Why You Should Visit SLUSH Tokyo

A Nordic phenomenon finds itself at home in Asia

A man is giving a presentation by the big screen in front of a crowd in a hall

If you happened to miss our post about English networking possibilities in Tokyo, let us provide you with a short overview of one of our favorites – SLUSH Tokyo. It is a place where tech startups and investors can meet and find like-minded people for exchange of ideas and cooperation. Held fully in English this yearly event attracts more and more local and international companies. In 2019, about 600 startups and 250 investors are expected to take part in the event, not to mention other 6000 attendees, a couple hundred volunteers, and 300 media representatives.

The very first SLUSH took place in Helsinki in 2008 and had only 300 visitors. Back then nothing could tell that a student-driven tech conference will grow to be a worldwide phenomenon where you could see the former president of the United States Al Gore, serial entrepreneur Taizo Son, the CEO of Rakuten Hiroshi Mikitani, and other prominent politicians and businessmen. Year-by-year the event grew not only in Finland, but also beyond it. Slush events now take place also in China, Singapore, and Japan.

This year SLUSH Tokyo will be held on January 22-23 in Tokyo Big Sight, and there are a lot of things to be excited about. Let us take a closer look at what will be happening in Tokyo very soon.


Several stages, different tracks united by the main topic and industry leaders as speakers are one of the main attractions of the event. This post will not be enough to list all of the speakers. So here are two of them that we a thrilled to hear.

This year Slush Tokyo expects to have on stage Yuki Kanayama, Chief Innovation Officer at ZOZO Technologies Inc. and the author of “The Simplest Way to Hack Growth”. ZOZO Technologies Inc. is a part of the ZOZO Group which currently owns ZOZOTOWN, the largest online shopping platform in Japan. And as if being the biggest in Japan was not enough, not so long ago ZOZOTOWN’s CEO Yasaku Maezawa shook twitter by offering to divide a JPY 100 mln (about USD 920,000) between 100 people who will retweet his post by January 7. So far this is the most retweeted post ever.

One more star guest is Koichiro Yoshida, CEO of CrowdWorks, Japan’s biggest crowdsourcing service. As of October 2018 his company provided services to 12 governmental institutions and 290,000 companies, listing more than 2.24 mln workers. He is the owner of the Workstyle Innovative Award and a director of Japan Association of New Economy led by Hiroshi Mikitani of Rakuten.

In 2019, about 600 startups and 250 investors are expected to take part in the event, not to mention other 6000 attendees, a couple hundred volunteers, and 300 media representatives.

Match-Making Tool

Slush matchmaking tool is a database of startups and investors that allows both parties connect to each other. Using the tool attendees can arrange and book meetings with each other in a special Meeting Area at the venue. According to SLUSH data, these tool helped to create 1,74 working years of meetings in 2017, during which 76% of investors found a startup to invest in.

Side Events

Beside two days of the SLUSH itself, there are numerous side events organized the same week. These include Investors Day, Startup Day, Media Day, Executive Breakfast and many more. Excess to some of those events depends on the type of your pass. Yet, the diversity of entrance possibilities allows attendees to find the best combination of access rights and price.

Today’s “otsumami” – a bite size snack:

SLUSH Tokyo is the place to find inspiration and meet the right people.

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