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4YFN expects to draw 20,000 visitors in its fourth year, 60% more than the 2016 edition

4 Years From Now (4YFN), the Mobile World Capital Barcelona global business platform for the growing community of technology startups, expects to receive more than 20,000 visitors in its fourth edition, organised in partnership with GSMA Mobile World Congress (27 February– 1 March 2017). This figure marks a 60% increase on last year and consolidates 4YFN’s role as a meeting point and business hub for international entrepreneurs, startups, investors and large corporations within the framework of the congress.




At the same time, 4YFN Barcelona stands out with its significant increase in international presence at the event this year, which will see an increase in represented countries. This diversity, which is a result of the rise in international startups and investors, is also due to greater participation of international delegations at the event. To date, 4YFN anticipates the presence of La French Tech (France), with 20 startups; Trade Fair UK Pavilion (United Kingdom), with 18 companies and entrepreneurs; and the European Startup Network, which will gather a mix of 40 companies from all over the continent. Moreover, they will be joined by the following delegations: Intel Corporation (Israel), City of Belvenue (USA), Fundación Exportar (Argentina), ProColombia (Colombia), ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka), Vimpelcom (Pakistan), Brilliant Lab (Kuwait), and the Industrial Technology Research Institute (Taiwan). The South Korean delegation will also be present at this fourth edition of the event with 60 representatives, including members of the Smart Venture Institute & the Sejong Center for Creative Economy & Innovation and the Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation. Also noteworthy is the Spanish delegation (Spanish Pavilion), which will gather 32 startups.

4YFN is closing its first 4-year cycle with a thoroughly innovative and global programme. Among the more than 100 planned talks that will be given by more than 270 speakers,  the event will see the participation of Terry von Bibra, Global Manager EMEA at Alibaba; Michael Spiegelman, Director of Product Innovation for Growth & Acquisition at Netflix; Fernando Fanton, CTO of Just Eat, and Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group. Furthermore, renowned investors such as Tim Draper, Founder of the seed investment company Draper Associates, or the Israeli Dov Moran, one of the inventors of the
USB memory stick and actual Managing Partner at Grove Ventures will be present.

More visitors, more networking, more meetings

4YFN Barcelona 2017 opens with new meeting spaces and more options for promoting exchanges and interaction between the participants in the event. Specifically, a matchmaking app aimed at entrepreneurs called 4YFNetwork (available for Android and iOS) will be used for the first time to bring them closer to potential corporate partners and investors.

On the other hand, the Founders & Investors sessions for direct meetings have evolved to create spaces for specialised sector networking. Also with this aim, the Startup Pitching Sessions, a space in which startups - classified by sector and maturity– can present their projects, are being reinforced. In addition to these, the Industry Networking Sessions will be launched. Unlike the pitching sessions, these meetings have been created as a straightforward networking forum that gathers startups, entrepreneurs, investors, corporations and potential clients according to their interests.

Project development: for and by startups

This fourth edition of 4YFN in Barcelona also provides an opportunity to observe the evolution of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and see how startups that have been linked to 4YFN grow and gain relevance in the market. A clear example of this is the case of Pixoneye, the Israeli startup that analyses users’ tastes and behaviour by means of the photographs that they publish online. Since receiving its prize at 4YFN Awards 2016, it has raised £2.4 million in a round of financing. The Japanese startup Soracom also stands out: after just one year in operation, it already has more than 5,000 customers all over the world and has become a gold partner in the current edition of the event.

Along these lines, 4YFN continues to reinforce the innovative role of the entrepreneurial community and will maintain its creative and hacking areas within the event itself, among which, for example, GSMA’s new programme - Women4Tech - stands out. This initiative poses the Hack_D_Gap Global Challenge, a competition designed to create solutions, products or services that boost gender diversity and equality in the tech industry. The event will also host the demodays by NUMA Barcelona and Startupbootcamp IoT&Data, both acceleration programmes by mVenturesBcn, and other parallel programmes promoted by ECH Alliance, Impact Growth, KPMG Best British Mobile Startups, Global Mobile Challenge, Telefónica Open Future_ or the first language technologies Hackathon impulsed by Red.es and SESIAD.

Attraction and creation of qualified talent

According to the Startup Ecosystem Overview report, created by MWCapital, Spain is already the fourth European destination for tech talent and is the second country in the European Union attracting more international entrepreneurs to launch new companies. This evolution has also been possible thanks to a major density of local digital talent, where Spain is ranked in the fifth position in terms of volume of qualified developers. At the investment level, the report highlights that the average investment ticket per startup has tripled in the last 3 years, increasing from 200.000€ in 2014 to 710.000€ in 2016. This evolution shows a major grade of maturity in the sector, that maintains a global investment of over half billion euros (502M€ in 2016). In the case of Barcelona, the city is the 5th European technological hub, behind London, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam. This consideration has made it the leader on startup’s investment in Spain, which also lets the city attract the 56% of the total inputs. Moreover, the city produces 48,2% of all deals (mergers, acquisitions, etc.) in Spain.

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