New ideas, new startups, new people. Less business, more networking.

Going to 4YFN (Four Years From Now) is kind of like going to the biggest water cooler in Barcelona — you always run into someone you know.

Outside of the many inspiring talks offered by the conference, the opportunity to network and get input from some of the heavier hitters in the startup scene really is one of the best aspects of the conference.


It’s easy to see why. With over 500 startups in attendance this year, and with the conference running in parallel with the MWC, 4YFN serves as a meeting point for anyone relevant to the startup ecosystem. Entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators… everyone is accounted for!

4YFN is a great atmosphere for meeting those people who sit at the edge of our industry too. Providing us with an infinite number of services that help our startups run — lawyers, couriers and banks, are just a few examples. These relationships are important ones to cultivate, and having the time to do so in person goes a long way.

But much like any good water cooler catch-up session, at 4YFN there’s often a lot of talk about making more concrete plans to talk in more detail, later. So expect to make a lot of first impressions at the conference but bank getting down to any real business afterwards.

One fairly apparent drawback to this year’s edition would have to be the many empty stands — there were a large number of them left free after being given away by accelerators, corporations and government institutions.

While people were requesting the openings, many startups just didn’t know what to do with their stand when they got one, either half assedly throwing something together or jumping ship altogether.

4YFN can be tricky in that respect. Since the conference is wide reaching, topics aren’t necessarily delved into in microscopic detail, it’s useful to have clear goals going in or else risk losing out on opportunities and time.

A special nod to Natural Machine’s 3D printer, Foodini, is also in order, after they completely floored us all with a demonstration that involved printing potato letters, a hamburger, and even ravioli.

With that in mind, here’s your 4YFN recap:

Day 1

4YFN chairman and VC Yossi Vardi opened the conference with Aleix Valls, head of the MWC, which started a conversation about mobile technologies that would go on to echo throughout the conference’s various talks and panels.

On everyone’s minds, the many ways in which mobile impacts the way we all do business — with productivity claiming the top spot as most elusive variable.

Between the 10+ workshops on day one alone, thoughts, opinions, and insights were served up from the likes of AirBnb, Indiegogo and Facebook, just to name a few.

The day’s winning pitch was won by London startup Thingthing, whose app allows users to access all their apps via their mobile keyboard.

Day 2

IoT claimed center stage on day two of the conference, with German startup Slock.it taking home the biggest win of the conference.

Their app combines the benefits of the Blockchain with real-world objects, allowing users to rent, sell and share pretty much anything the can think of without having to rely on a middleman.

Day two’s notable conversations include talks about what makes a city a startup hub and panel discussions on alternative financing mechanisms (of which there are an exciting and increasing number.)

But it was the conversation about the scope of IoT that got everyone talking. Contrary to what the general public and media might lead us to believe with their intense focus on wearables and the smart home, it appears that everyone’s in general agreement about how vast and untapped the scope of IoT actually is.

Day 3

The final day of the conference was all about new media, with the most interesting discussions happening around advertising, ad-blocking and how to manage either.

Of course, what edition of 4YFN would be complete without a look at the Spanish startup ecosystem? 500 million euros raised in 2015, but who’s counting? (Special nod to Wallapop and Letgo for bearing the brunt of that load.)

Finally, the day’s best pitch award was given to British/Isreali startup Pixoneye, a personalized marketing service promising unparalleled predictive accuracy and actionable clustering.

And that’s a wrap for the 2016 edition!

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E.

Essential Podcasts for Entrepreneurs & Tech Lovers

Podcasts are a great way to discover new subjects and new people. Whether you are a tech lover or an entrepreneur, bellow you will discover podcasts for entrepreneurs you should – without a doubt – listen to. 

Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre
Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre

« Masters of Scale » 

with Reid Hoffman

The host: Reid Hoffman decides to turn to the corporate world instead of pursuing a university carrier. He worked for Apple, Fujitsu for then starting his own business: SocialNet and left it in 2000 to join Confinity. Confinity gives life to Paypal after fusionning. Finally, in 2003, Hoffman co-founds LinkedIn. He is Master of Scale’s host. 

About: The podcast welcomes some of the greatest entrepreneurs. You will discover throughout the talk how they managed to take their companies from 0 to a lot of zeros. You can listen to Masters of Scale’s special guests like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Selina Tobaccowalla (Evite), Brian Chesky (Airbnb) or Nancy Lublin (Crisis Text Line). Must-hear: one of the top tech podcasts for entrepreneurs.

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Youtube

The Team: Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, Deron Triff and Jai Punjabi

« Rocket » 

with Christina Warren, Simone de Rochefort and Brianna Wu

The hosts: Christina Warren started as a Freelance Writer. Then, she worked at Mashable as a Senior Tech Analyst and Tech Correspondent and ended the journey at Microsoft as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate. About Simone de Rochefort, she is  Senior Video Producer and co-host of The Polygon Show. Brianna Wu founded her first startup at the age of 19, Giant Spacekat. She was Head of Development at the time. She is now running for US Congress. 

About: In this podcast, you will discover three passionate women and their “geek conversation” as they like to call it.  No guest speakers, but you will be able to listen to a panel of tech subjects from Apple to Comics, you will not be disappointed. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« This week in Startups »

with Jason Calacanis

The host: Jason Calacanis starts as an internet industry journalist in New-York. In 2003, he co-founded Weblogs, Inc and then a few years later he joined Sequoia Capital, launched the web directory Mahalo. He also founded ThisWeekIn.com. Furthermore, he created This Week in Startups podcast and a startup named Inside.com. Finally, he was part of the creation of the Sydney Launch Festival. 

About: Either you are looking to start your own company, or you are a successful entrepreneur, or you just love technology, this podcast will give you a peek to the entrepreneurship world. You will hear stories of all kinds! On his website, you will also find his events and some research on transportation, healthcare and more. This is one is part of the tech podcasts for entrepreneurs not to be missed.

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Youtube, SoundCloud and RSS Feed

You can also subscribe to their newsletter in order to receive episodes directly. 

The Team: Jason Calacanis, Jacqui Deegan, and Tony Agapiou

« Recode / Decode » 

with Kara Swisher

The host: Kara Swisher is an American journalist specialized in the technology industry. She first started to work for an alternative newspaper in Washington for then working for the Washington Post. She wrote articles for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and wrote her own books. Finally, in 2014, she created Recode, a website dedicated to the latest technology news. In 2015, she initiates Recode Decode. 

About: The weekly podcast welcomes tech experts and great entrepreneurs. They review how they got there, what’s on their mind about the current industry and what they would improve or create. Her recent guests were Elon Musk (Tesla CEO), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg. 

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn

« K Fund PodKast »

with Jaime Novoa

The host: Jaime Novoa’s background is quite diverse. He is a writer and an investor, but he also worked in data analysis and social media analysis. In 2014, he founded Novobrief, a newsletter for startups. Then, in 2016, he becomes an investor at K Fund and he founds, in 2019, Dealflow, a weekly tech newsletter. 

About: The podcast discusses startups, entrepreneurs and Venture Capital. You will discover enterprises and their story. From data science, unicorns or digital platforms, you sure will find more than one interesting podcast. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website and Soundcloud

« Clockwise »

with Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent

The hosts: Dan Moren is an active author and writer as well as podcaster. He was a Senior Editor at Macworld. Today, he hosts two podcast shows: Clockwise and The Rebound. As for Mikah Sargent, he started as a Website Designer and Developer for then switching as a Senior Editor at Newsy. He now hosts few podcasts such as Clockwise on Replay FM or on TWiT.tv. 

About: The weekly podcast discusses technology and welcomes each time 2 special guests. For 30 minutes, they address 4 topics where all four speakers get to elaborate on the matter, highlight the issues and expose their thoughts. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« Itnig Podcast»

with Bernat Farrero

The host: Bernat Farrero starts his career as a Developer. In 2009, he founded Itnig, a startup ecosystem that organizes entrepreneurship events. They also have a coworking for startups, a podcast and a fund for early-stage projects. Furthermore, he is a Founder of Factorial, Quipu and Camaloon. He is also a Board Member of Playfullbet, GymForLess and Parkimeter. Finally, he hosts Itnig’s weekly Podcast. 

About: The podcast welcomes every week a new guest. If you wish to learn from successful entrepreneurs, you are on the right platform. The discussions turn around Technology and its industry. You will come across guests like Carlos Pierre (Badi), Vincent Rosso (BlaBlaCar) or Oscar Pierre (Glovo).

Listen to the podcast: Youtube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Ivoox, and Google Podcasts

You can subscribe to their newsletter if you want to receive the podcast’s link every Monday. 

Whether you are at an early stage of your project, an investor or you are just curious, these podcasts for entrepreneurs give you the opportunity to be updated on tech and business news. Also, you get to learn from successful international entrepreneurs, which can definitely be very useful for your business.