On Friday the 22nd of February I took a detour from my usual trip back home from the office. As I arrived to Barcelona’s ultra central Paseo de Gracia I could already feel the branding fully dressing the city. In 3 days the capital of Catalonia would become the worldwide epicenter of the Telecomms industry on occasion of the Mobile World Congress (MWC).
Luckily for me, I happened to live here. And luckier even, my brand new badge read on the company field “Mobile World Capital Barcelona”, engine to The Collider and host to MWC in Barcelona and founder of 4 Years From Now (4YFN), the startup business platform, present at MWC events around the world.
So there I was, at the most glamorous avenue in town collecting my badge and ready to enjoy the results of week’s of work, most exceptionally from the Marketing squad at the office.
Following a weekend of mildly enough rest, the Congress kicked off with unexpected publicity for The Collider. Quim Torra, the Catalan president, was promoting the programme on social media as a must-see initiative in this year’s MWC.
Be it for the president’s words or not, what followed was an intense experience of networking, keynotes and press. Among others, The Collider stand at 4YFN, received the visit of Secretary of State Francisco Polo, Barcelona mayoress Ada Colau and the Director of General Research, Development and Innovation at the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation & Universities, Teresa Riego.
A part from institutions, we had time for our day-to-day travel companion’s, too. On the one hand, 8 startups in The Collider portfolio were showcasing their work; these included RheoDx, Pharmacelera, Icaria Medical, SAALG Geomechanics, Combined, Frizbit, HiJiffy and EveryWoah. On the other hand, we had special events dedicated to investors and Universities. The gathering for TTOs, in particular, brought a very special announcement: the new call for technologies will be opening this March! Stay tuned to our channels for the latest updates on this topic.
Finally, the major highlight in The Collider’s agenda was a panel featuring Tech Transfer success stories; the protagonists were the MP3 (represented by Martin Dietz from the Fraunhofer Institute) and the fractal antennas present on every single phone (represented by Carles Puente, founder of Fractus Antennas). The roundtable also included Josemaria Siota, research director at IESE Business School and Oscar Sala, Director of The Collider.
The Collider panel gathered a full-house of listeners to follow the conversation, which converged into one key concept, as the moderator Albert C. Mikkelsen summarised it: “back to basics”. Entrepreneurship is hard, team is key, science is progress. And this brings us to this year’s Mobile World Capital motto and the raison d’etre of The Collider: