It may be mostly dark at SLUSH in Helsinki, Finland – where more than 17,000 people plus about 2,500 volunteers from a total of 120 countries congregate for two days – but the event was certainly bright yesterday when Crown Prince Haakon of Norway made an appearance.
Helping to shape the odds in favour of the Norwegian tech scene and presenting Norway in a brilliant light to SLUSH attendees, His Royal Highness spent the whole day at SLUSH hosting several happenings.
Kicking off with a lunch for a select group of invited guests including the #ShapingtheOdds executive team, Crown Prince Haakon praised the efforts of Norwegian entrepreneurs and organizations including Innovation Norway and Nordic Innovation.
Later, he held a fireside chat before thousands of people with Finnish philosopher Pekka Himanen on the topic of dignified life, something that the Crown Prince is clearly passionate about and actively involved in promoting after founding Global Dignity with John Hope Bryant in 2006. Global Dignity has been active in more than 60 countries on six continents and more than one million people have participated in its activities.
Rounding off his official SLUSH duties His Royal Highness, again before thousands of people, opened the Nordic Showcase, where some of the region’s top startups with traction were invited to present their company to the audience.
Crown Prince Haakon praised the efforts of Nordic entrepreneurs for creating and boosting the Nordic startup ecosystem encouraging talented individuals to consider the Nordics – and Norway in particular – as their region of choice for the progression of their careers.
His Royal Highness ended the day with a less official appearance at the #NordicMade after party where he spent time chatting with the Nordic entrepreneurs, asking them about their businesses and the challenges they face, taking onboard the feedback given, ready to take it back home to Norway.
SLUSH works hard to foster the Nordic collaboration. Last year, the Prince of Sweden, Daniel, joined the event when more than 200 Nordic startups were in attendance. This valuable collaboration also extends beyond SLUSH itself and in October Nordic startups and SLUSH rang the Nasdaq opening bell in New York to celebrate the launch of a new €1.5 million Nordic startup fund.
The appearance of Crown Prince Haakon is certainly another Royal seal of approval of the Nordic collaboration and SLUSH and testimony to the efforts of the Norwegian authorities in helping their startups with the Viking invasion of the tech world.
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