Slush 2023 Journey Song

Slush 2023 Journey Song

I was in Slush, between 28 November and 1st of December, with Ozlem who has recently joined Light Eagle as a Venture Scout, focusing on sustainability startups and initiatives in food and agriculture industry. 

Before I jump in to our story, I would like to express why we were in Slush in the first place, the intention, the seed, that will help put the story in perspective:

I dream of a future where human as a species have moved away from competing for resources, into collaborating together to create abundance.  The key that will trigger the paradigm shift to achieving this is, each one of us becoming aware of and connecting with our unique inner gifts, our agreement with life when we made the choice to come in to life, and to align our actions with this agreement, respond to life from this place.  Once we begin to create and nurture relationships from the uniqueness of our own truth, there’s no competition, only collaboration.  We grow life.

My intention in stepping into this trip was to connect with the international community of investors, founders and operators and weave towards this dream.  To gather the people.

We did get to ask many brilliant people what is meaningful for them, express what is meaningful for us and explore how we can create collaboration.


Upon arrival on Tuesday evening, we were embraced by the snowy Helsinki.  We had dinner with Ejderha and WeavingRivers who are Council Guides with whom I am training together with, in a nearby place named Nolla which is a zero-waste restaurant.  We enjoyed the local and organic food and connected over our excitement for House of Impact, and called it a night.


DAY 0 - House of Impact 

We started Day-0, before Slush, with a walk to Allas Sea Pool, where the “Investor Sauna & Ice Dipping” Side Event took place.  We joined the loudest Sauna I have ever seen, filled with investors from all over the world, knowing somewhere out there in Helsinki, there’s also a Founder’s Sauna.  This is one of the examples of what makes Slush amazing, putting people with similar interests not just in the same room but also through experiences that put them out of their comfort zone, igniting conversation.  We had the pleasure of meeting with investors from UK and US before it got too hot and the time for ice-dipping came, and when we got back again the whole sauna was shuffled so we went on to meet investors from Australia and Sweden.  The ice dipping itself is quite way to start the day, running barefeet on ice at -1C, dipping in 4C ocean, trying to keep calm (read “not scream”) along the way.  Our bodies and minds expanded we were ready to dive in to the big afternoon.

The House of Impact (HOI), took place in Puistokatu 4, to “bring together diverse impact stakeholders, allowing them to connect, learn, and engage in inspirational conversations that lead to tangible actions and measurable results.”

HOI was held by The Impact Office (TIO) that “exists to help, support & empower families who want to move beyond talk towards action”, and Helsinki Partners, “a city marketing, investment and talent attraction company owned by the City of Helsinki.”

We contributed to HOI through inviting Council Guides from Black Lodge 8 tribe, who are an international circle of people who have come together to study in-depth the Origin Teachings of the Delicate Lodge, to hold sessions that will help us look into “What is needed to ensure that our actions and leadership move in the direction of lasting positive impact for ourselves, our people and the Earth?” 

“Introducing the Wisdom Council” and “Introducing the Dance of Breath” sessions were held in the Transformation Room.  Wisdom Council is an ancient tool that allows access to wisdom of all the voices of our living system by bringing questions, and during this session, how this ancient tool of wisdom can be used in business to create sustainable solutions for the next 7 generations was explored.  This occasion marks the first time this ancient tool was introduced in an international business summit, and is a huge step towards remembering and leveraging our unique gifts as human towards what we would like manifest in this world.

I joined the conversation in the Action Room on “Mission Responsible: Forging a Future of Impactful and Ethical Businesses” and listened to the story of how Diconium team found and executed an innovative way to transform the digital capabilities of Mercedes-Benz.  And later joined the panel in Inspiration Room on “TechForward Impact: Driving Change through Deep Tech Innovations” for an excellent update on the relationship between deep tech and impact.  I was one of the panelists in the last session on “Conscious Leadership & Inner Goals: Leading with Heart: How Consciousness Drives Impact”  together with Emilia Vuorisalmi, Britta Gruening, Leyla Salvadé.   This session proved to be a brilliant way to weave towards the dream together with amazing people.

I had the pleasure of meeting with inspirational thought leaders, curiously exploring what is meaningful for them while receiving questions that invite me to dig deeper into my purpose in the big picture.  It was beautiful to create new and nurture old relationships over banana donuts made from bread waste.

In the evening was a dinner for the speakers from the event, where we gathered with a spirit of celebration.  In addition to diving deeper into conversations fueled by the inspiration from the afternoon’s event, I learned about the Doen Participates Foundation and Fairphone.  Fairphone is smart phone built in a modular way from responsible materials and an open supply chain, so the product is getting more and more fairly sourced while the consumers are able to easily fix or upgrade their phones.  In contrary from the rest of the market where the newest model is the coolest, with Fairphone, having an older version is deemed cooler.  Talking about paradigm shifts huh?:)


We completed the night with an enjoyable and memorable conversation with Britta about Earth Wisdom traditions, bringing pieces from seemingly seperate rivers which upon dancehammering revealed itself to originate from the same source. 


DAY 1 - Slush

On Thursday, we started the “Day 1” with the Opening of Slush at the Founder Stage and enjoyed the awe-inspiring light and sound show.  This is a good moment to remember that Helsinki population is 600.000 and during Slush 20.000 people come for the event, most of them looking for taxi at the same time on Thursday morning.  Being on time for the opening was no small thing.  We basically aimed for a breakfast meeting that was 2 hours before the opening, missed that, but were on time for the opening😊


During opening the first messages starting coming through the Slush app, from dozens of meetings we had set before setting foot on the grounds.  We moved right into the stream of back-to-back 25min meetings.  Here’s a swoop of the amazing new relationships we have built with impact founders on Day 1:


Stream Ocean

Stream Ocean is a Swiss startup, developing a ocean biodiversity monitoring system, thorugh combining high quality underwater cameras with AI driven analysis software.

The system bundled as an SaaS heps companies with activities related to oceans, meet regulatory compliance and sustainability goals.

Oceans account for 17% of greenhouse gas sinks., and there is definitely potential to do a better job in taking care of our oceans.

Founder David Lunsford, is a passionate developer and underlines how much efficiency and capability this innovation is creating in the long term, contributing to our efforts in this direction.

We will be sharing the information of the startup with Turquoise Environment Fund – Turkey (TCEF) and some of their project leaders who might benefit from this technology.



Shipzero is a German startup, collaborating and integrating with shipping and logistics leaders to provide granular data for their customers, so they can take data-driven decisions to reduce their supply chain emissions to net-zero.


With so many Green House Gas Accounting startups moving in a similar space, Shipzero differentiates itself through delivering shipment level calculation in measuring transport emissions, enabling companies to have access to emissions data on each single transport step for further lifecycle analysis and compliant reporting.

“Technical” Co-Founder Mirko Schedlbauer, informed us that they are already integrated to majority of the shipping leaders, and appreciate a dynamic where both shippers and their customers are inviting their counterparties to Shipzero, as Shipzero’s involvement leverages the value for the whole network.

We believe Shipzero’s focus on logistics vertical and focus on scalable technology positions them very well in a growing market that is moving towards consolidation.

We will be monitoring them closely and sharing their information with the Mobility Fund.


Root Sustainability

Root Sustainability, is a Dutch startup, providing software to companies for life cycle assesment, allowing them to evaluate their environmental impacts associated with all stages of their products’ life cycle, including material resources, manufacturing, transportation, product use and end-of-life disposal.

Founder Maud Schijen who is very passionate about pushing the needle forward towards Net-Zero goals, explained to us how Green House Gas Accounting is not enough to make the transition we need  in time and how we need to integrate life cycle assesment to our economics, as soon as possible.

We have taken note of remaining in close contact with Root Sustainability, doing our homework on life cycle assesment and have shared their information with 4ImpactVC.



Glitchers is an award-winning games studio from UK, that collaborates with experts to create meaningful play inspired by ground-breaking science and real world challenges.

Inspirational Founder Maxwell Scott-Slade told us about how Sea Hero Quest was developed in partnership with a number of world-leading dementia scientists, spatial navigation consultants and data security specialists (UCL, Cambridge, UEA, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Deutsche Telekom) and turned into the biggest dementia study ever.  As players make their way through mazes of islands and icebergs, every second of gameplay is translated into scientific data that enables experts to study navigation in extreme detail, helping scientists to understand the first symptoms of dementia and work towards a cure.

Glitchers expanded our perspective about games, and invited us to look deeper into this domain.

We will be sharing their information with Bogazici Ventures.



MycoFarming is a mycoremediation startup, based in Netherlands, 

They are currently producing a product filtering pollutants in animal farming

They have aspirations to grow into industrial applications, which we will be following closely.

Juan Cruz, is a determined founder, with a passion for mycellium, and I believe he has the capacity to build a successful company.

We have shared their deck with 4ImpactVC and Future is Fungi Award.


Munasafn RVK

Munasafn RVK is an Iceland based startup, providing infrastructure for libraries and real estate to offer sharing of items via a self checkout system.

Facilitating access over ownership, Munasafn RVK is providing hardware, software and a social network to enable and empower communities to launch and grow their own ecosystem.

We were especially inspired by the the founder Anna De Matos, a passionate and proud maker, who together with her co-founder have bootstrapped through making the hardware, developing the software, launching 7 locations in Iceland and 7 locations abroad (ie. Canada, US, Europe)

There are 964 new requests in the pipeline and considerable municipal grants on the horizon.  Anna is looking for raising a preseed round to expand the team and grow the supply to meet the demand.

This startup is very much in alignment with our mandate.   The founder is working on a subject that is very personal and meaningful to her.  The model enables communities and empowers them.  The social network provides a good base for peer-to-peer learning among communities.  The model has been validated in Iceland and beyond in very far locations, speaking into the scalability potential.

We believe Munasafn RVK has big potential to contribute to the paradigm shift of how we relate to products, services and each other.

We are interested in joining this community as an investor and a collaborator, and will continue our conversation with the team.



BrewRight is a Dutch startups, with the goal to enable craft breweries who are currently purchasing food grade CO2, to capture in-house CO2 during fermentation and use it for beer bottling.

The technology currently only accessible to mega producers such as Heineken, becomes accessible to smaller breweries in Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, helping them “increase resource efficiency and profits while decrease carbon footprint and improve the taste of beer.”

We came across with this startup while searching for fermantation startups with the intention to explore how fermantation can be used to reduce food waste.  In this regard the focus of the company is not in alignment with our current mandate.

We were quite impressed by the founding team lead by Yoni Mol, and believe that BrewRight adresses a tangible problem, in the right time in the right place.

We have shared their deck with 4ImpactVC and and Angel Investor who is interested in carbon capture in alcoholic beverage manufacturing.


Pattern Project

Pattern Project, is UK based startup, an AI assistant, powered by digital twin for factories — enabling responsive, agile manufacturing for brands

Starting from fashion industry they aim to contribute to ethical, efficient, manufacturing geared towards slashing carbon emissions.

Founder Shruti Grover is a passionate engineer, and a structured thinker, experienced in taking enterprise customers on board.

We have shared their information with Atlas Ventures and will be exploring further collaboration opportunities.


In addition to these awesome meetings, we listened to Rina Onur Şirinoğlu at Builders Stage on “How to Capture and Maintain a Healthy Manage Co-Founder Relationship”, enjoyed lunch with Sanem Tatlıdil Özal and Özlem Tümer Ekefrom Arya Venture Fund exploring how we can build bridges between Turkish and European impact ecosystem.


In the afternoon we moved to city center to join an early dinner hosted by pwc, where we had an opportunity to re-group with the TIO Gang.  I had an opportunity to catch-up with Christian Mueller over the future of Nature-Re where we are co-investors and to dive deeper in to Impact Finance with Benjamin Firmenich.  I had the pleasure of listening to Benjamin on stage in both Building Bridges, Geneva and FBN Global Summit, Paris but it took a 30min 1-on-1, for me to appreciate the depth and beauty of what they have achieved.  Impact Finance is an evergreen impact fund, actively investing in companies in agriculture & food, since 2010, with a strong partner base, constantly improving their risk and impact analysis approach.  I was especially inspired by how they have been appliying their learnings to improve their impact.


The evening moved on to a networking party in a and old movie set, where I had the pleasure of meeting with a Japanese Fund and representatives from University of Helsinki, inquiring into how they manage to spin out so many ventures.  The gang moved on to a Karaoke Chaos by Singa Party.   I gathered my singing voice and dance moves to go on stage, but by the time I was ready, the queue had become so long, I took it as an omen to practice with the boys at home as part of Slush preparations for next year.  We called it a night (relatively) early.



DAY 2 - Side Events

On Friday, we began Day 2 with “The Future of Packaging Workshop” where after listening to a panel discussion moved on to round tables seeking answers to questions around low footprint raw materials, functionality, design for circularity, connected packaging, value chain transparency and consumer behaviour.  We enjoyed working together with investors, founders and researchers to look into the future, seeking for answers.  There are many notes I have taken specifically from this roundtable that I would like to pursue for further personal research.


After this session

I had lunch with Duran Cesur from Atlas Ventures to catch up on our portfolios, evaluating how Cross-Border Adjustment Mechanism will effect industry,

caught the beginning of the "Turkiye: Home to Most Female-Founded Unicorns in Europe" panel,

gathered with the TIO Gang to listen to 90 Day FinnProgram from Helsinki Partners, where we felt super compelled to apply for,

and moved on to a session to look into TIO activities in 2023 and exchanged insights into the future of this valuable network. 


We then took a ride to Hyperion Robotics R&D offices which were 20min away from Helsinki to meet with the Founders and see the robots at play.  Hyperion Robotics provides low-carbon concrete products for infrastructure projectsindustrial grade applications and we are looking into turning this into our first syndicated investment through TIO network.


The journey was completed with celebration at a house party hosted by one of our dear Finnish friends, where we had an opportunity to consolidate what we have learned, meet new founders&investors and dance it off.

And that is always a good way to seal things.

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