10 Questions: Andreas Saari
- What constitutes a perfect morning for you?
In chronological order: waking up next to my girlfriend, reading, working out, meditating and having a magnificent breakfast. The sun would shine.
- Which media and/or social media do you follow?
Twitter, Facebook. Rarely Instagram and LinkedIn.
- How did you get involved with Slush?
A friend from the university asked me if I wanted to get involved. That was in my freshman year in 2014. I ended up running a badge claim group, doing super hands-on customer service work. The next year, I was asked to join to run the startup operations. I thought it must have been a mistake, but I took the job.
- Slush has grown into a truly multinational event, with the movement now spreading around the globe. Where do you see Slush in five years’ time?
It’ll be helping more and more entrepreneurs globally and have created multiple new ones. In the process, we should have made the areas we operate in radically more positive towards startups as a means to building the future.
- You are co-founder and first CEO of Wave Ventures, the first student-run venture capital fund in the Nordics. How do you know when you should make an investment?
If the founding team is amazing and there’s a signal that the timing to build something like what the company does is right.
- What comes to mind when you think about Finland’s startup scene?
It’s only getting started. There’s a massive new wave of high-quality companies growing and being founded right now. It’s definitely a vibrant scene, and one of the fastest-growing ones.
- What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
Excellent team, relentless drive to build the company, and meaningful insight about the market you’re entering or creating. Having a superior technology and a brilliant marketing person doesn’t hurt.
- How would you describe yourself in five words?
Curious, easily excited, endlessly driven.
- How do you relax?
By spending time with family and friends, doing all kinds of extreme sports, reading books.
- What are the best tips for someone who would like attend Slush for the first time?
First, figure out who you want to meet at Slush (and do your homework on them), or identify interesting speakers to learn from. Keep your eyes open for serendipitous meetings – there are all kinds of magnificently interesting people present. Lastly, don’t push buying your ticket to the last minute: they ran out quite early last year.
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