“Startups are built on trust.” This is the conclusion reached by one of the leading representatives of Israel’s entrepreneurial community, Yossi Vardi, after more than 46 years as an investor.
On 26 January 2015, on the occasion of the official launch of the second edition of 4 Years From Now (4YFN), Yossi Vardi and Robin Wauters, co-founder of the technological publication Tech.eu, had an informal chat about the new socioeconomic model that has favored the flourishing of events related to digital technology.
Now it is no longer small companies that pursue large corporations, but rather the latter that seek out startups. Years ago, when somebody had an idea, he was totally beholden to the company he worked for. He had to fight through 5 or 6 levels of hierarchy until he was able to present his project to anyone who could make it happen – and then wait for up to 6 months for it to get up and running. Today, on the other hand, and particularly since the advent of the Internet, anyone can develop his idea and, in just two weeks, turn it into something practical. The Internet has provided visibility to creative talents, people who, with their innovative ideas, “manage to keep you young and fresh”, says Vardi.
Events like 4YFN have evidenced a change in business dynamics: with regards to innovation, the model has been turned upside down. There is suddenly a place where the executives of major companies can go in search of disruptive solutions; one which, instead of being located on the outskirts of just any city, is right in the heart of Barcelona, one that has managed to transmit an innovative lifestyle at the European level.
During the chat Yossi Vardi mentioned that Europe lags 7 years behind the United States when it comes to entrepreneurship. Nevertheless, cities like London, Berlin and Barcelona, promoters of an eclectic and cosmopolitan lifestyle, are closer and closer to matching the American model, with Silicon Valley leading the way. Governments, big corporations and communities must form alliances to spur these cities to adopt the right attitude. This is why it is so important to locate the event dedicated to mobile entrepreneurship right in the city center: 4YFN builds on its role as the perfect complement to the GSMA Mobile World Congress. Yossi Vardi underscored that it is precisely the symbiosis between large and small companies that has bolstered the innovation scene in Israel. Thus, it is no wonder that the big corporations at GSMA Mobile World Congress are just a step away from the 4YFN startups, as both classes of companies can benefit from a business model that has only just begun to take off.
Finally, Robin Wauters posed to the sage Vardi the question that every startup in the world inevitably asks itself: What does a startup have to do to get investors to pay attention to it? Yossi Vardi summarized his knowledge in just a few words, born of almost 5 decades of experience: talent, honesty and humility.
“Ideas are overrated,” says Vardi. Several people can have exactly the same idea, but only those with talent will be able to successfully develop it. The same thing happens with honesty and humility. Bad people poison the working atmosphere. As one of the characteristics of a startup is that it is not weighed down by the bureaucratic burdens typical of large companies, what better than facing new challenges with patience and a positive attitude? Finally, there is the issue of money: a startup that begins in debt will never have enough revenue to ultimately stop paying off debts and begin to post profits.
175 startups from more than 15 countries will come together from 2-5 March at 4 Years From Now, which in 2015 is slated to feature more space, more content, and participation by leading figures in the mobile entrepreneurship sector.
4Years From Now
4 Years From Now (4YFN) is the international mobile startup event promoted by Mobile World Capital Barcelona and GSMA Mobile World Congress.
Over the course of four days, 2-5 March 2015, this second edition will be held in Barcelona as part of the Mobile World Congress.
4YFN is a business and networking platform showcasing new entrepreneurial initiatives in the mobile sector. The event provides real hands on experience, a wide programme of conferences, workshops, pitches and expert meetings designed specifically for the mobile entrepreneurial environment.
A place where the best mobile industry leaders, successful entrepreneurs and digital experts along with renowned accelerators, incubators and investors help entrepreneurs get to the next level.
Mobile World Capital Barcelona
Mobile World Capital presents a global vision aimed at expanding the use of mobile technologies that transform our lives. It is committed to spreading the mobile experience throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with strong support of the public and private sector.
Mobile World Capital is leading the mobile transformation with programme commitments in:
Entrepreneurship and Innovation programmes: Foster and promote local mobile initiatives through a network of local and international agents.
mSchools, mHealth: Embrace mobile technology as an opportunity for change.
Smart Living: Support the development of mobile services for Commerce, Tourism, Transport and Mobile Identity.