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Oxford Seed Fund

By Oxford Seed Fund

Slush, Saunas, the Seed Fund, oh my!

Stepping into the Helsinki Expo and Convention Center the morning of November 21st felt like stepping into an alternate universe of tech startups and Venture Capital (VC) firms ready to intermingle at an indoor music festival. The venue had been transformed by neon pink and blue lights, trendy food stalls, and even an indoor garden with two waterfalls — an Instagram-friendly way to welcome people from all around the world to the biggest student-led Venture Capital event today.

The Secret Garden at Slush 2019 in Helsinki, Finland

From November 20–23, the Oxford Seed Fund team took on Slush 2019, a 2-day conference that brings together speakers from the most exciting tech startups, VC firms, and intersecting fields to share their take on the most pressing tech issues and developments.
For the Seed Fund team, attending the conference was an opportunity to learn about the latest trends in the tech industry, a chance to network with larger and more mature funds, and most importantly, it gave us time away from Oxford for some good old team-bonding. After all, is there a better way to get to know your colleagues than spending quality time in Finnish saunas, eating moose hot dogs, or drinking hipster Nordic beer?

The Oxford Seed Fund at Slush

After three days of interesting coffee chats with entrepreneurs and insightful presentations from VC celebs, such as Michael Moritz, the Seed Fund team returned to Saïd, both inspired and ready to start sourcing applications from Oxford-affiliated startups. At Oxford we have a philosophy that you must learn to be omni-present. There are so many interesting things happening at the same time, the FOMO is very real. We faced a similar challenge at Slush, and had to divide and conquer across sessions, workshops, and meetings. Fortunately, Slush has made all the talks publicly available so we’re able to catch up on any of the sessions we did miss.

Tanu Kallio / Slush

If you don’t know where to start, we recommend watching the session on “Investing in Deep Tech: When and How?” You’ll hear from two female venture founders and their investments in mental health innovations and carbon sequestration. “A Moment with an Iconic Venture Capitalist” is another great one to hear practical sourcing tips and first hand stories on recent investment successes like Stripe.

Lastly, if you decide to go to Helsinki next year after listening to these talks, we wholeheartedly recommend the bottomless (food and drinks) brunch at Southpark and hopping into a sauna session at Kuusijärven Jääkarhut.

This post was written by Francheska Loza, a current MBA student at Saïd Business School at Oxford University, and a Director on the Oxford Seed Fund. She is passionate about human rights and the intersection of tech and public service, with special interests in Latin America. This post originally appeared on the Oxford Seed Fund blog, read the original post and more here.

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