Mobile World Congress and 4YFN 2018


5 March, 2018


4YFN, Conferences, Events, Mobile World Congress, Tech Events

The fastest growing tech event in Europe is the physical representation of why we think that European tech is about to explode. 4 Years From Now (4YFN) is the start-up spin-off of the almighty Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry and the global hub for showcasing the latest innovative tech products and services. One of our favourite weeks of the year, we’ve been based at these two major conferences once again over the past few days, and without doubt they didn’t disappoint.

European corporates are embracing new relationships with start-ups, reflected in the success of these two major events flourishing in coexistence. And we saw this in a microcosm at our stand as we saw start-up after start-up looking to grow and multiple corporates looking for the key as to how they can adopt new technologies – the affirmation of why the work we’re doing at OneRagtime to connect the two worlds is so important.

OneRagtime 4yfn stand mwc team startups OneRagtime 4yfn stand mwc team startups

And it was exactly this topic that Stéphanie spoke about with onoff’s CEO and Founder Taig Khris on the main Banco Sabadell stage during 4YFN. Stéphanie highlighted the risk faced by traditional telecom operators by disruptive, internet-based technologies like onoff, but also how they can use this threat to spur them to further growth. You can read the report that formed this presentation in full here, featuring key lessons we can apply across all sectors.

In a world where connections are key, we were also incredibly proud to be partnered with #TECHICONS, the brainchild of Brian Hardman, its founder, Scott Mackin, CEO of Barcinno, Ben Nachoom, CEO of OneCoWork and Svetlana Velikanova, Founder of Harbour.Space University. #TECHICONS by day saw a morning of start-up pitches, a presentation by Stéphanie and meaningful networking between an exclusive gathering of key figures from Europe’s tech scene – start-ups, investors, corporates and influencers. The top quality start-ups included our portfolio company Gestoos, presented by Founder and CEO Germán León who explained their innovative technology to the audience. You can find out more about Gestoos here!

Then, as the sun set over Barcelona’s iconic marina, we came together again for #TECHICONS by night, a chance to celebrate European tech over a cocktail dinner with experiential tech demos from the likes of charterdart and our friends at Inflight VR. It was without a doubt the party of the week.

TECHICONS mwc 4yfn oneragtimeTECHICONS mwc 4yfn oneragtime

And that’s the beauty of Mobile World Congress and 4YFN, Barcelona shows its full colours as one of Europe’s most exciting and vibrant hubs not just by day at the conferences, but by night too as the city really comes alive. We were also privileged to attend 4YFN’s Chairman’s Reception and opening address, La French Tech’s breakfast at Camp Nou with Mounir Mahjoubi and Barcelona Tech City’s Winter Party at Pier01 to name a few. Who needs sleep?!

Mounir Mahjoubi French Tech mwc 4yfn oneragtimeMounir Mahjoubi French Tech mwc 4yfn oneragtime

The success of 4YFN during Mobile World Congress reflects the hunger of dominant corporates for the fresh innovation of start-ups, and the enthusiasm and belief in its potential. As the interconnectivity between start-ups, investors and corporates really is the lifeblood of the start-up world, it was a privilege to be able to spend such a productive week meeting with friends, new faces, and key figures in the European and global tech ecosystem.


oneragtime oneragteam 4yfn techicons mobile world congress

The growth of 4YFN

2014 – 2,300 attendees
2015 – 8,000 attendees
2016 – 12,500 attendees
2017 – 19,000 attendees
2018 – 20,359 attendees

Start-ups that caught our eye?

Psious – virtual reality treatments for therapists and patients
IOMED – structured and analysable data from medical text in real time, featured in the 4yfn awards
Saveboost – the digital piggy pank to help you start saving and investing automatically
LICENS3D – blockchain platform that hinders unauthorized distribution, proves ownership and protects unrestricted reproduction from 3D files – AI-based virtual personal assistant technology with predictive capabilities
viisights – video intelligence platform for security and surveillance

Key trends:

Artificial Intelligence – surely the buzzword of 2018
Blockchain – really rising to the foreground
Pushing for more women in tech – diversity is key!


Nichola Finch