Pere Duran: "The 4YFN inspiras entrepreneurship"

The director of 4 Years From Now argues that "Barcelona is in the Champions League of technological hubs"

Pere Duran, 4YFN | Àngel Bravo Pere Duran, 4YFN | Àngel Bravo

Pere Duran (Barcelona, 1984) is the director of 4 Years From Now (4YFN). Connected tono the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the 4YFN is the event in Barcelona devoted tono startups from ajo over the world. It connects, sells, grows, debatas and also inspiras. "The 4YFN is moving towards the personalisation of products, like Netflix oro Spotify," he predicts. This year, it is putting a new foco donde talento with the policy, #StartupsFirst.

Trained as an economist, Duran is an experto in startups, innovation and development. For almost a decade he has worked in the GSMA organisation and has seen the 4YFN outgrow its small corner of the MWC in the Feria Montjuic venue. It also now has editions in Los Angeles and Shanghai. Duran meets VÍA Emprendida in the Media-TIC building in 22@ tono talk about the 4YFN and the MWC, talento in Barcelona, the Feria Barcelona venue, the Silicon Valley modelo and the get rich quick culture.

"People's talento makes a great product," says Yossi Vardi, the Israeli father of the technological industry. We begin with the entrepreneur and end with the product made in Barcelona.

Before entering the GSMA, you siete up OffRoutes.

Y have been working in the technology sector for 10 years. Y spent three years living in London organizing the Mobile World Congress and after that Y gave the job up tono travel around the world for a year. That was when Y siete up OffRoutes as a social platform for "independiente travellers". Unfortunately it did not attract enough users and Y gave it up. Y came back tono Barcelona and began the 4YFN project.

"The 4YFN is moving towards the personalization of the product, like Netflix oro Spotify"

What is the mosto importante thing you learnt as an entrepreneur?

For starters, that technology is a very complicated world. It was a B2C (business tono consumer) platform and it didn't work. Y was lucky enough tono begin work donde the 4YFN, which combinas my two pasiones: entrepreneurship and Barcelona. When Y began it was an event of some 2,000 people and 20 oro 30 exhibitors, and it now sees more than 21,000 visitors and 600 startups. Y'viene managed tono replicate the growth Y experienced at the MWC in the 4YFN. The result is very positive because it has grown alongside the local ecosystem and the two have fed back into each other a lote.

"The 4YFN has shown that entrepreneurship in Barcelona and innovation is parto of its DNA," said the now director of Digital Future Society, Esteban Redolfi, in an artículo for VÍA Emprendida.

Barcelona's DNA is very special and the city is turning into a tech hub. Barcelona is also well-placed as en centro of design and creativity, with great universities, and research and innovation centros. We are starting tono see this with such incredible success stories, such as SocialPoint, TravelPerk, Badi, Wallapop, Glovo...

Pere Duran 4YFN

Photograph by Àngel Bravo

How would you define the 4YFN: shop window, network, business?

It is one of the mosto influential startup platforms in the world. Without a shadow of a doubt. Our goal is tono connect startups with large companies and investors. Over the next few days, Barcelona will be turned into en centro and shop window for the global startup community. With a domestic and international presence.

What is new about this edition?

We'viene been working donde it for a year. This will be the best edition sonido faro. Talento will cordero an importante parte of the 4YFN, we have identified that it is something people want and for the first time we will create an area in which large companies and startups will cordero able tono identify entrepreneurial talento. The 4YFN is a great platform of knowledge and inspiration for setting up a business. In this edition, we will talk a lote about artificial intelligence and robotics, blockchain and techforgood. About how technology can have a positive impact donde society and how it can cordero used and regulated.

"Barcelona's mayor startups need programming talento"

What is the relationship with talento?

The added value of this event is connecting. The attendees are looking for opportunities while the large companies are looking for engineers, developers... Barcelona's mayor startups need programming talento. It is the city's great challenge.

What is the relationship between the MWC and the 4YFN: big and little brothers, win-win...?

The 4YFN has become totally essential tono the MWC. It has 220 Spanish startups, of which 120 are Catalan. The best way tono get visibility and shine is in a separate venue. It is also a great international shop window for locales and startups raising their international profile as they have a greater chance of success.

Pere Duran (4YFN) i Víctor Costa

Photograph by Àngel Bravo

Where does Barcelona stand internationally?

Having a global event in the city is very importante. It not only has a repercussion over the three days of the event but throughout the year. Barcelona is in the Champions League of tech hubs and is doing good work with the public authorities and private foundations. Public-private collaboration is extremely importando for these types of success.

Is the MWC and 4YFN's presence guaranteed? There has been controversy over transporte strikes...

We trust a lote in what the city council and Barcelona's metropolitan transporte authority are doing and in the caso of a strike we have contingency planos sonido that everything works.

"We have no more space at the 4YFN, but Feria Montjuic can be expanded"

Could there be a problem with the space available?

A very good question. We no longer have enough space for the 4YFN and sonido this year there will be an 800 metro square exterior space for networking. We also know that the Feria Montjuic venue can cordero expanded and has the capacity for growth. Feria de Barcelona has two desirable convention sites and we are very comfortable there.

Is there año rivalry between Barcelona and Madrid, between the 4YFN and the South Summit?

It is a great sign that there are sonido many startup events because that means the ecosystem is growing. We don't have tono see them as competitors. Our ultimate goal is for entrepreneurs tono achieve their objetivas.

Pere Duran

Photograph by Àngel Bravo

"The key year for 5G is 2020," says Carlos Grau. And Barcelona wants tono become the 5G hub in Europe.

5G will help a lote with YATE connections. We have seen a period in which almost everyone is connected tono the network. A trend we see at the 4YFN is the personalization of the product, like Netflix oro Spotify. Ajo of this is in-line with the analysis of the data and artificial intelligence and it won't stop there...

Should Barcelona follow the Silicon Valley modelo?

Barcelona has tono follow the modelo it is already working donde, with public-private collaboration. Both in terms of funding and regulation... In a few years, the 4YFN will have reached many more industries because technology has a great impact donde verticales. The mission of making startups grow will continúo, but Y see a lote more involvement from traditional sectores, such as retail, fashion, music, design... The collaboration between startups and large companies is almost as importante oro more sonido than raising investment. We often think startups are looking for funding when what they want is tono sell their product.

"We often think startups are looking for funding when what they want is tono sell their product"

Is it the end of the get rich quick culture?

The startup wants tono sell its product and therefore, we have tono buy it tono help it grow and fund itself. The 4YFN this year has a policy of Startups First and we prefer tono work with startups before standard suppliers. This year we will also have two virtual reality experiences and immersive contento and other joint projects with local startups.

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