Though not as widely known as Web Summit or other international tech conferences, the Slush conference manages to draw 20,000 techies to Helsinki even in the cold and dark of late November. Walking the halls, you see all manner of Finnish startups, ranging from a sleep-tracking ring to a hub for virtual travel tours.
Why it matters: It's a testament to how Finland has tried to rebuild its tech sector, an area once dominated by Nokia. After missing out to Apple and Google in the smartphone race, Nokia shed its phone business and went through round after round of layoffs. It's remade itself as a network equipment maker, but only employs 6,000 people in Finland, down from 20,000 at its peak.