The 2nd day at SLUSH

I met with Forum’s other columnist Kaj Arnö there today. He was hunting for companies to invest in and I was there to report on the exceptional.

We both saw a lot of people wanting to succeed and wanting to work. WE both agreed that 2 things were striking – people there are well educated (education is the world’s best investment) and they have an over-powering work ethic to be entrepreneurs (the world’s 2nd best investment).

Three companies stood out for me with excellent ideas:

The first is that brings the stuff that you buy on the net to your home setting. The immaterial becomes the material! In other words when you see something you like on the web, you can see what a chair looks in your living room, or if those shoes match your outfit. Their photorealistic 3D models show you exactly what products look like before you buy them. I have longed for such a miracle for my wife who often regrets buying something when it finally arrives home! This is a truly global app which I wish I had 40 years ago when I started my journey of living in 6 countries in 10 different homes.

The second is (located in Fiskars) that make silver jewelry from designs from you, the customer. It is a great idea involving IT skills and above all the skills of a seasoned silversmith. Again, this is a Finnish company with global solutions. Just take a look at this YouTube video on

The third one started out as a French company called Blablacar They started out as a French company but decided to escape the limitations of the French market and go global by acquiring companies in Germany, Spain, Italy and Russia and Ukraine. The last two sound like a big mistake but the opposite is true. Their faster growing market today is Russia. Sharing cars on a global basis is a good way to reduce emissions and travel costs for the driver and the passengers.