Greg Bufithis, a writer, digital/telecom attorney and founder of GP Media Studios/The Project Counsel Group has just reported back from attending the annual Slush event in Helsinki last week...
"More than 17,500 people came to Helsinki for the annual Slush event which matches startups with investors. Bigger than almost any other event, the 2300+ startups came from around the world to match-make with 1100+ investors, plus attendees that just want to see the next "new new thing".
Held at the Messukeskus Convention Centre ("cyberpunk gothic-tech" as noted by many) it was wall-to-wall with applications that ranged from AI applied text analytics/text extraction to augmented reality to chat bots to food to robotics. I think after Brexit and Trump it was an affirmation that technology and innovation is thriving in a country that gave birth to Linux (still the most influential operating system in the world) and Nokia. Oh, and Angry Birds. Oh, and Clash of the Clans, too.
"As I have written before, European technology (and more generally, technology outside of the U.S.) has now broken the mould of trying to be the next Silicon Valley and created its own identity and momentum. U.S. companies ... Apple, Cisco, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, etc., etc. ... were here in force because as one attendee told me:
"there are something like 4.8 million professional developers in Europe compared to 4.1 million in the U.S. Given Trump's threats to curtail work visas, we need to be here looking for talent for our research and development centers."
"As I have noted before, in the last two years U.S. companies have opened more new R&D centers in Europe than in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world."
The Slush event is described as a Burning Man meets TED event (with rock music) and is now Europe's leading event for startups and the focal point for the Euro tech scene. The 2017 Slush event is scheduled for November 30 to 1 December 2017.
Another event Greg recommends is the Cannes Lions conference for the advertising and media industries, but which also has a big focus on the impact of technology, the visualization of data, creativity, and how to create a high level of quality storytelling. The next Cannes Lions runs 17 to 24 June 2017
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