We first met Esteban Redolfi, Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship Director, at the Smart City Expo World Congress this November.
Today he’s come along to Barna Hub to talk about startups, 4 Years From Now (4YFN) and tell us just why Barcelona is the place to be for entrepreneurs and founders.
Introducing Mobile World Capital Barcelona and 4YFN
Following three pillars of innovation, transformation and empowerment, Mobile World Capital Barcelona is an initiative that promotes and fosters mobile and digital progress. Its aim is to improve people’s lives all over the world.
The organisation is funded by both the public and private sectors. It achieves its success through the development of a number of initiatives, including; GoingDigital d-LAB, mSchools, and 4YFN – a platform connecting startups with investors and corporations, and drives innovation through collaboration.
Take it away Esteban!
140 character pitch
We love helping to create scalable businesses with passionate archi-TECHS who happen to be entrepreneurs, investors and corporate executives.
How can startups get involved with 4YFN?
Startups are at the centre of everything we do at Digital Entrepreneurship in Mobile World Capital Barcelona.
Come along to exhibit your solutions, not only to a variety of investors, but to more than 10,000 executives from Mobile World Congress. You can also get involved in many of our networking activities, including:
- Pitching to the press
- Meeting investors
- Pitching sessions
- Networking drinks
- Mentoring sessions
- And much more!
Down to business
What makes Barcelona’s startup scene unique?
Barcelona’s startup scene is unique because of its affordable lifestyle and work force, great access to talent, as well as an early-adoption market. There is also a direct connection with the European and American market and great connection routes by ground and air.
What benefits can startups bring to a city or region?
Apart from the obvious economic activity that a growing startup ecosystem brings into any city or region, startups bring innovation at an astounding speed.
They introduce a culture that looks at products and services from the user’s perspective. They also bring a new work methodology, where constant learning and iteration allows projects to survive and prosper in an incredibly challenging market. What’s more, startups continually incorporate new talent.
This last point – having international talent developing projects in our ecosystem – spreads to other areas such as corporations, public entities, and traditional businesses.
Where does 4YFN fit in?
4YFN has enabled Barcelona’s and Spain’s startup ecosystems to showcase their accomplishments, projects, talent and potential to the world. Our event in Barcelona gathers 20,000 attendees from 138 countries. We have bridged our tech hub with San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, Helsinki, London, Paris, Berlin, and a number of other important tech hubs.
We have created an investor’s only platform that gathers more than 1,000 VC members from some of the most active funds in the world. Plus, we have contributed to building a successful methodology, exemplifying how startups should be served during a B2B event.
As Director, I am very proud of 4YFN’s accomplishments and thankful for having had the opportunity to contribute to the consolidation of Barcelona as a model for the startup world.
What’s been the most memorable moment at 4YFN for you?
The most memorable moment is happening now – a few months before the next edition of our Barcelona event.
Right now, we’re receiving a lot of calls, emails, and messages. At the same time, we are juggling meetings with passionate founders, heavy players from investment funds, and representatives from corporations, country delegations, and acceleration programmes.
They are all reaching out to be part of 4YFN Barcelona 2018. Of course, they want to leverage on the event to grow their businesses, but they also bring proposals on how to create more value in the ecosystem.
These past few and very intense months confirm that we have created a platform that makes sense, and something that the ecosystem feels they want to be a part of.
Where do you see yourself 4 years from now?
Behind all the action we have created at 4YFN, there is a large international digital entrepreneur community, which is always evolving and growing.
We are already working on new projects and ideas that will tackle the new challenges that this global community will face. We know that Barcelona will have a leading role in the consolidation of Europe as a relevant global startup ecosystem.
What advice do you have for first time entrepreneurs here?
My advice to first time entrepreneurs will always be to get connected.
Barcelona, like any of the top ten tech hubs in the world, has entities, accelerations programmes, corporate open innovation programmes, experienced entrepreneurs and smart money investors that can provide advice, resources and support.
Being an entrepreneur is extremely tough. There is no need to face it completely alone.
If you were leaving Barcelona tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I would come to the office to do my job. Having such passionate and talented people in my team turns every meeting into a great opportunity. It is an honour to discuss the future of the ecosystem with them, and to create new initiatives in order to contribute to it.
Finish this sentence: “The best thing about living and working in Barcelona is…”
… the opportunity to walk around and absorb the cosmopolitan and entrepreneurial spirit of the city. Barcelona is contagious and every corner, every overwhelming view of the sea, every vision of its urbanism, every walk through the surrounding mountains invites you to create something new, something big, something better.
So, why not make it a startup?
Hubbub: Why not indeed! Thanks very much for your fascinating insights Esteban!
Find 4YFN online
Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates
Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.