Slush’s startup pitch competition in Helsinki, transformed into a political nightmare

The winners of pitching competitions frequently receive recognition, media coverage, and cheers. All they have to consider after it is over is what to buy with that delicious, sweet prize money.

However, for one startup, things haven’t gone according to plan this year. Due to its ties to the Russian tech industry, Slush 100 startup competition winner Immigram is embroiled in controversy. The company is not only recruiting software professionals to relocate to Moscow but also its founders hold Russian passports.

Many people were left to question why the judging panel picked a business with such close ties to the Russian economic sector. Slush cancelled the prize after receiving pressure.

In a statement, Slush cancelled Immigram’s victory and asked the funds to withdraw their future investments in the firm. However, VCs could still choose to fund Immigram. Investors on the judging panel have not spoken as of the time of writing.

Immigram additionally announced on LinkedIn that the company is withdrawing participation in the Slush competition.

The Russian-born corporation wrote in the article, “We will keep supporting Ukraine and establishing a company for millions of talented people who want to move abroad.

But let’s stand back for a moment.

Immigram is a B2B SaaS platform that enables employers to draw in and keep top international talent by assisting them with the complex paperwork required to enter various job markets. Their clientele has a 10% Russian component. Five prestigious VCs—Accel, General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners, NEA, and Northzone—were chosen by the judges to invest €1 million in them.

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