Some of the world’s most interesting startups were present at 4YFN (Four Years From Now), a global business platform for the growing community of technology early-stage companies led by Mobile World Capital Barcelona and GSMA during Mobile World Congress (MWC). The event helped startups give visibility to their projects while showing investors that they were a safe bet.
Reaching in its third edition, 4YFN attracted more than 12,500 attendees, including startups, investors and now fewer than 230 speakers. Its Innovation Market also featured some 500 exhibitors inside its larger-than-ever venue, where startups, accelerators and even some big companies could showcase their products and initiatives.
4YFN 2016 was very international: there were teams from host country Spain (120), but also many others. Quite a few were focusing on financial business, connected health, big data and e-commerce, but traditional verticals such as transportation and food were also represented. Beyond this diversity, a conclusion stood out: the internet of things (IoT) is here to stay.
#160 hours of lectures
IoT was indeed one of the three central pillars of 4YFN, alongside Disrupted by Mobile and Digital Media. These themes were the focus of several workshops, through which 4YFN trained 2,500 people, as well as of 160 hours of talks.
Rich Miner, co-founder of Android, Inc. and investment partner at Google Ventures. Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia co-founder and CEO of social network TPO. Israel Ruiz, executive vice president and treasurer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Nicola Mendelsohn, senior vice president EMEA of Facebook. Marcus Weldon, CTO of Nokia, and Niklas Zennstrom, Skype co-founder, and partner and CEO of Atomico were among the featured speakers who took the main stage during those three days.
Winners of the 4YFN Awards in the Disrupted by Mobile, Internet of Things and Digital Media categories were the following three startups:
4YFN also held the finals of the Global Mobile Innovators Tournament, planned jointly with IBM to promote the creation and development of innovative IoT-related solutions. In the last stage of this global competition, Grindbit, a headband that helps monitor the nocturnal movements and pressure jaw and teeth, won in the Smarter Healthcare category. InnerSpace, a mapping and in-building platform generating instant 3D drawings, won in Smart Home & Buildings. Finally, Brainstat Studio, a solution monitoring drivers of all types of transport services, won in Connected Travel & Transportation.
#A key event for innovation and hackathons
Business France chose 4YFN as the host venue for its French Tech Hackathon, focused on IoT. Nine teams worked at full speed for three days to come up with a prototype version of a disruptive connected device, with expert advice from Agorize, Numa, Netatmo and Sigfox. Innovative connected pillbox project Carmen was the winner.
4YFN 2016 also hosted Startupbootcamp’s IoT & Data demo day, which showcased the progress of the 11 startups that took part in its acceleration program. In addition, TelefÃ³nica’s entrepreneurship and investment arm Open Future joined forces with Scytl to present OpenSeneca, an upcoming digital platform aimed at connecting citizens with their representatives to improve democratic participation.
On a final note, we’d like to mention that there were several Platzi students among attending startups, such as as David Stanete, mobile developer at UpClose, and Jesus Lucas, founder of OpenWebinars. It is always a pleasure to meet members of our community!
Keen to learn more from Platzi about 4YFN, MWC and Barcelona’s tech ecosystem? Watch this special edition of PlatziLIVE (in Spanish).