Mar 20, 2017 Ahmed Juhany
As a volunteer herself, Yurika Tanikawa is leading the whole organisation of 500 Slush volunteers for this year’s event in Tokyo. Yurika first got involved with Slush back in 2015, after hearing about its expansion into Tokyo from her Finnish friend. The inspiring people she’s met since then have motivated her to adopt a new approach in life: “In Japan, and most other Asian countries, there are expectations that we’re all supposed to follow. Whether it’s academic or career-related, there’s a clearly established road for us. At Slush, I learned that it’s okay to follow my own path, that I’m part of a new generation that can create its own journey.”
In addition, Yurika tells us that engaging with Slush has given her insights into the various technology trends taking place, and has introduced her to a number of aspiring entrepreneurs. Having the intention to work at a startup after graduation, she explains that Slush is providing the platform for that: “It’s a great way to explore the startup world. There you can meet both the prominent figures who are speaking on stage and the passionate people working at exciting startups.”
As a volunteer, you’re able to leave your mark at Slush. For example, earlier this month, over a hundred people gathered together to build the visual elements of the event. The turnover drove one of the volunteers, Megan Gruspe, to organise a walking tour, followed by a picnic for volunteers to meet and bond over snacks and drinks. “It was really fun getting to know different people from all around the world and learning how they got involved with Slush,” she mentions. “I’m really glad that a lot of people came!”
Volunteers are not only enabling Slush as an event. “Slush Tokyo is built through the hard work of these volunteers, but they’re doing much more than that. They’re raising the next generation of world-conquering entrepreneurs,” explains Slush Tokyo CEO, Antti Sonninen. He reminds us that these exhilarated youngsters are looking to change Japan’s culture and restructure the business environment to their own liking.
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