April 6, 2020 / 1:20 PM / 2 months ago

Finland's Slush cancels November startup event due coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the Slush 2017 startup and technology event in Helsinki, Finland November 30, 2017. Lehtikuva/Vesa Moilanen/via REUTERS

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland’s largest tech event Slush, which was scheduled for November 2020, said on Monday it has decided to cancel the conference due to the spread of the new coronavirus.

Founded in 2008, Slush, which gets its name from the typical Finnish weather late in the year, has grown into the largest startup event in Northern Europe, gathering around 20,000 people to Helsinki in November or December.

“It would have been irresponsible to overlook the possible financial ramifications not only to Slush, but also to our partners, vendors, and visitors, (in the case that we were) forced to cancel the event closer to November,” Slush Chief Executive Miika Huttunen said in a statement.

Slush, which is a meeting place for startup companies and venture capitalists, said it was working on alternative ways to connect startups with investors and to facilitate their collaboration with corporations.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, startups are now facing unprecedented challenges, and help is needed perhaps more than ever,” Huttunen said.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki in Tallinn; Editing by Anne Kauranen and Jan Harvey

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