“Should have taken a closer look at operations”, the founders’ conference admitted after the Russian startup was awarded a million.
During the world’s largest start-up conference, Slush in Helsinki, as is tradition, there are ball throwing competitions on weekends.
The winner who ran away with one million eurosequivalent to approximately NOK 10 million, is a start-up established in Russia Immigration.
This service helps technologists and entrepreneurs move to the UK. The company says it has customers in 10 countries, including the US, Ukraine, Belarus, India – and Russia.
The jury included investors from Northzone, Accel, General Catalyst, Lightspeed and NEA.
The award has caused a huge stir in the start-up community. Both on social media and in Shifter’s inbox, there has been a lot of criticism of the decision.
The storm has now caused Slush to turn around, and is asking the investor who should be responsible for the prize money to withdraw the award.
“We should have had a closer look at the operations of all participants,” Slush wrote in a Twitter message.
Shortly before Slush’s decision was made public, Immigram themselves wrote on LinkedIn that they were withdrawing from the competition.
Immigram was founded in 2019 by Russians Anastasia Mirolyubova and Mikhail Sharonov, both based in the UK. The company is also registered in the British Isles.
The first posted a message on Sunday LinkedInin which he expressed his support for Ukraine and claimed that he had received death threats after winning a Slush pitch competition.
“Hardcore zombie fan. Incurable internet advocate. Subtly charming problem solver. Freelance twitter ninja.”