Education the big winner to emerge from Slush 2018

Free continued education offered by some of the biggest names in the Finnish startup scene, and launching in 2019.

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Slush 2018 / Credit: Petri Anttila, Slush media

Initiatives to promote computer literacy, coding skills and entrepreneurship are some of the most notable outcomes from this year’s Slush startup/tech conference.

Some 20,000 investors, volunteers, startups and visitors were in Helsinki this week for the two day event which produced some big announcements around the idea of education.

One of the initiatives targets a small, elite group of future CEOs; while the other is a more for-the-people offering.

Slush Academy set to launch

The Slush organisation itself has announced that it’s teaming up with some of the world’s leading universities, growth companies and investors to build what they’re calling a “modern global education programme for entrepreneurship” called Slush Academy.

Some of the partners include Aalto University, UC Berkeley, London Business School, as well as other universities in Asia and Europe.

Slush Academy will start out as a summer program for up to 30 entrepreneurial students from around the world. They’ll get work experience at top companies and mentoring from mentors who have already proven their expertise in the world of business. The whole Academy programme is free.

“I see Slush Academy democratizing this sort of access to knowledge for young minds around the world regardless of their background” says Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, who also acts as one of the Slush Academy mentors.

Slush CEO Andreas Saari says he believes there’s no better way to learn entrepreneurial skills than to work in a high growth company.

“This, coupled with hands-on experience with the most high-quality academic education from top institutes in the world, should lead to a highly potential group of future founders solving the most pressing challenges of our era” says Saari.

Free coding school planned in Helsinki

Two big names on the Finnish tech scene are also doing their part to develop local skills.

Gaming company Supercell and consulting agency Reaktor have announced they’ll open an indepenent, non-profit free coding school called Hive, in late 2019.

The school will be in the city’s Kallio neighbourhood, and based on a French system.

Hive will offer a three year programme do teach people how to be coders, and no previous experience is required to apply for the courses covering UNIX, systems administration, artificial intelligence, and graphics among others. They also plan to partner with companies in Finland to offer internships to students.