Episode 16

Ville Vesterinen - Lessons from a nordic serial entrepreneur - Slush, Grey Area, Swappie - becoming an Atomico angel investor & more

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About this Episode

Ville Vesterinen (@vesterinen) is a serial entrepreneur from Finland. He is one of the original founders of Slush - one of the world’s leading startup & tech conferences, that attracts around 25'000 attendees every year to Helsinki. He also founded Grey Area - a gaming company that was backed by Index Ventures, LVP, Lifeline Ventures.
Ville also serves as the chairman of Swappie, an ambitious young company selling refurbished mobile phones, which just raised $40M in June 2020. He is also on the boards of Maria 01, a 70 000 m² campus for tech companies in the heart of Helsinki as well as on the board of Startup Foundation, the organization that owns various initiatives supporting the Nordic startup ecosystem, among them Slush.

Most recently Ville joined Atomico, one of Europe's leading venture capital investors, as an angel investor to support new aspiring entrepreneurs. Ville also just started his own podcast - The Long Map, where he explores how to live an interesting life.

In this episode, we talk about the origin story of Slush, Grey Area, and Swappie. We cover Ville's learnings from being a serial founder and investor, as well as his tips for other aspiring entrepreneurs in Europe.

Show notes:

  • 02:07 -- Intro - Who is Ville Vesterinen
  • 03:11 -- How Ville became interested in entrepreneurship & tech
  • 04:59 -- Retelling the experience of becoming an entrepreneur in the 2000’s
  • 07:08 -- The origin story of Slush, Europe’s leading tech conference
  • 10:24 -- Ville’s learnings from starting Slush and tips for founding a conference
  • 13:27 -- Major milestones and projects that Ville worked on so far
  • 15:38 -- Location-based games & Shadow Cities
  • 17:57 -- Swappie, refurbishing and selling second hand iPhones
  • 20:04 -- Learnings and advice for future startup founders
  • 24:46 -- Atomico Angel programme and Ville’s investing focus
  • 28:48 -- Ville Vesterinen’s new podcast - The Long Map
  • 30:32 -- Ville Vesterinen’s favorite book
  • 31:38 -- Ville Vesterinen’s best personal investment
  • 33:06 -- Advice to your 25 year old self
  • 34:13 -- What courage means for Ville

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