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Barna Hub Chats with Guy Morley, Founder of Kailani Ice Tea

Barna Hub

In the first installment of Barna Hub this year, we sit down and enjoy an ice cold drink with Guy Morley, the founder of Kailani Ice Tea. Meaning sea and sky in Hawaiian, Kailani is a brand that embodies the long hot summer days, beach life, health and nature.

Guy Morley founder of Kailani Ice Tea
Guy Morley, Founder of Kailani Ice Tea

 

Take it away Guy!

140 character pitch:

Kailani Ice Tea comes in 3 flavours; black tea & lemon, green tea with lime & ginger, and white tea & peach – it’s healthy, natural and tasty!

Try it today: http://www.kailaniicetea.com

What should people know?

You can find us in Barcelona, Madrid, the Balearic Islands and the Costa Brava. Our drinks are also now available in Prague.  

As a natural ice tea brand we are always interested in collaborating with new, brands and people who are interested in wellness and natural foods and drink.

Down to business

What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

Before coming to Barcelona, I was a media lawyer dealing with the disputes of the some of the biggest stars in the music industry in London.

Changing careers was a big decision, but I always had the feeling that there something more to life than the office. Frankly, I wanted to start my own business rather than advising others on how best to go about theirs.

Why is Kailani Ice Tea a great place to work?

Kailani Ice Tea is a great place to work because it’s never boring. Being a startup means having new challenges to overcome and new solutions to find.

The philosophy of the brand is natural, sociable and active, and so are our projects. We get to collaborate with some really interesting people from different entrepreneurial worlds, but are united by the same will to find beauty in our everyday.

We also try to be as eco-friendly as possible. Our team collaborates with environmental NGOs like Surfrider Foundation and local associations like Yotuba, Centre de la Platja, etc. It’s rewarding to contribute to the conservation of our natural surroundings.

What’s your favourite quote when it comes to business?

“It’s always better to be underestimated”.

What online or offline resource could you not live without?

For us, it’s Social media. It is important for us to be the voice of a community that knows that working hard is as important as enjoying every moment.  

Barcelona Insight

Kailani icetea Barcelona Startup

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

Barcelona is a great place to start a business as everyone is really helpful. You can find a number of different organisations, entrepreneurial groups and projects to help you build your network and find the right contacts and partnerships you need to grow your business. It’s important not to be afraid to contact people in the city when you need help.

What does Barcelona do better than anywhere else in the world, in your opinion?  

In Barcelona people are genuinely optimistic, innovative and curious about new trends. With its amazing location between the beach and the mountains, everyone is really active and they realise how important it is to take care of nature.

What do people who have never been to Barcelona need to know about the city?

Barcelona is beautiful and very international. There is a great melting pot that gives rise to innovative and unique projects, events, food fusion all the time. It’s important to be curious and open to new experiences so you can make the most of the city.

Find Kailani online:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kailaniicetea/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kailaniicetea/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/10445388/

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.


What do upcoming changes to the Facebook Newsfeed mean for your business?

Upcoming changes to Facebook Newsfeed

At the beginning of the year Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to make some big changes to improve user experience of Facebook:

The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.

My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues.

Source: Facebook

Last night, Zuckerberg went further, announcing on his Facebook feed that user feedback indicates that people are being overwhelmed by business, media and brand posts and that this is “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Referring to academic research, Zuckerberg says that while personal posts and real connections benefit people, reading articles and watching videos may not.

As a result, the Facebook team is concentrating on updating the News Feed. It will soon start to deliver more content from friends and family, rather than from brand and media channels.

In his post, Zuckerberg predicts that time spent on the platform and engagement would decrease, but would bring long-term benefits to people, communities and businesses in time.

Facebook Newsfeed Changes
Mark Zuckerberg, Extract

 

Facebook & the Big Picture

Facebook is positioning itself as a user-first platform. It aims to regain public trust by limiting the reach of fake news sites and spammy brands.

While Facebook began as a social media platform, it has developed into a fully-fledged marketing platform with a well developed business model. 

Organic reach – or Newsfeed penetration – for business pages has been in decline – dropping 20% in 2017, according to research by BuzzSumo. 

As a result, brands are are spending more on ads; spending grew 23% in the first six months of 2017, reaching $40.1 billion in the U.S. alone.

What might this mean for business?

The Facebook algorithm is now punishing engagement bait, as we outlined in a recent post – 5 Social Media Trends to Watch For in 2018, and is rewarding higher quality and more relevant content.

Zuckerberg’s announcement probably means that only highly engaged fans are likely to see your content in their Newsfeeds, resulting in an even greater push towards sponsored publishing on Facebook.  

We are sure that as the year progresses Business Page reach will fall further and your strategy will have to adapt as a result. Smaller business platforms and media outlets will likely suffer, and those relying on organic reach alone will see a big drop in traffic.

Start strategising your content distribution and think about your budgets accordingly!

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How to Build Better Content Marketing Strategy with Buyer Personas in 2018

Buyer Personas & Content Marketing Strategy

George Chilton says make learning about your customers and building comprehensive buyer personas your priority for this year’s content marketing strategy.

buyer personas - identify and segment your audience
Identify and segment your audience to formulate a strategic digital marketing campaign. Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

 

What’s a buyer persona?

In content marketing and advertising a buyer persona (AKA customer avatar and customer profile) is a comprehensive description of your ideal customer, designed to help you understand their needs, challenges and responsibilities, so that you may develop effective marketing campaigns.  

How exactly do buyer personas help?

By pinpointing a typical customer’s pain points, questions, doubts, and day-to-day issues, buyer personas can help you develop a meaningful and valuable content strategy and content calendar tailored for your specific audience(s).

In turn, this will help you create a sticky site or blog, develop lead generation assets to grow your audience, build your mailing lists, better target your digital ads, and ultimately sell more.

Without a well researched buyer persona your marketing efforts will be hit-and-miss, your content will typically be less focused, your conversions will suffer, and your ROI will be lower.

Quick look

What are the basics of client profiling?
  • Dive into data – Established companies can start by using data insights – that is data gathered via sales, social media, Google Analytics, market research, app installs, downloads, and so on. Look at demographics, revenues per customer, customer lifetime values, purchase channels, interests, challenges, professional and personal goals, etc.
  • Segment your audience – Segment your customer data (in ways that make sense to your business) in order to build specific target audiences. Your aim is to understand who you are selling your products and services to and how you are doing this, so that you can better develop and aim your content and ads at the customers who bring the most value to your business.
  • Build your buyer personas – Each buyer persona you make should represent a market segment you are targeting. You can also include negative buyer personas in order to avoid targeting customers who cost too much to acquire or website visitors who bring your business little or no value in return.
  • Content and marketing strategy – Once you understand your audience segments and buyer personas, you can begin to develop content that will resonate with them. Use buyer personas to create content calendars, offers, discounts, that will appeal to the customer and offer solutions.
  • Omnichannel marketing Target the channels where your audiences hang out, use analytics to discover when and where your segments are most active, and deploy remarketing campaigns to follow your audience, for a more comprehensive omnichannel approach.
  • Benchmark content and optimise – analyse click-through rates on the campaigns you headlines you create, note bounce rates, conversions and sales, and establish benchmarks to work from and key performance indicators (KPIs). A/B test headlines, calls to action, content types, audiences,channels, etc. in order to continually optimise and improve your content output and ROI.
How do I make a buyer persona?
Buyer personas
Photo: Carlos Muza

 

Building audiences is a core feature of the Google, Instagram, Facebook and other ad management platforms – and they offer some extremely powerful targeting tools.

Not only can you target by location, income, demographics, interest, likes, app installs, etc, but you can create lookalike audiences, integrate your mailing lists with social media to garner insights, and much more. You can drill down, and find the people who need your service, who’ll love what you do, and who are extremely likely to buy from you.

Google Analytics, for example, breaks down demographics and other a wide range details about your current online audience. Here we can see the average age of a web visitor:

databased buyer personas content marketing

In this example from Google Analytics we can see that the average website visitor or customer is more likely to be male:demographics and buyer personas

Social media insights can also give you a look into interests, job titles, page likes, and so on. The example below is from Facebook:

social media insights in buyer personas

However, while platforms can offer decent qualitative and quantitative data on your audience, nothing beats asking your audience directly. It can be simple as talking to the people who are currently using your product or service.

Call them up and conduct 5 minute interviews, or send them surveys find out their problem, needs, what they love about your brand, and what they think could be improved.

Alternatively use freemium market research tools like SurveyMonkey and Typeform to create questionnaires and analyse the data.

What questions should I ask my clients to build a buyer persona?

Unless you really know your audience segments, ad targeting comes down to guess work. And worse, if you haven’t done your homework, content will only resonate with your segments by chance.

The more detailed your buyer persona is, the better. The following set of questions will give you a head start on developing your own tailored approach.

Example b2b buyer persona questions

At home

1. Age bracket:

2. Gender:

3. City/country of residence

Education

4. Level of education (high school, college, masters, MBA, postgraduate diploma, doctorate, etc.):

5. Are you currently taking any courses?

6. If so, what do you hope to achieve?

Online:

7. Favourite news sites:

8. Favourite brands:

9. Favourite social networks:

10. Do you shop online? Why or why not?

11. Hobbies and interests:

At work:

12. What does your company do?

13. How do you fit in / what is your position at work?

14. What are your main responsibilities?

15. Are you in charge of anyone?

16. Who do you report to?

17. What programs or tools do you use at work?

18. What are your biggest challenges at work – either in your own job or in general?

19. What do you love about your job and why?

20. What don’t you like about it and why?

21. Do you travel for work?

22. If so, what challenges does it present?

Future

23. Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?

24. And in five years’ time?

25. What do you need to do get there?

 

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5 Social Media Trends to Watch For in 2018

George Chilton talks social media on Hubbub Labs

Is this the death knell for clickbait on social media? How does the new Facebook algorithm affect video reach for Pages? Will we be fully immersed in VR tech this year? What will Facebook AR look like? And more…
VR is coming to mainstream Social Media
Photo by Paul Bence on Unsplash

 

There’s a lot for digital marketers and users to look forward to as we move into the new year. We will see more relevant News Feed content, a new war on clickbait and engagement bait, greater experimentation in the virtual reality and augmented reality arenas, and quality video content will continue to dominate.

Here are 5 predictions for Facebook social media management in 2018.

  1. We’ll see a shift towards higher quality content

Comment YES if you hate engagement bait! Facebook’s latest announcement that it would start to “demote individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait” is good news for almost everyone. It signals a new beginning for social media as the onus is now one creating content that truly informs people and encourages engagement naturally.

Specifically, the Facebook algorithm will punish pages and posts soliciting engagement in the following ways (scroll through the gallery for examples):

  • Vote baiting: attracting engagement by asking for likes and other reactions to vote for something. “Click like to vote for our page!”
  • React baiting: Asking people to react to a post to indicate their opinion, e.g. “Yes = like; No = Heart”
  • Share baiting: Asking people to share with the friends in exchange for something, or to indicate something, e.g. “Share with your friends if you want to get rich!”
  • Tag baiting: Asking the user to tag a friend – e.g. “Tag a friend who’d do this!”
  • Comment baiting: Asking users to comment a set phrase or two to show support, e.g. “Comment YES if you agree!”

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Pages that use these tactics will see reach on posts decrease, and those that do it regularly will probably see traffic trickle to a halt.

  1. Clickbait will die a slow and welcome death

Facebook wants marketers to know that it takes its “News Feed values” seriously and is also coming down hard on posts that it considers to be low quality, inauthentic, or clickbait-y.

The company says this is to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook.”

This is likely to be partly in response to harsh criticism and possible sanctions in the wake of the rise of so-called fake news during the 2016 US presidential election, Brexit, and other political contests. But whatever the reason for Facebook’s shift toward promoting authenticity, value, and quality we can certainly get behind it.

  1. Video and Facebook Live video with continue to dominate

Native video content was big on Facebook in 2017 and it’s only going to get bigger this year, engaging more of the audience than links, images and videos hosted on other platforms.

Again, Facebook is rewarding quality content producers with two new additions to the algorithm, improving reach for videos that lots of users are searching for. If this is the case your video will receive higher distribution in the News Feed.

This is also true if your video is getting repeat views, and people keep coming back to your Page for more, you see increased video distribution.

While it’s important to keep produced videos short, include subtitles (if necessary), and add calls to action, Facebook Live videos still do better when they are longer, as they tend to garner more engagement during the broadcast.

  1. Facebook Spaces and immersive virtual reality will start to have an impact

We were lucky enough to attend F8 early in 2017, at the Mobile World Centre in Barcelona, where Facebook unveiled the innovative Facebook Spaces – an immersive VR experience for users that own Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE VR tech.

Facebook Spaces is an app that allows you to enter a VR “space” and talk and interact with your friends via customisable avatars (characters that represent you). Look at these happy people:

As VR headsets become more pervasive, we predict that the social media space will be a petri dish for VR initiatives.

Not only will we see VR games being developed for real time fun with your avatar friends, but as it develops there will be amazing sponsored opportunities for marketers in the real estate industry, as well as in design, leisure, travel & tourism related industries (and many others, we’re sure).

  1. Facebook’s Augmented Reality Camera Effects Platform will rock your world

Even more exciting and accessible is Facebook’s Augmented Reality (AR) Camera Effects platform. It is currently still in (closed) beta, but open for developers to experiment: offering artists and developers  the opportunity to “create effects for the Facebook camera” via Frame Studio and AR Studio.

Frame Studio lets you design frames to use on your profile pictures, or on the Facebook camera. Somewhat more excitingly, the AR studio will allow you to look through your smartphone screen via the Facebook camera app and see a new augmented world.

According to Facebook, developers in the beta trial are currently working on ”animated frames, masks, and interactive effects that respond to motion, interactions during Live broadcasts, or third-party data”.

The AR studio combines three main elements, including a Face Tracker which can fit masks to faces in real-time, Sensor data which allows you to move your phone around and explore a virtual or augmented space and Scripting APIs which let developers use data to change effects and “respond to user interactions” in real-time – including in Facebook Live broadcasts.

Opportunities for brands abound. Imagine your product being displayed in place in a sponsored AR post on the Camera Effects platform. You might model those new sunglasses you like in the mirror at home, before clicking “buy”; your sports shoes could tell you how many kilometres you just ran;  you can check out that new sofa and how it looks living room without leaving home; or perhaps as you pass an ad on the underground and a presenter will jump up out of the screen and give you more information…

Social Media in 2018

2018 is going to be the most experimental and exciting yet for marketers on Facebook – and we’ve only just scratched the surface in this post. What are your predictions for the year to come?

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Barna Hub Quick-Fire Chat with Glovo Co-Founder Sacha Michaud

Barna Hub

Exclusive interviews offering insight, resources and advice with Barcelona startup founders and entrepreneurs, only on Hubbub Labs.

Barna Hub invited Glovo co-founder Sacha Michaud along for a mulled wine, a bit of figgy pudding, and a chat about the Barcelona-based on-demand delivery platform.

Glovo Co-Founder Sacha Michaud
Glovo Co-Founder Sacha Michaud


Glovo recently closed a series B round, raising €30 million led by Cathay Innovation, and is set to invest in its platform to better serve users, couriers and providers.

Use the app to connect with independent delivery drivers or glovers and pick up just about anything from restaurants, cafés, or shops in the city and get it delivered within an hour. All orders can be tracked in real time via a GPS monitor.

Currently available in Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Paris and several other cities in Spain, Glovo has a quarter of a million users and is closing in on order number 2 million.

Over you to Sacha!

Call to Action!

Get your first delivery for free with Glovo!

Sign up here and follow the link in the email.

Down to business

Glovo app startup Barcelona

Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

I love seeing an opportunity to disrupt traditional industries. Doing it yourself is the best way to get it done.

How did you come up with the idea for Glovo?

I was thinking of the need to have a real on-demand marketplace. It would allow you to receive anything in your city within minutes (more or less an Uber of things). I met my partner, who had just came back from the US and was developing a similar idea, so we decided to do it together.

What’s been the hardest thing growing a company at such a fast rate?

Early on, trying to demonstrate a real business model around your idea. Then as you grow, and the unit economics start working, the challenge becomes more about scaling all three sides of the marketplace at the same pace to grow at the speed you need to.

What’s the future for Glovo?

We are focusing on two things: profitability in mature cities and growth in new ones. Then, we will be scaling every aspect of the business to allow this solid growth.

Barcelona Insight

What makes Glovo better suited to Barcelona than deliveroo, amazon prime or other delivery services?

We offer “anything” in your city. We have the best restaurants and food delivery, but at the same time we can also deliver groceries in 30 minutes, go to the pharmacy after midnight, or even pick-up your keys you left at work. Our vision is give you access to the whole city and deliver immediately.

What do you love most about Barcelona’s startup scene?

It´s a great place to work and it is attracting a lot of International talent right now, mainly for the opportunity to join great projects combined with a healthy lifestyle.

I have been here for over 20 years so I take a lot of things for granted. But Barcelona is certainly one of the best cities in the world to combine work and pleasure.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

Go for it, be prepared to be persistent as there is still too much bureaucracy.

Having said that, any business you start anywhere in the world will have different issues and hurdles to get over. Barcelona isn’t any different.

If you were leaving Barcelona tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

If it were spring or summer, I would head out to the Costa Brava and enjoy an amazing lunch with family and friends.

Hubbub – Thanks Sacha, great talking with you!

Find Glovo Online

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/glovoappES/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Glovo_ES

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/9262901/

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.


Barna Hub Talks With CEO of Curiooso and Mobile Weekend Award Winner Melissa Sävlind

Barna Hub

Exclusive interviews offering insight, resources and advice with Barcelona startup founders and entrepreneurs, only on Hubbub Labs

Shake your coco loco, break out your bermudas, and pack your best snorkel, because you are going somewhere tropical. It’s time to talk to Melissa Sävlind, CEO & Co-founder of Curiooso, a travel planning service with a difference.

 Melissa Sävlind CEO of travel planning platform Curiooso
Melissa Sävlind CEO of Curiooso (Centre)

What is Curiooso, exactly?

Curiooso is a hassle-free travel planning platform on a mission to help you organise the perfect trip.

Forget texting, bundles of surplus features, and bad user experience, Curiooso gets right down to it and helps you get going quickly, easily and in collaboration with your friends.

Melissa, it’s over to you!

140 character pitch:

Curiooso is a chat-free platform that simplifies travel planning between you and your travel buddies.

CTA:

We dare you to plan your next trip without messaging apps! Take the challenge on www.curiooso.com

Down to business

What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

A combination of loving challenges, problem-solving and making things happen. It has always been my career goal to run a business, as I think it’s the type of job that best matches my personality and interests.

I also think that we all have a huge potential to make a larger scale impact in this world, not just in our own lives or the lives of our friends or family. So I want to try to fulfil that potential.

Where did the idea for Curiooso come from?

Originally, I had an idea about planning trips with friends in virtual reality (VR) and applied to the startup competition Mobile Weekend at the beginning of this year.

My idea was chosen and I put a team together to work on the idea with me. We won the competition and, since then, Xavi, Pablo and I have been developing it into what it is today. We realised quite quickly that it was too early to enter the VR market, so we decided to develop this solution that is useful for people right now.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given when it comes to business?

That’s a tricky one, I’m going to have to mention two things. The first is that a great team with a not-so-great product goes further than a great product with a not-so-great team. I think it’s really important to build a winning team, because that is essentially what drives you forward.

The second is to launch something small and have real users or customers as fast as you can. Don’t wait too long with launching things.

The users will give you the feedback that you need to improve your product. Even if you launch something that’s incomplete you’ll get real feedback about what should be improved, rather than guessing about  what should be improved.

Finish this sentence: “The biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is…”

Losing their optimism.

You need to have an optimistic mindset. You can’t let yourself be negatively affected by the obstacles that come up along the way.

You’re going to face a lot of unexpected challenges and the moment you start believing that something isn’t possible, you will start to develop a toxic mindset.

Barcelona Insight

Logo Barcelona startup travel planning platform Curiooso
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

My first advice is do it!

If you’re thinking about starting a business, give it a try. Even if it doesn’t work out you’ll learn and grow so much in a way you wouldn’t do otherwise.

The second thing is thoroughly investigate if there is any way you can legally found your company in a different country while operating it from here.

The bureaucracy of having a company in Spain is unfortunately quite a hassle and will take a lot of energy and patience from your side. There are also a lot of unnecessary costs tied to this.

What does Barcelona do better than anywhere else in the world, in your opinion?  

Connect people in a great environment. The city is so lively and full of all sorts of events, both startup-related and other types. You find something new to discover everyday.

Add to that the international crowd and you have a great talent pool with lots of synergies and interconnections.

People from all over the world pass through Barcelona frequently. Lastly, all of this happens in a great environment where you have year-round sunshine, the beach and rooftop terraces.

You’re taking your best client to lunch in Barcelona: Where would you go?

Depends on the type of person they are but most likely Flax & Kale. Their food is really delicious for being so healthy and the rooftop terrace is great on a sunny day.

Hubbub – Thanks Melissa, we’re packing our suitcases and heading to Curiooso right now!

Find Curiooso Online

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/curiooso360

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/curiooso

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.


Barna Hub Interviews Esteban Redolfi, Director of Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship

Barna Hub

We first met Esteban Redolfi, Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship Director, at the Smart City Expo World Congress this November.

 4yfn Esteban Redolfi, Director Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship Director
Esteban Redolfi, Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship Director

 

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.

Our next event is 4YFN Barcelona 2018 and startups can apply to be part of our Innovation Market. 

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

4yfn logo

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.

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Barcelona Insight

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/4YFN_MWC

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FourYearsFromNow/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/5321378

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/4yfn_mwc/

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.


Barna Hub talks passion and happiness with top coaching psychologist and entrepreneur Mara Moldoveanu

Barna Hub

Today we sat down for a cappuccino and tiny biscuit with Mara Moldoveanu, entrepreneur, coaching psychologist and founder at START THIS DAY. Mara has a BA in Psychology, an MA in Clinical Psychology, and an MSc. in Law and Psychology – and we were inspired by her passion for helping people to live the lives they want. 

Mara Moldoveanu start this day
Mara Moldoveanu, START THIS DAY

 

What does Mara do?

Professionals and entrepreneurs of all stripes are familiar with stress, burnout and anxiety. Mara’s mission is to help people bring more focus, happiness and passion into their lives.

START THIS DAY offers one-to-one coaching sessions for personal and professional development,  project and team oriented group sessions, as well as workshops, courses, training sessions, and more.

Over to you Mara!

140 character pitch:

START THIS DAY offers coaching sessions for entrepreneurs: build a life & career without burnout and where ease, flow & purpose come first!

CTA:

Take your life and business to the next level and build a life you love! Book a free strategy session with Mara and START THIS DAY!

Down to business

start this day Barcelona startup coaching
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

I began my career working in NGOs, academic research, and then in companies of various sizes. I was also involved in grassroots projects focused on social change. Looking back, I think I was searching for a place where I had freedom, flexibility and abundance. I didn’t find it, so becoming an entrepreneur was the logical next step.

Now, as en entrepreneur, I am creating that environment for myself, and I am using my experience to help others to do the same.

What’s the best startup resource or tool online and why is it useful?

I recently discovered StartupResources.io and I love it. It has very comprehensive resource lists, including tools for everything that you need to develop your business online – and it is very nicely organised.

I use it a lot for ideas and for understanding what I need to prioritise. I definitely recommend it, especially if you don’t have a background in business.

If you could have more of one of these things in your life, what would it be and why: money, time, contacts, coffee?

At this point in time, I’d definitely say more contacts. People are the driving force behind everything we create in our society, both good and bad.

People also mean more money, more time and more coffee – so with more contacts I am choosing more of everything!

Barcelona Insight

What’s the coolest place to work in Barcelona? 

It depends a lot on your goal, whether you want to interact and meet people, or to finish a task, etc.

When I want to be focused (and not be alone in my office), I really love to go to a cafe in Barri Gòtic called La Clandestina. It is mostly quiet with good internet, great coffees, tea and food.

If you had to leave Barcelona tomorrow, forever, where would you have your last meal?

I cannot stop thinking,“Why in the world I would agree to leave Barcelona?” I love this place. It is home.

But to answer your question, I would definitely go to Macrobiotics Zen. Great, tasty, healthy food with big portions and friendly staff; what else could you possibly need?

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

Build your network. Meet people. Talk about your ideas. Be open to all the opinions coming your way and always keep your personal WHY in mind:

  • Why I am doing this?
  • Why did this idea come to me?

What you will get out of this? Ideas, solutions to problems you never thought of, contacts, partners, clients, friends, clarity, a better and better pitch, feedback, confidence, fun…

Hubbub – Thanks Mara – It’s been an honour to have you on Barna Hub!

Find START THIS DAY online:

https://www.facebook.com/startthisday/

https://twitter.com/Start_this_Day

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mara-moldoveanu/

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.


Smart City Expo World Congress: 3 Barcelona Companies Making a Difference in People’s Lives

Empower Cities, Empower People

This November 18,754 people from 700 cities and more than 120 countries descended on Barcelona to nerd it out for three days of smart city excitement, networking opportunities, and inspiring talks from 420 speakers and 675 exhibitors.

Welcome to the record-breaking Smart City Expo World Congress 2017!

Smart City Expo Barcelona

An exciting glimpse of the global startup future

Wandering around the exhibits at the Smart City Expo, we saw a mix of industry powerhouses, including Microsoft, Huawei and Siemens – and they were, as always, very interesting.

But we were also pleased to catch a glimpse of the future, meeting a number of nascent tech companies and up-and-coming startups dotted around the exhibition centre.

The majority of these were in the 4YFN Village (4 Years From Now)—the startup business platform of the Mobile World Capital BarcelonaAnd we were lucky enough to speak to Esteban Redolfi, Director of the organisation.

Esteban Director 4YFN Barcelona
Esteban Redolfi, Director 4YFN

He said that Barcelona is one of the main hubs of the technology industry in southern Europe and that it is “attracting talent and investment and becoming a leading city in the smart city sector.”

Natasha Dullaway, Social Media Executive at 4YFN, told us how the platform had given 40 startups from 14 countries the opportunity to exhibit and pitch their ideas to investors, town planners, experts and investors.

“The highlight of the event for me was seeing the startups take to the centre of the Agora stage and pitch their products to the packed-out crowd,” said Ms. Dullaway.

Meet the 4YFN Village People

After having walked what seemed like 10,000 steps, it was good to be able to sit down, have a coffee and friendly chat with different startup teams.

What we really loved about the 4YFN village was the intimate and relaxed environment. Much like a real village, it gave us some much needed respite from the intense buzz of the city (or in this case…conference).

We found a diverse array of entrepreneurs, CEOs and developers. They were stationed in the charming wooden booths and could not wait to tell us about their ideas and goals.

4YFN Mobile World Capital Barcelona
4YFN Mobile World Capital


Don’t miss out on the 4YFN event of 2018held at the Mobile World Congress Barcelona from 26-28th February.

Join more than 20,000 attendees to explore 600 exhibits, and watch and participate in over 150 hours of inspiring talks, activities, pitches and workshops from those who are pioneering the future of the digital world.

So who did we meet?

Company #1: Shotl – go carless

First, we spoke to Shotl. This ride-sharing app aims to solve rush-hour traffic, reduce pollution, and save people money, all at the same time.

It may sound impossible, but they assured us  that it is quite a simple concept; download the app (on iOS or Android) and input where you want to go. The app does the rest, finding other people going in your direction and notifying them where you are. Then you are picked up on route by van, taxi or mini-bus.

It’s a bit like taking the bus, but much more direct and without those uncomfortable seats and sticky floors. Better still, by collaborating and sharing rides we can reduce the number of cars on the road.

If you want to take the stress out of your daily commute and help save the planet at the same time, download Shotl. Join the vehicle sharing revolution today!

Company #2: Live Cities – connecting challengers and problem-solvers

We also had the pleasure of meeting the team from Live Cities, another promising Catalan startup. It is a mobile crowdsourcing platform that allows individuals or organisations to connect with the talent and resources needed to complete a project.  

Its aim is to make innovation accessible to everyone and not just large organisations or public administrations, empowering citizens so they can turn their ideas into reality.

The app is still in beta and not yet available to download. However, customised versions are available for universities, city councils and other organisations at a cost. This is helping Live Cities to finance the project until it’s ready to launch to the general public.

Live Cities - connecting challengers and problem-solvers Barcelona
Mariale Tord, CMO of Live Cities


If you want to be the first to hear about its launch sign up to Live Cities mailing list.

Company #3: Bit4id – simplicity is the key to security

After spending most of the morning at the 4YFN village, we headed over to the Bit4id (Best Information Technology 4 IDentification) stand and spoke to Marco Scognamiglio and his team.

Founded in 2004, the company certainly isn’t a new kid on the block. Bit4id  has offices in Barcelona, Naples, London, and elsewhere.

The company originally focused on a B2B model, developing and selling online authentication, e-signature and data protection solutions.

Bit4id introduced SignCloud at the expo. This revolutionary app, created in partnership with Uanataca, allows people to access their digital certificates from their mobile phones.

You often need a digital certificate to prove your identity and access confidential information online. For example, you might use one on government websites to submit your tax return or to complete other administration, without having to physically go to the office. Setting up and downloading one of these certificates can be an extremely painful experience. Thanks to outdated government systems you often need to make one on a PC using an old version of MS Explorer. Imagine.

Bit4id - simplicity is the key to security Barcelona
The Bit4id team. From left to right, Gertrudis Camps, Marco Scognamiglio, Montserrat Delgado, and Domingo Espinar.


SignCloud offers a much simpler solution to traditional digital certificates and is available to download now on iOS (Android coming soon!).

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.


Barna Hub Interviews Dominik Pogorzelski from Restb.ai, European Top 5 AI Startup

Barna Hub

Barna Hub sat down with the charming Dominik Pogorzelski, Head of Product Management at Restb.ai. The company was recently named as a top 5 European AI startup by NVIDIA.

Dominik Pogorzelski, Head of Product Management RestB
Dominik Pogorzelski, Restb.ai

Restb.ai is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Startup operating in the Real Estate ecosystem across Europe, the USA, and Asia.

It offers Real Estate portals plug ‘n play computer vision solutions, based on a proprietary Deep Learning Convolutional Neural Network.

This cutting-edge AI tech can detect room types, tag property features and detect watermarks and logos.

Companies using Restb.ai benefit from boosted SEO and increased web traffic, improved user experience and conversions, and the opportunity to monetise 3rd-party logos.

So it’s all pretty high tech. 

Over to you Dominik!

140 character pitch:

“AI with an eye for real estate”. We give real estate portals key insights by scanning and auto-describing each and every uploaded image

Call to action:

Check out how AI is disrupting the real estate industry by playing around with our demo

Demo AI Startup Restb

Down to business

Restb logo

Are you really a person, or are you just super convincing AI?

I’m a definitely real person. Probably.

Hmm. Okay, now we’ve got that cleared up, what made you want to work in a startup?

For me it’s mostly about the direct impact you have, both within the company and on your end customers.

Things move fast and you can often go from conceptualising a feature/product to actually launching it within a few weeks time. You’re not just some employee getting a project from some department so that you can then ship it off to another department.

It’s also a non-stop cognitive challenge because it basically comes down to you and your small team to overcome any obstacle that is thrown at you. You need to be creative, scrappy and think quickly on your feet.

What’s the best startup resource or tool and why is it useful?

A whiteboard! If there’s one thing I learnt in my years as a product manager it’s the importance of visualizations. When discussing thoughts/ideas with different people it’s crazy how much it helps to draw things out. It really anchors everyone around what it is you’re trying to say exactly. Test it out it! Next time you have a discussion, draw something on a whiteboard and notice how many times people will point to it as they’re explaining their own thoughts.

Hubbub – that’s probably the least techie thing you could have said. We love it!
If you could have dinner with one influential person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Tesla, like the person and not the car. It’s really mind-blowing how ahead of his time he was. He challenged so many norms, both existential and scientific.

That being said, I also wouldn’t mind having dinner with Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla – the car and not the person. 🙂

 Hubbub – Elon, we know you’re reading. You know what to do.

Barcelona Insight

What does Barcelona do better than anywhere else in the world, in your opinion?  

Have a soul. There’s just something about this city that can’t be described in terms of stats or metrics. This city is alive. There’s a certain social fabric that connects everyone.

Everybody says ‘hi’ to each other. Everywhere. You can walk into the waiting area of a clinic and everyone will say “Holaaa” – you walk out of the waiting area and everyone will say “A deeeuuu”.

If you had to leave Barcelona tomorrow, forever, where would you have your last meal?

I would totally cheat on this question and make a quick detour to Girona to have one more dining experience at Celler de Can Roca. Barcelona has a phenomenal food scene, but Celler de Can Roca is just next level. Sorry, not sorry. #nomnomnom

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

Be patient, like veeeeerrrry patient. A NIE officer once told me with a straight face that I needed a private health insurance to get my NIE but at the same time needed a NIE to get my private health insurance. We then stared at each other blankly until I flinched, lost the stare down and went to get a private health insurance, somehow…

Also, find a good Gestor ASAP. Like before even booking your flight, no joke. I think officially they’re like accountants but essentially they’re your “how-to” guides for Spain. He/she will basically help you navigate this sea of maddening bureaucracy.

Hubbub – Absolutely spot on. Thanks  for your great insights Dominik. I hope we get to talk to you again.
Adeuuuu!

 

Follow Dominik and Restb.ai online:

Dominik’s blog:

https://medium.com/product-management-tips-and-thoughts

Restb.ai social media:

https://www.facebook.com/restbai/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/restbai/

https://twitter.com/restb_ai

 

Bonus!

If you’re not sure what Dominik means about bureaucracy in Catalonia, please see Intereconomia’s take on it

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.