Earlier this week, I was invited to Barcelona to attend the press conference announcing the plans and speakers for the upcoming 4YFN event, and to interview its new president, Israeli entrepreneur and prolific angel investor Yossi Vardi, on stage.
In case you're not up to speed: 4YFN (short for 4 Years From Now) is an international mobile startup event that is part of and promoted by the GSMA Mobile World Congress and Mobile World Capital. Over the course of four days, from 2 to 5 March 2015, the second edition of 4YFN will be held in Barcelona, and it promises to be a great event with more than 120 speakers, including the likes of VICE Media president Andrew Creighton, Twitter's Mobile Sales and Operations Mike Ng, Airbnb Engineering VP Mike Curtis, Ozon CEO Maelle Gavet, The Weather Company CEO David Kenny, Marvell co-founder Weili Dai and many more.
Before I kicked off the interview with Yossi Vardi this week, I quipped that I've attended Mobile World Congress for many years and hated it always just a little bit more every time I went back. I was only half joking: if you were interested in mobile innovation and entrepreneurship, MWC was really not the place to look unless you wanted to spend most of your time figuring out in which corner they hid the startups.
The world's most innovative mobile startups deserved more, and they got it with the first edition of 4YFN last year, where industry leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and digital experts gathered for hands-on workshops and sessions, inspiring keynotes and fireside chats, and snappy pitches.
Expect all that and much more for this year's edition: the event will feature over 120 speakers and 175 startups from 14 different countries and double the available space for exhibitors, sponsors and stages to increase capacity. More than 5,000 attendees are expected, with over half from outside of Spain.
There will be a lot of focus on meetings between startups, investors and directors of innovation at major corporations with a dedicated 'Founders & Investors' networking activity. Participating this year are Accel Partners, BDMI Fund, Kennet Partners, Northzone, Open Ocean Capital and Relay Ventures.