Expansión / Catalunya / Monday 26th February 2018 / Page 3 and 4
Photo: Attendees to the Mobile World Congress at the Congress entrance at last year’s edition.
The Mobile World Congress
A total of 125 companies based in Catalonia attend the technology exhibition. Considered the most important in the world, today opens its doors until next Thursday in the Fira halls in Gran Via and Montjuïc
The most significant mobile fair in the world opens its doors in Barcelona today. A whole scenario to carry out business meetings between managers and close contracts. For many companies, this is a unique opportunity because in these negotiations they tie down most of the sales generated during the year.
The Mobile World Congress (MWC), organized by Fira de Barcelona and GSMA, returns for the thirteenth time to the Catalan capital. On this occasion, 2,300 exhibiting companies come together, among which there are 125 Catalan, twenty more than last year. In two words: historical record.
The profile of the companies based in Catalonia is heterogeneous and combines from start-up accelerators to application developers or video game companies. One of the deans is Lleida.net, which has been attending the Congress since 2005, the year it arrived at Barcelona. Previously tried to go to Cannes (France), where the fair was held before landing in the Catalan capital.
Lleida.net invests 100,000 euros to go to the fair, which generates 40% of their annual sales
“We were on the waiting list because there were no spaces left,” recalls Siseo Sapena, founder, and CEO of Lleida.net. The electronic notification company goes to its personal “disembarkation of Normandy,” as described by Sapena.
The congress generates 40% of the firm’s annual revenues. Therefore, the company assists with a team of thirty employees and 200 arranged meetings. In total, the company has invested 100,000 euros this year, which includes stand, hotels, and subsistence allowances, among other expenses. “To differentiate ourselves from other companies, we have prepared a happy hour with the tasting of oils and wines from Lleida,” says Sapena.
Most of the Catalan companies come to the fair with the Generalitat, with 46 companies in the Catalonia pavilion, 16 in the App Planet section and 12 in Catalonia Smart Drones, the space for unmanned aerial vehicle projects (UAV), which this year returns after the success of the last edition. The Spanish pavilion, which manages Red.es and the Ministry of Energy, Tourism, and Digital Agenda, also contributes to the Catalan presence in the Congress, with 16 companies.
VozTelecom, a company listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), takes advantage of the conference not only to establish contacts with potential customers or suppliers but also to present its new application, called Phone-C, which integrates the telephone extension of the company with the employee’s email. Ficosa, on the other hand, arrives at the event with solutions for the automotive industry, such as its C-2V2X communication technology or the SG. In the case of perspective engineering, the company will exhibit a device for the transport of blood samples that manages to regulate the temperature and ensure traceability so that no loss of information occurs.
The event is attended by many other companies, such as Signaturit, Tiendeo, Nektria, Víntegris, ForceManager, Adsmurai, Group Saltó or Accent Systems. Among them is IcarVision Systems, which last autumn was acquired by the American firm Mitek (see EXPANSIÓN Catalunya of October 18th, 2017). For the third consecutive year, the company is responsible for the digital verification of all attendees of the MWC, a crucial task in an event that is expected to be close to 110,000 attendees and could be a target for potential terrorists.
The cluster Barcelona Tech City accompanies 21 ‘start-up’ to 4YFN, the fair for entrepreneurs, accelerators, and funds
The presence of accelerators and venture capital funds is also assured, eager to find start-up and attractive projects to invest in. Barcelona Tech City, the cluster that brings together the main technology companies of the city, accompanies 21 emerging companies to 4YFN, the Congress for entrepreneurs parallel to the MWC and which opens its doors today.
Along with this entity, also in attendance, for example, Connector, the accelerator driven by Carlos Blanco, or Cuatrecasas Accelerates, the Legaltech incubator belonging to the well-known law firm. Bigle Legal, RocketRoi, The Valley or Validated ID are some of the initiatives that also participate in the MWC.
Financial institutions such as CaixaBank or Banco Sabadell also attend the event with their own venture capital firms.
Expansion / Eric Galián / Barcelona