year attracted 12,000 entrepreneurial minds, where a ticket can cost nearly 1,000 euros, indeed, had sold out already in early November.

Inside, in the dark-lit hall of Messukeskus, safe from the cold breeze in the snowless Pasila district, people wearing T-shirts, colorful blazers or electric-blue suits — all united by the big plastic badges dangling around their necks — swarmed around the area, some ready to hear the next speaker, others looking for the next big deal.

The 102 speakers on the agenda included people such as the Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin (the SDP), who talked about the importance of product development. She said to be proud of the fact that Finland is looking to increase the budget related to research and development.

After descending from the big stage to the sound of polyrhythmic clapping, she returned to the Parliament Building for meetings. Later she told the media that the government would not propose a bill to Parliament where research and product development would have received tax incentives and likely helped small and middle-sized companies to invest funds into developing their products.

Marin said that the proposed bill was not that important in the big picture, and a certain parliamentary group in the government had resisted the initiative. They had also run out of time in the schedule of planned plenary sessions.

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