At this year’s edition of 4 Years From Now (4YFN), MWC’s sister event focused on startups, innovation and investors, the 4YFN Awards 2016 will recognise innovative startups from around the world.

There are three award categories that centre on different themes – Disrupted by Mobile (February 22), the Internet of Things (February 23), and Digital Media (February 24).

Nearly 600 startups applied for the contest from 52 countries, with cities like Barcelona, Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris and Tel Aviv being the most represented, as well as startups from the US.

Twenty-four startups, eight per category, were selected for the final contest by a panel of experts with experience in startups, innovation, entrepreneurship, and finance, along with Jon Bradford, co-founder of f6s and, who is the awards’ MC. We should also note that is again a proud media partner for 4YFN this year.

Previous years’ winners of the 4YFN Awards have gone on to do great things, like Photomath, a learning app for math equations that was launched late last year and was downloaded two million times within the first 24 hours.

This year’s entrants and finalists come from a wide assortment of industries. Advertising and communications startups were the most popular in this 2016 edition, but 4YFN also saw a great deal of interest from startups in finance, health, ICT, and telecommunications.

Here are this year’s finalists.

Disrupted by mobile

The first award, Disrupted by Mobile, recognises companies that are developing and creating innovative mobile technologies for traditional industries and businesses.

  • Agroptima: this Spanish startup has developed a data analysis platform for agriculture.
  • Authenteq: service for verifying people’s identities in online marketplaces.
  • Fruit Bull: app aimed at the fruit and vegetable business for real time reporting of retail prices.
  • Jack 45: a messaging app where the sender controls when the message can be read.
  • Numbercom: an OTT platform that connects users through their phone numbers with offers of free telecommunications services.
  • OffLA: an Israeli startup developing payment fraud detection systems.
  • Thingthing: a new virtual keyboard developed by the Spanish startup that allows users to work with emails and attachments while still chatting with contacts.
  • What3Words: platform for location-pinpointing that has built a global grid of 57 trillion 3mx3m squares.

Internet of Things

The second award takes place on February 23 and revolves around the ever-growing connected world of the Internet of Things (IoT).

  • 3.14: South Korean startup that combines paper and electronic hardware for kids to make their own interactive toys.
  • Braingaze: which develops eye and mind tracking technologies to help the medical profession in diagnosing disorders.
  • Cleen Been: this Portuguese company is tackling the spread of MRSA infections in hospitals through software that monitors wearables and other hardware among staff.
  • Comfy Light: a smart light bulb for the home that “learns” your daily patterns and turns on and off the light in response.
  • Hi-Park: a platform to find real time info on free parking space along your driving route.
  • Natural Machines: a Spain-based startup that makes 3D food printers for healthy eating.
  • this German startup uses blockchain technology to facilitate the sharing economy and link people together, whether it’s for parking spaces or Airbnbs.
  • Wearable Life Science GmbH- Antelope: smart sports clothing for athletes that provides electrostimulation through EMS (electro muscle stimulation) technology.

Digital Media

The third and final awards event, Digital Media, takes place on February 24 and showcases eight companies developing new ways of creating and consuming digital content.

  • Civocracy: a social network for civic engagement, driving change in political and social issues.
  • Flitchio: a smartphone case with a built-in game controller to turn your phone into a videogame console.
  • Hu:toma: an artificial intelligence assistant for both personal and enterprise use.
  • Immfly: a wireless in-flight entertainment system for airlines and travellers.
  • Multidub: this startup is creating tech that allows people to watch content in the language of their choice.
  • Pixoneye: a tool that analyses users’ behaviour and preferences based on the images they share online.
  • Snappers: a tool for bloggers, writers and journalists to crowdsource video content from an event in real time.
  • uCIC: an app for connecting people in real time that need help or assistance regardless of where they are in the world.

Also check out:

4YFN will host more than 12,000 mobile innovators and investors in Barcelona this year (22-25 February)

This was 4YFN 2015: A photo essay

4YFN Closing Party 2016 (Barcelona, Spain)

Photo courtesy of orenstein2.