During the weeklong Congress, Barcelona is subjected to a strong financial impact and we realized in the past years that it did emerge entrepreneurial activity, acceleration programs, corporate ventures and startups with Mobile solutions that were visiting the city and being able to take full advantage of the fact that the whole Mobile industry is concentrated here.
Being faced with such a massive event as the Congress, it was unlikely that this entrepreneurial activity would go ahead in an organized manner, therefore we decided to build and design an experience targeted to this audience.
Hence 4 Years From Now was born, an event featuring conferences, workshops, rounds of investment and dynamic networking aimed specifically at the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
5. Why did you named it 4Years From Now?
4YFN wants to explore how the world will be within four years, based on the transformation of mobile technologies. We wanted to reflect on this, but also in the entrepreneurial world, 4 years is the time that takes for a start-up to gain its maturity.
6. What's the vision of the event and the highlights of the program?
4YFN comes as a response to the importance which MWCB assigns to programs dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation as essential assets to transform industry.
The event's aim is, in short, to be a real forum for entrepreneurs under the claim "A connected World" which includes topics such as Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, user experience, augmented reality or creativity.
Thus 4YFN is presented as the first European event to incorporate Beacon technology as a user experience. 4YFN will incorporate 20 Beacon points in their facilities for the user to interact with the stages and different activities.
The event will offer lectures and round tables at which entrepreneurs from around the world will share their experiences and knowledge with attendees.
Of special note is the participation of Jan Koum (WhatsApp), Martin Varsavsky (Fon), Di-Ann Eisnor (Waze), Pepe Agell (Chartboost), Michael Näf (Doodle), Massimo Banzi (Arduino), Pablo Villalba (Teambox), Anand Chandrasekher (Qualcomm), Nathan Blecharczyk (Airbnb) and of the investors and entrepreneurs Morten Lund and Yossi Vardi.
4YFN will also host the first international mobile entrepreneurship competition (The Mobile Startup Competition), and will also allow entrepreneurs to connect with up to 50 venture capital groups, accelerators and private investors and to meet with mentors and experts to help them develop their ideas or projects.
As featured program, 4YFN will be the platform where the hack train, Imagine Express will take off to the 4-day trip.
It is a program aimed to generate businesses in the Mobile sector, which takes place during a 4-day trip by train to and from Barcelona-Paris-London. This event, will take place during the Mobile World Congress 2014 (24-27 of February).
The participants (12 creative minds, 12 software engineers and 12 MBA students), who will not meet each other in advance, will have the challenge to form groups of 3 with the goal of generating apps for one of the 4 strategic sectors selected.
The ideas will be presented to investors through an Elevator" Pitch on the London Eye (5 min per team). The best team in each sector will receive funding and mentorship to carry out their project successfully.
During the trip back to Barcelona, the winning projects will be set up as a company. Once in Barcelona, the entrepreneurs will present in the Mobile World Congress and will be installed in incubators of this city.
7. Why should an entrepreneur choose Barcelona as a city to start his business?
Barcelona has potential to be a great city to start a business. The city attracts a lot of talent, it is a place likeable for its quality of life, there is good talent, it's international, there's an entrepreneurial attitude.
Indeed, we have to work to improve the critical mass and acceleration structure, because once a startup is created, it might be decided to base its expansion somewhere else. For this reason, we want to support the business growth of these startups.
8. Within the European startups ecosystem, in which ranking can we find Barcelona?
At the moment, London takes the lead in Europe. The British capital is a financial centre that provides to entrepreneurs a financial structure, and moreover there is regulation that encourages investment such as the stock options.
London is followed by Berlin and Helsinki, and Barcelona is now in the fourth position, but we have the right conditions to become second in this ranking.