Due to the success of 4YFN in Europe and Asia, we will be landing in San Francisco in September 2017 for GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas.
We at 4YFN have seen a significant rise of attendees at our flagship Barcelona event, with numbers increasing from 12,000 to 19,000 this year and exhibition stands expanding from 500 to 650 booths.
4YFN will accompany GSMA Mobile World Congress in Shanghai for a 2nd year running and we announced earlier in the year that this year, we will tap into the US market and host an event in San Francisco from 12 – 14 September with the aim of bridging the gap between European, Asian and the American ecosystems.
We caught up with 4YFN Director, Esteban Redolfi to find out more about the importance of 4YFN’s presence in the US this year and what benefits there are for startups wishing to join the first delegation we send into Silicon space! Here is what he had to say…
4YFN is expanding! 4 years in Barcelona, 2 years in Shanghai and the first year in San Francisco! Why has 4YFN and MWC chosen to travel across the Atlantic and host an event in Silicon Valley this year?
Sometimes, business related decisions can be purely instinctive and other times, they can be very well thought out. Taking 4YFN to San Francisco this year has been both!
4YFN has become a global business platform for startups, corporations and investors from all around the world. We simply must have a presence in Silicon Valley, as it is the home to many of the world’s largest technology companies including Apple, Cisco, Google, HP, Intel and Oracle and is renowned for its innovative technology startup scene, which we are extremely thrilled to have the chance to explore further and connect with over the coming months.
What are the main aims and objectives for 4YFN in San Francisco? What do you hope to achieve?
By creating 4YFN at GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas (MWC Americas), San Francisco edition, we are building a very much needed bridge between the European ecosystem and the United States ecosystem.
Barcelona as a city is attracting more and more talent and investment each and every day and 4YFN as a business platform is growing considerably from one year to the next, but we cannot do this alone, and neither do we want to. We want more of an international presence at our events and we want to connect more newly-formed businesses with the right people. For this reason, 4YFN is making an effort to connect with relevant players such as startups, investors and corporations from all the main global tech hubs, letting them know what’s happening in Europe and working hard to build synergies between us and them.
Why should startups from Europe make the jump and exhibit in San Francisco? How will it benefit them?
We are not just creating an event, we are creating a unique experience around the event. Startups accompanying 4YFN to San Francisco will not only exhibit, but they will get the exclusive opportunity to create relations, hold meetings and talk about their projects with investors, corporations and other entrepreneurs whilst being in the main tech hub of the world.
The possibilities of positively impacting on one’s business during the trip are infinite as startups will have access to top-notch industry leaders and a wealth of potential contacts within the US startup ecosystem. This bridge that we are building will help open doors that others just assumed were unobtainable.
Our programme includes ecosystem tours whereby startups that sign up will have the chance to visit local accelerators, plus we have many networking activities planned to encourage as much card-swapping as possible over the 3 days. As a young, vibrant team we like to think our events are not just about work, work, work. In fact, we invite our startups to take advantage of their new Silicon Valley surroundings (as long as it is outside of the exhibition hours!).
Not only do we encourage networking, we also encourage participation and we try to get as many exhibitors as possible on stage to pitch their projects to the crowd, getting further exposure to their business and as much traffic to their booth as possible. We really want our delegation to get the most out of their trip and we will do whatever it takes to get them there.
Will you be targeting US startups to take part as well?
Yes, we are not just targeting European startups to join our delegation. We want to house US startups, along with attracting US investors and corporations, so they all get the chance to meet with their European counterparts. Both regions will benefit from the exchange and business opportunities will be booming.
What attractions and activities are planned for the US edition?
I truly believe that the main attraction at any business event are the networking activities. 4YFN San Francisco, like any other initiative we create, is all about networking. We want our community to build relationships and to use their time wisely, whether it be during designated networking sessions, workshops, meetups, pitching sessions, or simply chilling with peers in a more relaxed atmosphere with a beer or two in hand.
That’s why our San Francisco Experience programme is so important. 4YFN is not a standard fair. It’s a true meeting point, with great access and numerous opportunities to find clients and/or the perfect business partner.
Will you be bringing investors from overseas too?
Indeed! We have a huge quantity of investors reaching out to us to join 4YFN San Francisco, and to be part of our networking initiatives. Their objective is to understand how they can boost business with the United States ecosystem and 4YFN provides them the trust and tools to do so.
We are aware that MWC normally draws in big mobile corporations, have any confirmed for their US edition yet?
We have a lot of big corporations signed up to exhibit at MWC Americas so far, to name a few, we have Verizon, AT&T, IBM, Oracle and Cisco on board.
What type of audience can the startups expect to meet during the event?
Startups will be exhibiting side by side with tech giants, having the opportunity to catch the attention of telco executives, tech innovation global officers, I+D directors and Corporate Venture representatives. Plus, they may be approached by investors, other entrepreneurs and possible corporate clients from a wide-range of industries as diverse as food, travel, automotive, retail and leisure.
Startups must remember that they will be a part of the Mobile World Congress. Anything can happen if they really prepare to connect with the right people and plan ahead.
Looking to join us as an investor? Find out more about the 4YFN Investors Club membership here.