4YFN gathers international entrepreneurs to take a closer look at business creation

  • 4YFN Barcelona 2018 will bring the entrepreneurial sector closer to the latest technologies with specific sessions on blockchain, IoT, tech transfer, corporate venturing and artificial intelligence
  • Cofounders of Holaluz, TravelPerk and Wallapop are some of the “local heroes” who will share their business experiences
  • The Startup Ecosystem Overview published by Mobile World Capital Barcelona confirms that Barcelona became the 5th most popular European digital hub in terms of startups and investment in 2017

Barcelona, 25 January 2018.- 4 Years From Now (4YFN), the leading startup platform in the entrepreneurship and digital innovation field promoted by Mobile World Capital and the GSMA, presented the 5th edition of its most international event today. 4YFN Barcelona 2018, which will take place within the framework of the GSMA Mobile World Congress between 26-28 February, will gather local and international entrepreneurs, startups and professionals working at large corporations in order to create and launch new tech-based businesses.

4YFN Barcelona 2018 expects to attract over 19,000 visitors in an event that will see the participation of 600 investors. Additionally, the exhibition area – the Innovation Market – will welcome more than 600 startups from 145 countries and 12 international delegations from Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

Future trends for entrepreneurs

The event programme also includes a total of 110 hours of content on blockchain, IoT, tech transfer, corporate venturing and artificial intelligence, among other items. These sessions will be chaired by 275 leading international speakers, including Rob Glaser, Chairman & CEO of RealNetworks; Kathrin Buvac, Chief Strategy Officer at Nokia; Andrew Bolwell, Vice President, Chief Disrupter and Global Head at HP Tech Ventures; David Tennenhouse, Chief Research Officer at VMware; Howard Love, Founder & CEO of LoveToKnow; and René Obermann, Managing Director & Partner at Warburg Pincus. The event will host conferences by Nuria Oliver, Director of Data Science Research at Vodafone and Chief Data Scientist at DataPop Alliance; Alfonso Ayuso, Deputy Director and Chief Analytics Officer at Banco Sabadell; Jacinto Roca, Founder & CEO of Rakuten TV. Glòria Molins, founder and CEO of Trip4Real, will also be on stage to show how she has build a project with international impact after coming to 4YFN 2014.

Following an initial 4-year cycle, 4YFN also seeks to bolster local entrepreneurs and startups that have grown with the event and to give them a voice in this 5th edition. With this in mind, three daily sessions will be held in which several “local heroes” – entrepreneurs who have founded and worked on projects linked to the 4YFN platform in Barcelona – will share their experiences in creating and developing digital businesses. Among the participants in these sessions are Carlota Pi, Co -Founder of Holaluz; Javier Suárez, Co-Founder of TravelPerk and Agustín Gómez, Co-Founder of Wallapop.

4YFN Barcelona 2018 will also have more available meeting space in order to generate greater networking opportunities between different members of the ecosystem. During the startup pitches, entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to present their projects to investors, corporations, potential business partners and other visitors. They will also be given the chance to take part in guidance sessions with mentors from several different fields who will give them advice on raising funds, business strategy, marketing and international growth, among other subjects. Participants will also have the chance to achieve the greatest possible diffusion of their projects thanks to a number of “Pitch the Press” sessions, a series of brief interviews with national and international journalists.

The featured programmes that will take place in 4YFN are: the GSMA Women4Tech Programme, an initiative to tackle gender equality and gender diversity in the global tech startup community; the Digital Health & Wellness Summit, in partnership with ECH Alliance, where innovators in digital health will meet end users to understand and discuss the needs and challenges in the health industry; IMPACT Accelerator, the startup accelerator made by top Accelerators, Global Brands and VCs; and Ship2B Social Innovation Challenge, the leading Barcelona-based social innovation accelerator.

In search of the best digital startup

This year, the 4YFN Awards will adapt to highlight one overall winner across all industries. Their original format has been modified to include two semi-finals, to be held in the morning and afternoon on Tuesday 27 February, whereby 10 projects will compete for the best startup award. The 5 most favourable startups will be selected to join the finale on Wednesday 28 February. 4YFN is focused on acknowledging and rewarding the most disruptive talent in the sector, independently of their field expertise, and committed to accompanying and supporting their growth by offering them the chance to take part in 4YFN Barcelona 2019 or a stay at an entrepreneurial community residence in Palo Alto, USA.

Growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem

According to the Startup Ecosystem Overview, an annual report on the entrepreneurial sector published by Mobile World Capital Barcelona and presented today, shows that Barcelona has established itself as the 5th most popular European technology hub in terms of the number of startups – which is in the region of 1,300, or 34% of the total number in Spain – and, for the first time, in terms of investment, at a total of €453 million. Spain also followed this trend, with an overall annual investment increasing from €502 million in 2016 to €779 million in 2017.

Last year also saw Barcelona consolidate its position as Spain’s leading hub, followed by Madrid (31.5%), Valencia (5.5%) and Bilbao (3%). At sector level, the report confirms the increased importance of e-commerce in Barcelona, which now represents 24% compared to just 13.2% in 2015. It also highlights the growth of tourism startups, which have increased from 5.9% to 10% in just one year.

The analysis carried out also identifies the trends that will shape the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Barcelona over the next 5 years. Artificial intelligence is the sector with the greatest potential for growth, followed by genomics, virtual reality, augmented reality and blockchain. More specifically, 34% of the 4YFN community think that Barcelona could become one of the world’s leading centres for artificial intelligence within the next 5 years.


4 Years from Now [4YFN] is the startup business platform of Mobile World Capital Barcelona that enables startups, investors, corporations and public institutions to discover, create and launch new ventures together, strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem that positions Barcelona as a leader in digital entrepreneurship.

Throughout the year, 4YFN offers unique initiatives for the growing global tech startup community including networking activities, workshops, events and Open Innovation Programmes.

The highlight event of 4YFN takes place at the GSMA Mobile World Congress, the largest gathering for the mobile industry.


Mobile World Capital Barcelona

Mobile World Capital Barcelona is an initiative driving the mobile and digital transformation of society while helping improve people’s lives globally.

With support of the public and private sector throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, MWCapital focuses on three areas: the acceleration of innovation through digital-based entrepreneurship, the digital transformation of industries and the empowerment of new generations, professionals and citizens in the use of digital technologies. Collectively, our programmes are positively transforming Education, Industry and the Economy.

MWCapital hosts the Mobile World Congress and delivers 4 Years From Now [4YFN], a business platform for the startup community.



  • Show Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

Launch of the University of Luxembourg Incubator

Last night, the University of Luxembourg officially launched its incubator for startups and innovative projects. A ...


Opening speech by Vice-President Ansip at the Digital Day 2018 Brussels, 10 April 2018 ...