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Connecting Startups: 4YFN unites hundreds of young tech companies

Four Years from Now brings over 430 businesses from more than 35 countries to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

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30 June 2021 04:41 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Four Years from Now, an initiative which aims to connect startups from across the globe, takes center stage at this year’s in-person Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. 

In the words of the project’s CEO, Pere Duran: “4YFN is a start-up platform at the MWC and the purpose is to help entrepreneurs get to the next stage, grow, and make business.”

He also told Catalan News that this year: “we’re at the center of the MWC and we have had more than 430 startups that have come from more than 35 countries to attend and do business here in Barcelona.”

The project combines conferences, networking events, pitching sessions, and more, and has five strategic areas: Connectivity, Digital Health, Fintech, Impact and Investors.

Among this collection of innovative startups, a wide variety of products and services are on offer. For instance, at this year’s edition, there are manufacturers of 3D printers, tools that can conduct rapid analyses of blood samples, holograms and smart glasses designed to aid the visually impaired.

RheoDx, founded in 2018, has developed a device which is capable of completing an analysis of a blood sample with just one drop of blood and within 3 minutes. The device has a chip containing sensors to measure the viscosity of the blood, before presenting it on a screen which details a variety of readings and potential diagnoses. 

Josep Ferrer, RheoDx’s director of technology, explained to the Catalan News Agency: “By analysing the viscosity of a blood sample we can identify different diseases in a patient”. He highlighted that the main innovation is that it can come to these conclusions with just one drop of blood, a much smaller sample than that which is needed currently.

Another young company present at the MWC was Biel Glasses, designers of smart glasses. Jaume Puig, the company’s CEO, explained the technology to Catalan News: “Our product is smart glasses which adapt reality for the remaining vision of people with low vision to improve their mobility and personal autonomy.”

On attending the physical 4YFN event, Puig highlighted the importance of having a space which offers “a lot of exposure to investors and partners”, something which start-ups especially look for.

This year’s attendance

While the 4YFN saw little changes to its normal, pre-pandemic attendance, overall the 2021 edition of the MWC saw the number of visitors plummet due to coronavirus, with many large companies, such as Google, Facebook and Sony, pulling out of the in-person event. Nevertheless, so far it is still Barcelona’s biggest trade show since the pandemic. 

The MWC21 is currently on in the Fira Gran Via congress hall in Barcelona from June 28 to July 1, back almost a year and a half after its last edition was canceled due to Covid-19 concerns. 

4YFN 2022

4YFN have confirmed that, after this year’s success, they will be returning to the MWC again in 2022. 

Duran told the Catalan News Agency (ACN): “The response [this year] has been great. One of the pillars of 4YFN is linking up entrepreneurs, investors and large companies, and this has been very present”

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  • Fira Barcelona, home of 4YFN and the MWC, June 28, 2021 (by Albert Cadanet)

  • Fira Barcelona, home of 4YFN and the MWC, June 28, 2021 (by Albert Cadanet)

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