Reason enough for us at Porsche to join 25.000 curious minds, including 4.000 startups and 2.000 investors from across the globe. Big-name founders, investors and tech enthusiasts from more than 100 countries visited Helsinki two weeks ago. Entrepreneurs from companies such as Stripe, Slack, Microsoft or Spotify shared their best practices in the darkness. But how did Finland become a nation of entrepreneurs? How could the rise of local gaming giants like Rovio, creator of Angry Birds game, or Supercell, happen in this winter wonderland?

#Slush19 — our main takeways

Back in 2011, in the early days of Slush, Finland was in decline. The once-dominant mobile phone maker Nokia was in freefall, being called a burning platform by its own chief executive and under attack by the rising Apple iPhone. The country was heading towards a decade of lost growth. In this wake of downfall, Finlands students embraced entrepreneurship. What started with 200 people in the first year, became soon the world’s leading startup event. For me atrue lesson of entrepreneurship.

So what did we learn after a couple of days of intense discussions during #Slush19? And more important, how we contribute to support the next generation of entrepreneurs? Here are our four key takeaways including our answer for the future:

1. Have a beginners mind

Being an entrepreneur is a mindset: We are more than 70 years old. It is our destiny to either fade or leave no stone unturned to create our next vision. Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. Transformation requires leaving the comfort zone and explore new perspectives. This the reason, why we created #nextvisions. So we keep this spirit and embrace a beginners mind.

2. Entrepreneurs are the true game changers

Technology is a great slave, but a terrible master: We heard a lot of pitches about blockchainified AI-solutions with a quantum computing enabled autonomous driving revolution — visualized with Mixed Reality…seriously? What truly makes a difference are the entrepreneurs behind these technologies. They change the world. So we look behind the technologies and business models and try to understand, who are the people that enable future success?

Slush conference in Helsinki, 2019, Porsche AG
Porsche at Slush Conference in Helsinki

3. Humanity’s transformation of the ecological landscape is the challenge of the

Different perspectives are crucial: We all tend to stay in our comfort zone and have friends with the same perspectives. But the true journey of discovery is not to seek new landscapes but to have new eyes. I talked to a climate activist to listen to her perspectives and call to action. Sustainability is more than just pure idealism, it’s an obligation for a better future. It is a responsibility that everyone has — no matter who. Different perspectives help to find the best solution to shape a sustainable future.

4. Making dreams come true by working together is the best thing in the world

Lets be unfair: The last years we have seen several thousand startups. Many of them failed. The reasons are manifold: No product market fit, not the right momentum, the wrong team, problems to find funding. We have taken the decision to team up with entrepreneurs to build new ventures. Our company building unit creates ‘formation’ — a new format to engage with founders in an early stage and bring some unfair advantages on the table (learn more and apply here!). Is this a guarantee for success? Not at all. Success is a result of working together to make dreams come true. So it is better to have a family around than just to be alone.


Thanks for having us, Helsinki!

The future belongs to those, who take action — visionaries and entrepreneurs. So what are the key learnings? Have a beginners mind, entrepreneurs are the true game changers, and working together to make dreams come true is the best thing. So we continue to team up with outstanding entrepreneurs to solve the toughest challenges in the mobility space — to save the future.

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