With more than 300 startups registered and a forecast for 500 investors, 50% more than in 2015, the third edition of 4 Years From Now has been launched to break all the records. The Mobile World Capital business platform for the growing community of global technology startups will hold its premier event, in collaboration with the GSMA Mobile World Congress, from 22 to 25 February at the Fira de Barcelona’s convention facility on Montjuïc. This year’s edition will see an expansion in surface area, the programme, and networking and pitching activities for entrepreneurs and startups.
4YFN has established a position as an essential event for the identification of talent and the promotion of new business opportunities. Thus, at its third edition the event will focus on maximising interaction between entrepreneurs and key players for the development of their projects as well as investors and media helping to boost the exposure and visibility of all the startups taking part in the event. “Our commitment is based on strengthening relations between the different groups present at the event,” said 4YFN Executive Director Esteban Redolfi at the 4YFN presentation ceremony held in Barcelona on the morning of January 13.
One of the major innovations at this edition will be pitching sessions, with startups and entrepreneurs presenting their projects. The Founders & Investors sessions, meanwhile, will feature two activity formats: the traditional speed dating meetings, and the new Pitching Points, micro stages on which entrepreneurs can present their work to the community. 4YFN 2016 already boasts participation by investment firms like Index Ventures, Sandbox Partners, Maslow Capital Partners, DT Capital Partners, Relay Ventures, FundersClub and Notion Capital, among others. In order to facilitate engagement by investors with startups by sector, in 2016 the 4YFN Investors Club will be launched. The club is a community of investors designed to promote business opportunities in the digital industry.
This year’s edition will also witness the launch of an innovative relationship model for journalists and startups: Pitch the Press. This event will produce meetings according to a format similar to Founders & Investors, at which entrepreneurs will make brief presentations (lasting about 4 minutes) to journalists. Pitch the Press will boast professionals like Mike Butcher, Editor-at-large at TechCrunch; and Robin Wauters, founder and Editor of Tech.eu.
In total, the different pitching and networking sessions will account for more than 30 hours of the event´s programme. In order to further foment interaction between all attendees, the event will also include the 4YFN Social Coin, a token through which participants will be able to relate to each other and create links leading to agreements and new contracts.
Internationally renowned speakers
In addition to speakers confirmed over the course of 2015, like Nicola Mendelsohn, EMEA Vice-president at Facebook; and Renaud Visage, co-founder and CTO at Eventbrite, major names in the industry have been signed for the 4YFN line-up of talks.
Rich Miner, co-founder of Android, Inc. and an investment partner at Google Ventures; Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and co-founder of the free software company that developed the Ubuntu operating system; David Sable, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam; and Jessica Delpirou, Director of Meetic’s Southern Europe Hub. Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of Hyperloop (a project launched by Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors) and Marcus Weldon, CTO of Alcatel-Lucent, are other star speakers scheduled for this edition.
Barcelona, an international entrepreneurship and innovation hub
According to a study carried out by MWCB, one in four tech startups in Spain was created in Barcelona, a city that is attracting entrepreneurs and investors from around the world. 60 percent of these startups operate internationally, a fact indicative of their growth. MWCB CEO Aleix Valls explained: “We have an increasingly mature ecosystem, with the talent and the ability to attract international investment.”