Just when I thought the weight of reality was going to hit me- Slush brought back all the hopes of entrepreneurial spirit in me and the people around me.
For the first after a few months stay, I have finally met an ecosystem of people whom really care about their work, their impact on others and certainly walk the talk. My perception of entrepreneurship had been a double edge sword until today.
Like-minded enthusiasts, startups, businesses, academia came together to exhibition, share and explore each other’s work.
Disappoint I was not, much rather the opposite. I had the chance to understand that there is a population of entrepreneurs, be it the minority St the heart of Tokyo. Held over two days, Slush is like the catwalk of up and coming lead designers and you truly never the know- the likes of the next SpaceX or Uber could be doing their pitch in front of you.
Am impression number of startups entered this year and after extensive challenges 4 finalists survived it to the end. From medicine to IoT to drones to workplace initiatives for women.
As much as there are investors as businesses as in startups, many speakers on the stage would emphasis empathy, connection and community.
‘Treat everyone well’, said one business expertise, regardless of whether they are the next investor, customer or not, the reason is because we live in community and for us to all succeed we need each other.
Not only was I impressed by the large numbers or volunteers but also by the quality of startups at Slush Tokyo, some with such ingenious ideas, you got to really think how did they think of it.
Our space operations panel with Takahiro Nakamura of Ispace and Kaz Ishigame of Infostellar breathed a new light possibly to our audience entrepreneurs. They presented informative and useful tips for startups on funding, operations and not giving up.
In many ways it was spoken from the heart. Topics like failure and courage were explored and I think this is the biggest differences between traditional events or conferences. At entrepreneurial startups like these, people are fearless in expressing their emotions, sharing their story, knowing full well, that is vulnerable. Yet equally, there is a knowing that there are probably s few entrepreneurs that have experienced such similar experiences.
For instance one investor said, ‘The more money you lose, the more you understand investing.’. Her point was about how successful investors all gain through experience. Whilst no one in their right mind would bet to lose, or do a start up to fail, there is wisdom in this quote. If we fail on the way, there are some lessons to be learnt. Lessons you cannot get simply by gaining an MBA or PhD.
During the finalist pitches, a Judge asked, who’s going sell in your startup? Having a PhD may not do the job, learning or getting someone on your team may well.
Obviously, we all have to start somewhere and points like these reminds us that we truly can’t do it alone and those that think that way may come to realise the truth at their own peril.
One of the highlights of Slush Tokyo was the show case of latest tech and their Lazer light show. The artwork that was dotted around the hall was not left unnoticed infact it was a beautiful addition to the experience. Comfy sofas and swings as meeting points, I think Slush Tokyo was well organised and certainly prepared.
Would I come back next year? Absolutely and also with a healthy dose of optimism for partnerships. What Slush Tokyo has done is forged a bond with local and international entrepreneurs. You can see it being built year on year and perhaps more importantly see how people are growing be it personally or their startup.
For the most part, the Entrepeneurs that come are dreamers and I think from time to time we need to indulge in this world to realise things can be done differently, realities can be changed and hopefully to a better one.
#SlushTokyo #Newspace2060 #EUJapanCentre