FundingBox at MWC and 4YFN 2018: Manufacturing, robotics and startups
Last Monday 26th of February a snowy Barcelona woke up more crowded than usual. At Fira Gran Via more than 2,400 companies showcased cutting-edge products and services across 120,000 net square metres of exhibition: the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, organised by the GSMA and held in the Mobile World Capital, was taking place.
And there it was one of the projects we are leading for the European Commission, I4MS (ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs), an initiative to support the digitisation of manufacturing SMEs in Europe. In the Mobile World Capital stand, you could find I4MS, where our team presented the initiative, not just to the general public, but also to the Vice-President of the European Commission for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, who visited the I4MS space.
Within the I4MS initiative, we have created an online community with the aim of gathering all the key players of the European smart manufacturing ecosystem. It is a central information point to follow the latest technologies and trends of the market, and to be updated about all the news and events, but also funding opportunities. It is the perfect place to network and find synergies and get inspired through success stories.
4 Years From Now: The place for startups
But that wasn’t all, I4MS was also present in the side event of the MWC, 4 Years From Now (4YFN). 4YFN is the start-up business platform of Mobile World Capital that enables startups, investors and corporations to connect and launch new ventures together. Celebrated from the 26th to the 28th of February, it was attended by more than 19.000 assistants, 650 startups exhibiting, 700 investors and 275 speakers.
The I4MS initiative organised together with Robot Union, the first European accelerator fully focused on robotics startup and SMEs that will distribute up to €223K equity-free funding, the Robotic Workshop ‘How to succeed in the Robotics sector’, where an overview of funding and business services available to support start-ups and SMEs in the robotics sector was carried out.
So we were also at 4YFN representing three more of our projects: Robot Union -as mentioned-, IMPACT Growth and IMPACT Connected Car (ICCar) at the IMPACT space, where IMPACT accelerated start-ups had their booths. IMPACT is an accelerator with two programs: Growth and Connected Car. The first one has already closed two open calls reaching more that 2.000 applicants, meanwhile ICCar finished an open call in January with more than 400 applicants and will have a second one in the spring. Both programmes offer equity free funding and acceleration and training services with top mentors, as well as access to private funding.
During 4YFN, we organised three events:
- IMPACT Connected Car meetup to network in this vertical.
- IMPACT Demo Day, where 12 of the most outstanding IMPACTer startups presented their projects, such as DelSuper, FruitsApp, GymCraft, RezGuru, XapiX, YBVR, Botcar and HEVO Power. The startup pitching was combined with brief interlaced panel discussions in which our CEO, Sany Karani, participated as a speaker.
- IMPACT Meetup to network and find new synergies.
Apart from I4MS, IMPACT and Robot Union, we also spread the word about L4MS, an accelerator for manufacturing SMEs to automate the factory floor logistics under the umbrella of I4MS that will have two open calls to distribute up to €250K equity-free.
Besides, we also spoke about TETRAMAX, a new Horizon 2020 innovation action that will provide an implementation of the European Smart Anything Everywhere (SAE) initiative in the domain of customized and low-energy computing for cyber physical systems and the internet of things. The total budget of the TETRAMAX project is 7M€ and will be distributed through different open calls with significant equity-free funding opportunities.
FundingBox Startup Pitch Competition
At FundingBox, we love startups and we love stories. That is why we wanted to do something fun, challenging and dynamic while staying three days in Barcelona during 4YFN. We decided to launch a ‘Startup Pitch Competition’: we recorded over 20 startups exhibiting in the event to pitching for maximum one minute to upload their video on our Twitter account.
We promised them that the startup that got the most retweets and views of the video would be featured on our social media, interviewed for our blog and highlighted in our newsletter! Xavi Molina, COO at DRAC Barcelona, a company for blockchain investments and prediction markets with its own virtual token (xdrac) based on Waves, got 481 views, beating the rest of the pitches… so stay tuned, because we will be telling you more about them soon!
— FundingBox (@FundingBox) February 27, 2018