Monday, February 29, 2016

Kicking off 2016 at the 4YFN and Mobile World Congress - InvestHorizon visits Barcelona

With the city of Barcelona completely invaded by high tech entrepreneurs and savvy investors for the annual 4YFN and Mobile World Congress, InvestHorizon made its mark during the mobile and digital week by successfully celebrating the first Early Stage Camp and Investment Forum of 2016 with head turning numbers. On Wednesday 24 February at the Mobile World Capital venue, EBAN, in collaboration with Business Angels Catalunya (BANC) and Telefonica’s Wayra Accelerator, hosted 22 startups (more than 50 applied), 16 high profile mentors and over 60 investors from around the world for a day of investment readiness activities. The event was also supported by 2 of the most renowned universities in the world: IESE and ESADE, who empower entrepreneurship via their alumni investor networks; as well as the Spanish chapter of Kereitsu Forum, one of the largest global networks of angel investors.

After the welcome and opening speeches from the BANC’s Founder Albert Colomer, Wayra’s Investment Director Valentin Fernandez and InvestHorizon’s Program Officer Ignacio Puente, the morning carried on with two workshops focused on investment readiness led by EBAN’s President Candace Johnson and EBAN’s Board Member Aleksandar Cabrilo, who shared their experience and knowledge on what it takes to start and scale up a business. The morning speeches ended with Cormac Leggett from the governmental agency ENISA who presented to the entrepreneurs the instruments available today in Spain to support SMEs.

The 22 startups then split up into 4 groups on the basis of their sectors of activity and participated in the Dry-Run Clinic, a one to one coaching workshop where entrepreneurs receive training and feedback from a selected group of mentors on their pitch and their business in general.

The 4 Dry Run Groups saw the following coaches’ participation (complete bios of all coaches and investors available here):

BANC Group : Candace Johnson, EBAN President; Albert Colomer, BANC Founder; Abrahm Acedo, Investor; Xavier Martin, Investor; Silvia Fierro, Investor

Keriretsu Forum Group: Miguel Costa, Keirestu Manager; Marcel Dridje, Investor; Arturo Hernandez, Investor; Yves Charnet; Christophe Bodin, Investor

IESE Group: Juan Roure, IESE Director; Juan L. Segurado, IESE Manager; Alex Pardo, Investor; Josep Arroyo, Investor

ESADE Group: Fernando Zallo, ESADE Director; Marta Campillo, ESADE Manager; Carlos Picher, Investor; Narcis Clavell, Investor

“The great thing about the Dry Run Clinic is that we can really help the entrepreneurs see what they need to improve in light of both their presentations to the investors as well as their business models in general.” said EBAN’s President Candace Johnson after coaching one of the participating startups. “It is a reality check that all entrepreneurs should experience preferably sooner than later in their careers and InvestHorizon needs to be applauded for enabling this.”

The lunch break was also another great occasion for entrepreneurs to get further feedback from investors and to network a bit before the afternoon’s Investment Forum.

The 1st Investment Forum of 2016 will set the bar high this year in terms of investment readiness of the startups. Of the 22 handpicked startups that each pitched for 3 minutes to an audience of almost 60 investors, 3 were recognized for their outstanding performance and one took home the award for the best startup of the day. These were:

1. Pupilium – Best Startup of InvestHorizon Barcelona
2. Photonics S&A – Outstanding Performance
3. Made of Genes – Outstanding Performance
4. Incubaapps – Outstanding Performance

For a complete list of all presenting startups and information on their ventures, please click here.

The excitement did not end here: as part of their participation to the event, all startups and attendees also got access to the 4YFN and Mobile World Congress, courtesy of the organizers of the Early Stage Camp and Investment Forum. Now that’s what you call “Benvinguts a Barcelona” (welcome to Barcelona)!

Last but not least, we are looking forward to seeing you at the next InvestHorizon events which can be found here. For more information, visit or send your inquiries to