4Y4N 2023

More than 780 startups presented their solutions in this edition of the 4YFN, a meeting that takes place in parallel to the MWC and that has its own pavilion at the Fira de Barcelona.

Guillem Ferran
11 min readMar 3, 2023

The most inspirational and innovators area is after the Mobile World Congress the Four Years For Now area, what they call the Ecosystem, to join seven hundred startups across the entire tech industry.

From 27th February till 2d of March, we can find the exhibitors inside 28 country pavilions (Ukraine, Israel, Japan, Korea…) or under banks (BSabadell Startup, CaixaBank DayOne…) or under companies (Vueling, DKV, Decathlon…) or under cities (Lleida.net)

Screens from the Fair.

4Y4N is a global audience with a promise that exhibiting on the show floor gets you noticed by the tech ecosystem, as well as hundreds of investors and VCs. Angel investors or called Business angels are affluent individuals who invest their own money into startup ventures, whereas venture capital (VC) investors are employed by a risk capital company (where they invest other people’s money).

4YFN Awards Finalists

The 4YFN Awards is a global startup competition aimed at finding the best digital startups around the globe. A Remote evaluation panel formed by Chris Smith (Managing Partner at Playfair Capital), Lourdes Álvarez (Partner at JME Ventures), Borja Breña (Principal at Nauta Capital), Raquel Bernal (Managing Partner at Draper B1), Andy Lurling (Founding Partner at LUMO Labs), Alex WC Chueh (Senior Investment Manager at Harbinger VC), Laureen Cook (Executive TMTS Adviser & CEO at Extelcon), Faisal Zia (Technical Director at GSMA Foundry), Ines de Lestapis (Associate at Notion Capital), Luisa Rubio (Head of Wayra X), Cristina Alcocer (Venture Capital Investor at Seaya) and Jorge Baron (Associate at Adara Ventures) will use the following criteria to list the “Top 50 startups” and the five Finalists:

  • Innovation: extent, uniqueness, proprietary rights and centrality of the project.
  • Soundness & Traction: achievements & recognition, market traction and technology readiness.
  • Potential: clear roadmap to scalability, potential for growth and financial returns.
  • Impact: contribution towards solving one or more UN Sustainable Development Goals, workforce diversity.
  • Fit: with the team, the initial markets, the resources available.

Payflow was the winning startup of the 4YFN competition at MWC 2023.

Of the companies that applied to receive the award, 50 were shortlisted and five became finalists: in addition to Payflow, the English Unmanned Life, the Dutch Aircision, the Danish DeafTawk, and the American Microverse were fighting for first place.

Get paid in real time, as asocial benefit is how Payflow presents his product, Natalia has instant access to her earned salary (€500) at any time of the month, therefore, she can access the €300 she needs and these will be deducted from her payroll at the end of the month.


PayFlow was founded in 2020 by Avinash Sukhwani and Benoit Menardo. It is a financial well-being application that allows companies to offer flexible remuneration and a salary on demand to their employees, that is, they can get paid whenever they want. At the same time, the startup provides the organization with software in the cloud to manage this solution. So far, Payflow has expanded to Portugal and some countries in Latin America and already has more than 300,000 users and 500 clients worldwide.


Unmanned Life consists of a platform that allows seamless deployment, control and orchestration of autonomous robotics that connect through different networks and that have different software, interfaces and systems. operational. Born in 2016 by Kumardev Chatterjee and Nicholas Zylberglajt, the British company already has deployments in Spain, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and Austria, as well as the United Kingdom.


Aircision is a Netherlands-based startup founded in 2019 by Luis Oliveira and Betsy Lindsey focuses on the development of free space optical communication (FSO) systems and devices, which allow connecting remote or rural areas without internet access. Their solution can deliver 10 to 100 Gbps over greater distances (more than 5 kilometers) and with less energy expenditure than radio frequency.


For its part, DeafTawk, the Danish startup founded by Wamiq Hassan, Ali Shabbar and Abdul Qadeer, seeks to bridge the communication gap between the 466 million people who suffer from deafness and the rest of the world through a mobile application for language interpretation of signals in real time. The platform has more than 1,100 sign language interpreters in more than six languages, and is already used by 18,000 users.


Microverse, although it has American origins, was founded by the Argentine-Spanish Ariel Camus in 2018. It is an edtech that is dedicated to training software engineers, without charging them anything until they are hired. It does this through a collaborative learning model that encourages teamwork in a remote environment, mimicking the way companies increasingly operate.

HumanITcare 4YFN22 Awards winner.

Last year HumanITcare was 4YFN22 Awards winner. Humaitcare. Telemonitoring heart failure patients reduces admissions and improves self-care and confidence.

A list of the 50 Top Startups from the 700 ecosystem has been published:

During the event, different Pitch battles are done, with different themes and winners:

– Digital health. Nixi for children By preparing with virtual reality, we help reduce the anxiety caused by the hardest moments of medical treatments…

– EdTech: Kokoro Kids stimulates the cognitive development of children from 2 to 6 years old through more than 150 unique game experiences developed by experts.

– FinTech: Sparco . Tools to enable payments and shipping in one platform.

– FinTech: Sparco

– Tech and Planet: Biped is a smart AI-powered harness that helps blind and visually impaired people navigate the world safely. Equipped with 3D cameras, it identifies and predicts the trajectories of objects in the environment, providing the wearer with intuitive feedback via bone conducting headphones.

This year BStartup from Banc Sabadell is now 10 years old and one of the Platinum Sponsors of the event. BS act as an investor for companies in the seed phase that have promising business models and accompany them throughout the process. This year they presented different Wegaw, Dcycle and RIP Foods from others.

Wegaw, a Swiss-Spanish start-up that uses artificial intelligence to process data obtained from satellites or drones to detect and monitor the possibilities of generating renewable energy. “We offer data to large energy companies that allow them to predict how much energy they will be able to produce from renewable sources and optimize their operations, as well as decide where to install their parks.

Dcycle a technological solution whose main clients are large corporations, but at the Bstartup stand you can also find ‘start-ups’ that offer a valid service for any company, whatever its size. For example, they have developed software equipped with artificial intelligence that allows companies to know their environmental impact.

RIP Foods “We want to retire the meat industry to mitigate climate change,” exclaims its CEO and founder, Kevin Forssmann. To do this, they make Asian ‘street food’ products using a new type of protein based on mycelium fermentation. “We have opted for this type of protein because it has a high nutritional profile, it is produced in a clean way and offers a gastronomic experience similar to meat”, summarizes Forssmann.

The Esade business school demonstrates at the Mobile World Congress what a class in the metaverse would be like and several ‘startups’ exhibit their solutions to transform the way of learning. The education of the future is a combination of the metaverse, virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence, which “does with letters what the calculator did with numbers,” he says. Without forgetting, of course, that technology is the use that is given to it and that there are formulas, at least, controversial: for example, the video that Almirall himself shows of a children’s class in China with children wearing a technological band on their heads that changes color depending on the level of concentration of the student. “Be prepared because the future is coming,” warns the teacher.

On the congress floor itself, some other examples: the Muse Scene Lab platform with which music students can practice with a virtual orchestra, SkyNote technology to play the instrument at home and have artificial intelligence correct you or the video games in the Minicoders metaverse for a child to learn the fundamentals of programming.

Alex Beard at MSchools EdTech Track

The MSchools EdTech Track will convene entrepreneurs and experts in education to discuss challenges and opportunities arising from the EdTech world and their impact on the future of teaching and learning. Artificial intelligence, the metaverse, virtual reality, coding, robotics, machine learning and many others will have a significant impact on teaching, providing new opportunities for teachers and students to collaborate, learn, and engage.


For me, I found interesting several startups or services, that can offer solutions to different problems, situations and approaches.

The future of work and jobs:
Decotherapy, Digital interior design and decoration services designed for you. From 120 to 395 euros

Competenz Lab is a full-cycle career management platform powered by artificial intelligence and professional mentors with years of experience in IT, start-ups and career transformation. Competenz Lab’s mission is to change the concept of classical job-searching and career-building. We want to make finding a job of the future easy for anyone — regardless of previous expertise and experience.

Becadvisor is the unique platform that connects each and every college and school with companies seeking to attrack talented young people through internships. Find all profiles, from marketing to software development, hhrr, accounting or design, on any location; and sign their college’s specific documents for the internship agreement with our help

Health and monitoring devices and improve life:
Hypo from IReason, HYPO is a novel, non-invasive, intelligent, and original proof-of-concept of an embedded device in the form of a wireless sensor that will forever replace analog and digital devices for measuring blood pressure.
Lifevit. Free application for tracking activity goals and monitoring health medications.

Kumux, software simulates the natural light characteristics indoors, using artificial dynamic light.

Numo ADHD is the first cringe-free support app for adults with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) that is growing 1.5x MoM in the US.

Numo ADHD is the first cringe-free

New tools and experiments.

GoGreen is a social app that promotes sustainable mobility with the aim to reduce air pollution in cities. Companies can leverage Web3 technologies to interact with their customers and also calculate their carbon footprint generated from commuting.

Kombo connect the best local food vendors with consumers in their workplace. A smart canteen with healthy and delicioous meals, snacks and drinks. The extra motivation for your teams.

Kombo and Tanoka and Lola

Tanoka is an automatic #clipping system thanks to the use of #Artificial Intelligence that allows you to display all the news related to a topic.

Lola Platform. SimonxNapptilus LAB stand presents the dashboard of energy management connected to Simon’s smart devices.

Opground is the first AI-based system that connects companies and entrepreneurs with the most tailored tech professionals in the same way humans do, knowing professionals through the first interviews, but in less than 5min. This is possible because all tech professionals get interviewed by +500 companies at once through a single 30min virtual conversation with Opi, our chatbot, and companies get the most tailored talent as if they had interviewed and preselected all +8.000 tech professionals in Opground in just few minutes.

Claypot records and references the ideas of the world’s most creative and experimental performers as samples in its library. We connect composers with these samples and with each other to produce the music we publish.

Naturermoving and Storydive

Nature mobility Established in May 2018, global mobility service company that operates various mobility services. Real-time rental car platform, electric vehicle sharing, flight, train, electric kickboard reservation service. “Integrated platform tailored to my journey beyond travel”

Storydive: We accompany companies, cultural and educational institutions on the way to their own audio walk. Depending on your needs, we support you with conception, production or post-production and offer the right platforms for publication with our two apps Storydive and Ortspiel. Tell stories interactively and immersively — directly on site.



Guillem Ferran

Product Design Teacher. Empower entrepreneurs, products and ideas. Barcelona. http://guillemferran.com/