The Embassy of Finland and Innovation Fund organized a reception at the Ambassador's residence on 16 November to mark the participation of Serbian startup OrganicNet in Europe's leading startup event Slush 2016 in Helsinki.
The Novi Sad-based OrganicNet was among 13 startups taking part in the local competition for Slush 2016 in September, organized for a second consecutive year by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Innovation Fund from Belgrade. The competition offered local startups the opportunity to present their innovations to local and international mentors and qualify for training and participation in the annual Slush conference in Helsinki. The two other finalists in addition to OrganicNet were SEEZER and CWool Box.
OrganicNet is a knowledge-sharing platform and a marketplace for organic food that connects producers and consumers. It facilitates direct communication between producers – who can create online stores, promote and grow their businesses – and consumers – who can easily find and order products directly from trusted producers – creating a new market and value network, and improving the organic food discovery and delivery. The marketplace is currently available in Serbian and English.
Speeches at the reception were given by Ambassador Pertti Ikonen, Innovation Fund's Interim Managing Director Ivan Rakonjać, Innovation Fund's Project Manager Natalija Sandić , local Slush competition coach Nebojsa Lazić, and Nenad Mladenović, representative of the company Neopix, which won the local competition last year and participated in Slush 2015.
Ambassador Ikonen remarked that "global demand for innovations is growing and so is the Slush Conference. It has outgrown its Finnish origins and turned into a regional, Scandinavian and European event. It is important for Serbia to be part of the European innovative community on its way to the EU. I am glad that, together with the Innovation Fund, we can lend a helping hand in this process."
Slush is an annual startup event organized in Helsinki and a focal point for startups and tech talent to meet with top-tier international investors, executives and media. In just a few years, Slush has grown from 300-person event to one of the leading events of its kind in the world, with over 15,000 attendees and 1 million live stream viewers. Nearly 2,000 startups, 800 venture capitalists, and 700 journalists from over 100 countries come to Slush to drive business. Slush 2016 will take place on 30 November and 1 December.