In her role, Bergius will lead an organisation of 1,600 volunteers and 50 full-time team members.
What is Aino Bergius’ role at Slush?
With a decade-long journey at Slush, starting as a volunteer in 2014, Bergius aims to elevate Slush to the preferred platform for early-stage founders by adapting to the changing requirements of the European tech ecosystem.
Bergius assumes her position amid challenges in the European startup ecosystem. The region grapples with a decline in funding, mirroring a global trend of reduced private tech investment not only in Europe but also in the US and China.
Bergius says, “In tough economic times, Slush becomes more important than ever. We must dynamically respond to the European tech ecosystem’s needs, in order to help founders who are tirelessly building world-changing companies.”
Recognising the economic challenges, attracting increased capital funds for European tech is crucial. In 2024, Slush aims to set a new record with the largest gathering of venture capital in the world, as Helsinki becomes the focal point for an unprecedented number of investors.
“Beyond linking startups with VC investors, adding limited partners into the equations is essential. LPs directly influence venture capital availability – a pivotal bottleneck in the growth journey of startups,” adds Bergius.
From volunteer to CEO
In 2014, Bergius began her Slush journey as a high school volunteer. A decade later, her conviction remains steadfast: entrepreneurship is the fastest way to change the world.
Bergius says, “In today’s world, it’s increasingly possible to build a company with global impact within a timeframe shorter than the length of an average career. As a result, Slush stands as a strong testament to the belief that no dream is too big when it comes to changing the world.”
“People solve the problems they face themselves, so the more diverse group of founders we have, the broader the range of challenges we’ll tackle. It’s our responsibility to drive this change. After all, the tech built today defines what the future looks like.”
Brief about Slush
Slush 2024 will be held from November 20 to 21 at Messukeskus in Helsinki, Finland. The startup event will host over 13,000 attendees, with 5,500 startup entrepreneurs, 3,300 investors, and more.
Aino Bergius, the new CEO, will have support from Elin Dölker, the President overseeing core audiences and people operations.
In 2024, Slush expands its global footprint by backing approximately 20 teams to organise local Slush’D events for startups. These events are slated for various cities worldwide, including Kuala Lumpur, Mandal, Windhoek, Aarhus, Busan, Tunis, Bangalore, Bolzano, Heilbronn, and New Delhi.
Node by Slush is a free year-round online community for startup founders, providing monthly mentoring sessions, office hours with top investors, and one-on-one meetings with leading European VCs.