If the Mobile World Congress is the place to be for big brands, where they showcase their gadgets and technologies, 4YFN is a different event. Here young entrepreneurs come to present their ideas, their startups, to network, to find investors or partner among each other.
Four Years from Now, or 4YFN as it is known to those familiar with it, is a startup business platform of the GSMA trade group and Mobile World Capital Barcelona, which put 650 startups in touch with 700 investors.
Esteban Redolfi, the director of 4YFN, says the energy the event creates is ideal for dynamic entrepreneurs. "Two startups came last year with different products," he says "One was expert in health, another one an expert in technology, big data technology analysis. They met together, now they are together with the third startup that they have jointly created. So this kind of buzz that you feel in every aisle of 4YFN is what creates businesses."
There was much of this ‘buzz’ in evidence at the ‘Pitch the Press’ event, essentially a kind of speed-dating service matchmaking startups and the media, where entrepreneurs have two minutes each to present themselves.
Pepe Angel, VP of Corporate Strategy at Chartboost, had some handy tips for starter-uppers.
"You’ve got to think global from the very beginning," says Pepe. "No matter where you are, where your startup is actually born, you need to thing global, speak English even if you are in Spain in Russia, wherever you are. And don't think about just local markets. Startups that have success are the ones that solved global needs."
This year 4YFN welcomed 19,000 visitors. On the last day attendees get access to the Mobile World Congress. And who knows, maybe some of this year’s startups will turn into an industry leader in four yearns from now or even earlier.