A new event at this year’s Slush conference in Helsinki has united nonprofit organisations and technology start-ups for the first time to exchange ideas.
Slush, which aims to help new companies grow by introducing entrepreneurs and investors, took place from 11th-12th November 2015. The event was part of the conference’s new non-profit programme, Slush Impact, which brings together entrepreneurs, nonprofits and social innovators, providing opportunities for NGOs to pitch their case to innovators and gaining insights into how to best solve their development issues.
It was inspired by the recognition that while NGOs and start-ups often have mutual goals, such as the improvement of people’s wellbeing and the creation of social innovations such as customer-oriented health services and user-friendly technical solutions, they lack opportunities to exchange ideas and advice.
"A key reason for participating was the desire to learn new working methods and dynamics. For example, NGOs are usually the first ones to see and meet new societal problems and challenges, while start-ups can teach NGOs how to share ideas and test, and how to pitch," said Sirpa Sulku, training manager at the Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health, SOSTE, which helped organise the event.