Liverpool to host European start-up conference

One of Europe’s foremost start-up conferences – Slush – is to be held in Liverpool for the first time this autumn bringing together founders, investors and policymakers. Tony McDonough reports

The Slush start-up conference comes to Liverpool in September


Liverpool will host one of Europe’s foremost start-up conferences in September bringing together founders, investors and policymakers from across the continent.

Slush was founded by a group of students in Helsinki 15 years ago as a grassroots meetup for early-stage tech founders. It has been called a “celebration of entrepreneurial grit”.

The event has evolved to become Europe’s foremost tech conference, attracting the biggest names in the start-up and investment community. It has won a reputation for insights, production and networking.

Organisers say the Slush model of fostering a tight-knit community of innovators and investors, and tackling the bottlenecks that hinder local start-ups from reaching their full potential has led to “exponential economic gains” for Helsinki.

Building a similar start-up ecosystem in Liverpool will be one of the major themes of the event that takes place on Thursday, September 14, at Content in Stanhope Street in the city’s Baltic Triangle.

Featuring a number of speakers, the not-for-profit event is crafted to stimulate founders as part of an agenda designed to inspire, educate and connect. It will tackle the following themes:

  • How to clear bottlenecks in the Liverpool startup ecosystem.
  • Using the tech sector as a means of regeneration/Levelling Up in the North.
  • Equipping local founders to think globally.
  • Supercharging commercialisation of Deep Tech from our universities.
  • Positioning Liverpool as a globally significant tech city that attracts high-growth startups and digital nomads.

Slush recently began expanding internationally, with events now being delivered across four continents under the brand Slush’d, in cities ranging from Liverpool to Wellington (New Zealand), Delhi (India), and Abu Dhabi (UAE).

Host cities were selected from hundreds of applicants based on their merit as emerging ecosystems – places traditionally overlooked by investors or government policy – but which local communities believe have incredible promise.

Representatives from Slush headquarters in Helsinki will attend the event alongside aspiring local entrepreneurs, domestic and international startups and investors, and large and medium-sized companies.


Jonny Clark
Jonny Clark, co-founder of GDPR Defender and director of Startup Grind
Claire Lewis
Claire Lewis, chief executive of Baltic Ventures in Liverpool


Local tech entrepreneur Jonny Clark, director of Liverpool Slush’d, said: “This is the world’s most exciting start-up event and it’s coming to Liverpool.

“It’s a must-attend event for anyone looking to stay ahead of the curve in the tech industry. You’ll have access to game-changing insights, high-value networking opportunities, and exclusive pitches from some of the hottest startups on the scene.

“Capacity for the event is limited to 300 places so book your place today as tickets will go fast.”

READ MORE: How the city region can ‘level up’ its tech sector

The conference is being delivered with the support of sponsors including Baltic Ventures, KPMG, Gather, and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

First unveiled in March, Baltic Ventures is a tech accelerator backed with £4.1m from Combined Authority. Successful applicants to the first cohort starting this year will receive equity backing of £50,000 and access to expert mentoring.

Claire Lewis, chief executive of Baltic Ventures, said: “The impact that Slush had on Helsinki’s economy has been impressive. Now Liverpool has the opportunity to build something just as powerful.

“We at Baltic Ventures are excited to play our role in shaping the ecosystem through our tech accelerator, which helps game-changing founding teams build the solutions and businesses of tomorrow.”

Click here to book a place at the event.

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