The future of blockchain and startup investment strategies are the focus of the first day of 4YFN

  • More than 600 startups and some 600 investors are the prime movers at the 5th edition of 4YFN, which opened its doors today
  • The first day included a panel discussion on the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology
  • Howard Love, Founder & CEO of LoveToKnow and investor in several startups, shared the keys to success covered in his book The Start-up J Curve
  • The first local hero session was held by Carlota Pi, Co-founder of Holaluz


Barcelona, 26 February 2018.- 4YFN (4 Years From Now), the global business platform for the growing community of startups promoted by Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWCapital) opened its fifth edition at the GSMA Mobile World Congress today. The opening ceremony saw the presence of 4YFN chairman Yossi Vardi and Carlos Grau, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona.

From today until Wednesday 28 February, 4YFN will be the centre of the digital entrepreneurial ecosystem, having established itself as one of the leading meeting points for startups in the world. This year, Pavilion 8 at the Fira de Barcelona will welcome 600 startups from more than 45 countries and 12 international delegations from Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Spain, and expects to see the participation of over 600 investors.

The first day has also seen the participation of Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona; José María Lassalle, Secretary of State for the Information Society and the Digital Agenda; José Luis Bonet, President of the Board of Directors at Fira Barcelona; Pau Villòria, General Secretary of Business and Knowledge at the Regional Government of Catalonia; Constantí Serrallonga, CEO of Fira de Barcelona; Gloria Placer, Cabinet Director for the Secretary of State for Telecommunications for the Information Society at the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda; Jordi Puigneró, Secretary of Telecommunications, Cybersecurity and Digital Society at the Regional Government of Catalonia; Lluís Gómez, Commissioner for Economic Promotion, Enterprise and Innovation at Barcelona City Hall; José Manuel Leceta, CEO of RED.ESJulio Linares, a member of the GSMA Board and in representation of Telefónica Spain; Ignacio de Orúe, General Director of People, Communication and Institutional Relations at ORANGE; Therese Jamaa, General Manager of GSMA; Carlos Grau, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona; and Yosi Vardi, Chairman of 4YFN. These distinguished participants have visited the stands of ICEX, ACCIÓ, Barcelona Activa, SORACOM, Banc Sabadell, Telefónica Open Future_, Nestlé, SEAT and Mobile World Capital Barcelona.


A specialised programme

This 4YFN’s first day hosted the panel discussion “State of the crypto, token and blockchain market”, which analysed the current situation of these technological solutions and their future potential. The experts taking part in the session were Brendan Eich, CEO and Co-founder of Brave Software; Julio Faura, Head of R&D and Blockchain at Banco Santander; Richard Muirhead, Founder & Partner of Fabric Ventures; Henok Tekle, Founding Partner at Alphachain; and Carlos Domingo, Founder of Spice VC and Securitize, as moderator.

During the day, Howard Love, Founder & CEO of LoveToKnow, shared his experience and advice on overcoming the biggest challenges to startups. The first session of the so-called “local heroes” – entrepreneurs who have worked on projects linked to the 4YFN platform- was held by Carlota Pi, Co-founder of Holaluz. One of the most important keynote speeches was given by Gloria Molins, Founder and CEO of Trip4Real, in which she shared her story and focused on the early stages of her business project after taking part in the first edition of 4YFN.

One of the novelties at 4YFN Barcelona 2018 is the Talent Corner, a space in which Infojobs connects the best talent to employment opportunities through a digital platform. Along these same lines, Infojobs CEO Dominique Cerri led the session “How to recruit talent if you are a startup”.

Pitching sessions such as “Health, Food, Life Science and Agriculture”, workshops on corporate venturing such as “How to accelerate transformation through platforms and Artificial Intelligence”, and panel discussions on mobility such as “The new mobility: the future of mobility and transportation” have all been a resounding success among visitors.

Upcoming engagements

The GSMA Women4Tech programme, which promotes gender diversity and equality in the global tech industry, stands out in this fifth edition of 4YFN. A panel discussion on diversity will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 27, with the presence of Aline Santos, Executive Vice President for Global Marketing and Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Unilever; Kimberley King, Global Tech & Special Projects at the UN; Salma Abbasi, CEO of eWorld Group; Nimma Bakshi, Managing Director of PwC; and Doreen Bogdan, Chief of Strategic Planning at International Telecommunication Union.

The second day of 4YFN will also host a round table discussion on Tech Transfer with the title “Can it save us from the end of the startup era?” and the two semi-finals of the 4YFN Awards, which will each see 5 startups compete for a place in the final on Wednesday.

The Startup Pitching Sessions will be held over the three days of the event, a space where entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to present their projects to investors, corporations. potential partners and visitors. Startups will also have the chance to achieve the greatest possible diffusion of their projects thanks to Pitch the Press, brief interviews with national and international journalists.


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