‘4 Years From Now’, the meeting point for start-ups at Mobile World Congress
CNA / Sara Prim
Barcelona (CNA).- One of the sections which is expanding most rapidly at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest mobile industry exhibition which takes place in Barcelona this week, is 4 Years From Now (4YFN). This platform, launched by the Mobile World Capital Barcelona, enables start-ups, investors and corporations to connect and launch new ventures together. Indeed, the 4YFN section’s surface area has been multiplied by 8 since its first edition in 2014, gathering together a record 600 start-ups and 700 investors this year. It is a “great showcase” which has become “a reference point in Europe” for entrepreneurs in the new technologies sector, said Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, during the 4YFN opening this Monday. More than 20,000 are expected to visit the 4YFN, and more than 80 activities and 40 workshops are scheduled throughout the week.
One of the main pieces of news announced during the 4YFN’s opening day was the launching of a digital start-up event in San Francisco. 4YFN’s chairman, Yossi Vardi and Mobile World Capital (MWCapital) CEO, Aleix Valls, proudly announced the platform’s first incursion in the American continent.
Baiget also pointed out the “upwards transformation” of the 4YFN since its first edition in 2014, and emphasised its growing influence within the MWC. In a similar sense, Barcelona’s Mayor Ada Colau, who also attended the opening, assured that 4YFN is “one of the most vibrant sections at the MWC”. Indeed, the fourth edition of 4YFN Barcelona will host more than 100 talks, with over 270 speakers, and will include representatives from more than 200 countries. In line with the start-up growth pattern – which marks a four-year period for the launch, growth, consolidation and maturity of a project – 4YFN has reached this point having established itself as the event of note for digital entrepreneurs and start-ups within the framework of the GSMA Mobile World Congress.
4YFN maintains its distinctive model and structures its programme along 3 central themes: Disrupted by Mobile, The Internet of Things and Digital Media.
150% more Catalan companies
The number of Catalan companies in the 4YFN has more than doubled in comparison to last edition, totalling 24 this year. They are all start-ups, gathered together by ‘Barcelona Activa’, responsible for promoting the economic development of the city, designing and implementing employment policies for citizens, and encouraging the development of a diversified local economy. These companies are 1 and 3 years old and together they registered 1.7 MEUR in aggregate billing in 2016, creating more than 120 jobs.
A third of them are focused on the social impact of new technologies and more than half have already entered the European and Latin-American markets.
According to Baiget, this scenario “proves the entrepreneurial nature” of the Catalan business network “which seeks to improve, invest in new technologies and create an ecosystem which could become a point of reference in Europe”.
4YFN Awards 2017
The fourth edition of the 4YFN Awards will also give recognition to the most innovative digital entrepreneurial talent.
Moreover, 4YFN 2017 will also host Demo Days for Startupbootcamp IoT & Data and NUMA Barcelona, both of which are from the VenturesBcn acceleration programmes, a MWCapital initiative that promotes the creation and growth of start-ups in the digital and mobile industries. Also, the programme will include the following competitions: Global Mobile Challenge, Telefónica Open Future_, KPMG Best British Start-up Competition and Hack_D_Gap Global Challenge, designed to generate innovative solutions, products or services that drive gender diversity and equality in the tech industry.