Slush conference is just around the corner with a fantastic lineup of speakers including the world’s leading tech entrepreneurs, investors, thinkers and inventors. Here are seven speakers we are going to follow at the event, and so should you!
Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Neelie Kroes
President of the Republic of Estonia and Former VP of European Commission
One of the most vocal proponents of the European Digital Single Market President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Former VP of European Commission Neelie Kroes will come on the stage of Slush to discuss the European Digital Single Market and how Europe can bring down barrier to unlock digital opportunities. If the EU was a single digital market of 500 million people, it would make it the largest home market in the world and, according to the EU commission, add €415 billion per year to the European economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
The European Single Market plays an important role in what Holvi is today. We are among the first pan-European Payment Institutions enabled by the Payment Services Directive that came into force in 2009. The PSD significantly lowered the barrier to enter the payment services industry and truly opened up the competition to startups like Holvi. The PSD 2, that is currently being processed in the European Parliament, will bring another set of changes to the payment services in Europe. We are true fans of the European Digital Single Market and follow closely how it develops and opens up new digital business opportunities for innovative startups.
CEO & founding partner of Atomico, co-founder of Skype
Niklas Zennström co-founded an international technology investment firm Atomico in 2006 to help entrepreneurs primarily outside Silicon Valley scale their businesses and become global leaders. In his talk, Niklas will argue that it’s never been a better time to be a European entrepreneur. The opportunities available for European entrepreneurs have changed dramatically since 2006, and even more so compared to the early 2000’s when Niklas co-founded Skype. What opportunities are available today to founders coming from Europe and how we can seize them? These questions are relevant both to Holvi and our customers — European entrepreneurs and small businesses. Additionally, the session will incorporate the key findings from a first-of-its-kind report on the state of technology in Europe. That sounds intriguing!
CEO of Blockchain.com
It goes without saying that discussions on the future of payments get us excited. Peter Smith is at the helm of Blockchain.com, one of the few original Bitcoin companies focused on making Bitcoin easy, safe and available to everyone on the planet. The wallet software provider announced its three millionth bitcoin wallet created at the beginning of the year. We sure will be at the Black stage to learn about Blockchain's recent developments and trends in the cryptocurrency space.
Co-Founder & COO of Open Bionics
It's not only fintech that we keep our eyes on. Digital health is definitely one of the biggest themes at Slush with some amazing makers and doers. One new name that you should know is Samantha Payne. In 2014, Samantha co-founded Open Bionics that creates 3D printed, low-cost bionic hands for amputees. This startup is truly revolutionising healthcare by using 3D scanning and 3D printing to dramatically cut the cost of fitting hand amputees with robotic prosthetics. The company makes prosthetics look really cool, too! This year, Open Bionics has won the Best Product Innovation award at CES, the James Dyson award for innovative engineering, and has been named as one of the Top50 most influential robotics companies, alongside Google and Amazon.
Co-Founder of Flickr, Chairman of Etsy
The internet as we know it wouldn't be the same without Caterina Fake. In 2004, she founded Flickr, one of the largest photo hosting and sharing sites and became one of the pioneers of what is now called the Web 2.0. sites, where the community aspect such as social features, open APIs and content prioritisation are the norm. Caterina founded, invested and worked with several successful internet businesses since then, including Hunch, Netscape, Kickstarter and Etsy. The topic of Caterina's keynote at Slush remains a secret, which naturally adds to our excitement to see it.
Virtual Riality Professor of University of Southern California
Have you noticed that this year Slush will feature a dedicated virtual reality track? How cool is that? One of the must-see speakers on the topic is Hao Li, "the VR Professor" from the University of Southern California. In 2013, he's been named one of the world’s top 35 innovator under 35 by MIT Technology review. He has founded Grit, company mixing artificial intelligence, computer vision, and computer graphics. His company pioneers in developing human interaction in virtual reality, for example making natural presence and facial expression part of virtual meetings.
Let us know what speakers you don't want to miss out in the comments!
Photo by Sami Valikangas
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