Sónar+D leads the second edition of the Sónar+D Start-Up Competition to discover the 100 most disrupting global companies in the creative industries sector and StartUp Stuttgart is happy to be one of the official media partners of the competition!

Sónar+D is looking for 100 early-stage ventures with an ambitious and capable management teams with a serious technology and potential for growth and impact on the global market. After the selection process by the Global Judge Committee with top-notch experts and investors, 10 qualified global start-ups will be entitled to present their projects to a big audience composed of specialists in the sector and investors at Sónar+D to be held from 18th to 20th of June 2015 in Barcelona.

Sónar+D Start-Up Competition 2015 from Sónar on Vimeo.

The Global Judge Committee will choose the winner and the second and third placed entries in the Sónar+D Start-Up Competition. All 10 finalists will be awarded with different services or product prizes courtesy of our sponsors.

Applications for the selection process can be submitted between March 10th and May 14th, 2015.

Apply here via Younoodle for the competition!

There have already been so many wrap-ups of the Mobile World Congress 2014 and the 4 Years From Now conference in Barcelona last week, so that it’s difficult to really add something new to the buzz.

4YFN had a great start in parallel to the MWC, not so corporate-driven, more creative and less streamlined, thus more interesting for me. 4 Years From Now is the slogan of this new startup conference as Barcelona is currently Mobile World Capital until 2017, producing a brand of its own.

There has been a good mix of high-level keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops and startup presenting their projects to the attendees; with clear trends like wearables and mobile of course leading the tone. I was surprised though to see a known face with some inspiring new input. Read on to hear which was my favourite keynote of 4YFN.

On Monday evening, Mark Zuckerberg’s interview at MWC was livestreamed and everyone listened attentively to what he had to say. A big topic was of course Facebook’s recent acquistion of WhatsApp for 19 billion USD. He reaffirmed that WhatsApp will stay independent without any plans to include ads into the messaging service. We’ll see. On the other hand, he broadly promoted his project which wants to bring internet access to everyone (2/3 of the global population still hasn’t access) during the next years, partnering up with Samsung, Ericsson and a few others. Basically meaning that he’s building up a massive data base for whatever goal he seems to pursue. Interestingly, Zuckerberg’s interview showed that even he depends on the large telecom carriers to get this project going, announcing plans to partner up with some of the big players soon.

Zuckerberg 4YFN

The other highly anticipated interview was Martin Varsarsky’s with WhatsApp founder Jan Koum who gave some insights into the past weeks and the reasons behind the acquistion of WhatsApp by Facebook. Curiously, he created WhatsApp because he didn’t want to work in a „real“ job. Apart from this, nothing really new which you haven’t read in the press during the last weeks already. His press aversity is widely known and we now know why: Read about Robin Wauters‘ encounter with Jan Koum backstage after the interview. They have kind of a history ;)

My personal highlight though was Morten Lund’s keynote on the third day which unfortunately got lost a bit in the general busyness and several other simultaneous events before the final Wayra demo day. Lund who seemed a bit uncomfortable on stage (in comparison to his casual, relaxed appearance at the Pirate Summit Cologne back in 2012) made a few good points: Nowadays, real, big money will be made with the apparent boring business – SaaS, Big Data and Social. And in four years from now, we’ll be data hostages. Sad, but clearly reality. Lund has come a long way from his wild Skype days, with his venture OnlyXO he’s helping to scale some great companies, see e.g. Tradeshift, AirHelp and ItemBase.

Lund 4YFN

So where will we be 4 years from now? I go with Lund, we’ll be data hostages with even less privacy in order to keep up with the mainstream. But at that moment in time, nobody will care about it anymore. We’ll have other challenges to focus on.

Find some nice photo coverage of the 4YFN as well as the Mobile World Congress on’s flickr page.

We are happy to announce StartUp Stuttgart as official partner of this year’s Four Years From Now Conference (4YFN) Barcelona taking place in parallel to the Mobile World Congress January 24-27, 2014! The conference includes a startup competition (application deadline: January 25th, 2014) to which all Stuttgart startups are invited!

4 Years From Now (4YFN), the international forum organized by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, under the auspices of the Mobile World Congress, has unveiled an important part of the program which will convert Barcelona into the capital of mobile entrepreneurship. With the final program yet to be announced, the event has already secured the participation of specialists such as Verne Harnish, the American coaching guru for entrepreneurs; Carlos Domingo, VP of Telefónica and CEO of Telefónica R&D; Morten Lund, the prolific entrepreneur behind over 80 startups; Kenneth Morse, founder of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center and a visiting professor at ESADE; Pepe Agell, senior director of Chartboost; and Aldo de Jong, co-­founder of the innovation consultancy Claro Partners.

4YFN will also host a special edition of Wayra DemoDay, in addition to serving as the last stop for the Imagine Express,a „hackatrain“ running from Barcelona-­‐Paris-­‐London-­‐Barcelona on which 36 participants, in teams of three, will develop mobile applications.


Startup Competition – Application Deadline January, 25th 2014

Do you have a startup but you still need a useful push? Do not miss our global Mobile Startup Competition! We are looking for the best three cutting-edge startups with the most innovative businesses built on mobile technologies.

No matter which phase of development your project is in, the contest is open to the most potential talent. Three winners will be selected among ten semi-finalists according to their creativity, originality, impact, innovation or scalability.


The competition will be tough, so a good prize is more than deserved.

1st winner:

  • Special recognition as the 1st 4YFN Mobile Startup Competition winner.
  • 1 week immersion at the Silicon Valley Startup Embassy (valued at 1,500€).
  • 5,000€ in in-kind legal services BDO Spain.
  • Fast Track to BStartup programme of Banco Sabadell for the new call on May. Your startup will pass directly to the 2nd phase, the personal interview.

2nd winner:

  •  3,000€ in in-kind legal services BDO Spain.
  • Fast Track to BStartup programme of Banco Sabadell for the new call on May.

3rd winner:

  •  2,000€ in in-kind legal services BDO Spain.
  • Fast Track to BStartup programme of Banco Sabadell for the new call on May.

All 10 finalists will receive:

  • 500€ cash grant to cover part of the travel expenses to Barcelona.
  • Access to the VIP Dinner at 4YFN.
  • 6 months free desk space in Barcelona, into the Inlea Fundation Barcelona.
  • 1,000€ in in-kind legal services, from BDO Spain.
  • Access to the Speed Dating with global investors.
  • Press coverage
  • More prizes to be announced soon.

Submit your application until January, 25th 2014:

Rules to follow and join the competition:

  • Make sure you have read the Competition Basis, specially the „Selecation of projects“ chapter
  • Fill out the form. The better you do it, the better chance to be in the finals.
  • Among all the applications, a panel of qualified judges will select 10 finalists to attend 4 Years From Now and present their startups on the final round.
  • These 10 finalists will have an online training to prepare the pitch and do a stunning presentation.
  • The final round will be on Feb. 24th 2014 in Barcelona in front of the judges panel.
  • Each finalist will present a short pitch (up to 3-4 minutes) of their business proposition to the judging panel, who may then ask questions.
  • The judging panel will then meet privately to select the 3 winners.