4YFN Barcelona 2018 introduces the latest technology to the business sector, with specific sessions on blockchain, IoT, tech transfer, corporate venturing and artificial intelligence. The co-founders of Holaluz, TravelPerk and Wallapop are some of the local heroes who will be sharing their business careers at the event, on from 26 to 28 February.
4 Years From Now (4YFN), the leading meeting in the field of business and digital innovation, promoted by Mobile World Capital Barcelona and GSMA, has presented the fifth edition of its international event. 4YFN Barcelona 2018 will be held as part of the GSMA Mobile World Congress from 26 to 28 February, bringing together entrepreneurs, start-ups, home-grown and international professionals from large corporations to delve into the creation and growth processes of digital companies.
The event is expected to attract over 19,000 visitors, with 700 investors taking part. The display zone, the Innovation Market, features over 650 start-ups from more than 145 countries and eleven international delegations from Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and the UK, as well as representatives from the Spanish state.
Future trends for entrepreneurs
The programme includes 110 hours of content on blockchain, IoT, tech transfer, corporate venturing, artificial intelligence and more. The sessions feature 275 internationally relevant speakers such as Rob Glaser, Chairman & CEO of RealNetworks; Maurice Levy, former CEO of Publicis; Kathrin Buvac, Chief Strategy Officer for Nokia; Andrew Bolwell, Chief Disrupter Officer for HP; David Tennenhouse, Chief Research Office for VMware; Howard Love, Founder & CEO of LoveToKnow; Rene Obermann, Managing Director & Partner with Warburg Pincus; and Jacinto Roca, CEO and founder of Rakuten TV. Glòria Molins, founder and CEO of Trip4Real, will also be explaining how she constructed a project with an international impact after being at 4YFN 2014.
Following a cycle of four years, 4YFN also wants this fifth edition to give a voice to local entrepreneurs and start-ups which have grown in line with the event itself. To this end there will be three sessions, one each day, with so-called ‘local heroes’ who have developed their digital projects from Barcelona and are linked to the 4YFN platform all sharing their experiences.
4YFN Barcelona 2018 will have more sections on networking between the different parts of the sector’s ecosystem. Startup Pitches sees entrepreneurs presenting their projects in front of investors, corporations, potential partners and the audience.
Start-ups will also be able to take part in sessions with mentors from different fields, who will give them advice on how to raise funds, company strategy, international marketing and growth. Finally, participants will also have the opportunity to achieve greater promotion of their projects thanks to Pitch the Press, offering brief meetings with journalists from home and abroad.
Parallel activities for this edition include the GSMA programme Women4Tech, which addresses gender equality and diversity in the global technology community; the Digital Health & Wellness Summit, in collaboration with ECH Alliance, where innovation professionals in the field of digital health will meet with end users to understand and discuss the needs and challenges for the health industry; the IMPACT Accelerator programme and the Ship2B Social Innovation Challenge, promoted by Barcelona’s leading social innovation accelerator.
In search of the best digital start-up
The 4YFN Awards are evolving as recognition for the purest entrepreneurial talent. The original format has changed and offers two semi-finals (Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 February), which will lead to a shortlist of ten projects contending for the best start-up at 4YFN Barcelona 2018 in the final on Wednesday 28.
4YFN is backing the best break-out talent in the sector, which goes beyond its own field. The winners will get ongoing support as they grow, and a presence at 4YFN Barcelona 2019 or a resident business stay in Palo Alto (USA).
Growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem
According to Startup Ecosystem Overview, the annual report on the entrepreneurial sector published by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the city is consolidating its role as the fifth most important technology hub in Europe in terms of the volume of start-ups, with nearly 1,300, representing 34% of the total for Spain. This volume is also matched for the first time by the level of investment, standing at 453 million euros at the end of 2017.
This trend is also reflected at a Spanish level, where overall annual investment rose from 502 million euros in 2016 to 779 million in 2017. Barcelona confirmed its position as the most important Spanish hub in 2017, followed by Madrid (31.5%), Valencia (5.5%) and Bilbao (3%). At a sectoral level, the report confirmed the weight that the mobile and e-commerce industries have in the city, between them accounting for 84.9% of investment in Barcelona. This evolution also shows the level of specialisation in the city in these fields.
The analysis shows the trends shaping the development and evolution of Barcelona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem for the next five years. Artificial intelligence strengthens its position as the sector with the most growth potential, followed by genomics, virtual reality, augmented reality and blockchain. Some 34% of the 4YFN community consider that Barcelona can be one of the leading global centres in the field of artificial intelligence in five years.
4 Years From Now (4YFN), promoted by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, is a business platform connecting start-ups, investors, public institutions and large companies. The programme strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem and positions Barcelona at the forefront of digital enterprise.