I started going to the MWC many years ago thanks to a good friend based in China, in charge of the tablet division of one of the technology companies found at the conference. Thanks to him, I had a free pass every year to see the latest, the launches and futuristic gadgets that were released year after year. The growth of the technology never ceased to amaze me. I was struck the most by the application of innovation to everyday tasks.
Years later I went to the 4YFN as the sales manager for Zapiens, as we were finalists in the 2018 edition.
I went to the 2019-2020 editions for the first time as a co-founder of our startup, wemuse. The first year was more of a scouting mission, as I went to observe and get some ideas. The second year was to close meetings, create synergies with other startups, look for investors, and learn about global trends.
I have been able to go in 2021 thanks to Barcelona Tech City. This year’s edition has been significant, considering that the common feeling was a desire to return to business, to do some networking, and to watch how Barcelona again hums with energy, working perfectly when it comes to organizing events.
The most important thing this year has been being able to open the doors and keep working, continue building through meetings, meet-ups, discovering, and connecting. The format used has been a mix between in-person and online that has allowed for some very relevant presentations. Furthermore, we have grown closer as the two conferences were held at the same location.
Despite the fact that this year’s conference has only included a third of the normal attendees, square meters, and exhibitors, the proximity between the MWC and the 4YFN has allowed more interaction between corporates and startups. Here we have a great practical example of what was discussed in the post on “Corporate collaboration and startups, a definitive win-win”
This year there are five interesting international startups vying for the 4FYN Impact Awards: Shotl (Spain), WeWalk (UK), Yabx (India), Cureety (France), and IIof (Portugal). They make up a meaningful sample of the latest trends in mobility, telemedicine, biomarkers, big data, and AI.
Best of luck to each of them, a lot of networking and we hope that we able to close on the many opportunities that will surely appear during these days of conferences and intense meetings. Long live 4YFN and may Barcelona continue to be an international point of reference for technological events.
An aspect of the 4YFN that cannot be easily seen is the maximum level of collaboration among the “startuppers.” We are in a WhatsApp group with 30 CEOS of Spanish startups, where on a weekly basis we exchange doubts, knowledge, tips, investment rounds, how to make a proper international leap to the US market for the lowest cost possible, etc.
As you know, wemuse was born in order to help retail/fashion companies to make better and more accurate product selections. However, as a feedback tool we can also use it to measure the level of satisfaction and gather interesting metrics to study over the years after a global event like the 4YFN ends.
Our challenge? That in the upcoming editions attendees can evaluate the presentations, the check-in, the express PCR service, the exhibitors, the networking events, and logistics. They may even be able to vote for the startup finalists and allow all the 4YFN attendees to choose the winner.