As part of Maxcode’s tradition to share business ideas among IT professionals and discuss latest developments with industry professionals, we have been present at this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
Once more, the GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, has organized an amazing 4-day conference where companies and experts all over the world showcased how mobile is the force behind every emerging innovation. According to the organizers, MWC brought together professionals from 208 countries and territories and was covered by almost 3,500 members of the international press and media.
The exhibition, which spanned across nine halls and eleven outdoor spaces at Fira Gran Via and Fira Montjuïc, gathered over 2,300 companies. Topics addressed ranged from connected cars, virtual reality, new handsets and innovative app ideas, to 3D printing, privacy protection and backend solutions.
Maxcode attended the congress as part of the Dutch Pavilion which put together a couple of the largest companies in the tech sector. The Dutch tech sector plays a major role in the development of new technologies for applications in the means of communication for the future. Companies joining the Pavilion have covered fields such as telecom applications, security solutions and cloud infrastructures, among others.
BIG-small Pitch Startup Event
Apart from the knockout presentations, mentoring sessions and business meetings, the conference programme was aimed at recognizing and awarding innovation among young companies. Therefore, during the 4-day congress, Maxcode attended the BIG-small Pitch Startup Event, which represented a great opportunity for innovative startups to connect with both small and large, experienced companies.
Prior to the MWC, ten startups were selected to take part in the event. Each company pitch focused on the social and technological impact of a specific innovation in one or more of the following areas, namely privacy and security, telecommunications and IT, smart cities, the Internet of Things and cloud.
The winner of the BIG-small Pitch Startup Event was selected by a jury composed of Liesbeth Becker Hoff, Commercial Director at Maxcode, Bart de Jong, ABN AMRO, and Mark Beermann from MobileMindz. Dutch startup VATfree.com, whose system is aimed at allowing international travelers to reclaim VAT on purchases made while travelling, demonstrated that the startup has a clear revenue model, scalability and market opportunities. Liesbeth Becker Hoff had the honour to hand out the award to the company’s CEO Joni Smeenk.
Following the MWC, Maxcode and VATfree.com got together for lunch to explore the possibility of digitalizing the process of making it easier for travelers to get their VAT back with the help of Maxcode’s near-shoring .NET and mobile app development team. Andreea Zanfirescu and Claudiu Costan, who represented the Romania-based software development team, also flew to the Netherlands to brainstorm ideas and identify new innovative way to tackle this.
Barcelona Tech City
Following the Pitch Startup Event, we had the chance to visit the place where all the tech magic happens, Barcelona Tech City.
Barcelona Tech City is a non-profit organization that represents Barcelona’s digital and technological sector. The organization’s main goal is to showcase Barcelona as a main hub in the global tech scene. Open to all those based in Barcelona, the community joins hands with entrepreneurs, startups, investors, large companies, incubators, accelerators and venture builders, as well as universities, business-schools, media and other ecosystem agents.
Beyond the large amount of information on how technology developments influence the dynamic mobile landscape, MWC provided an amazing opportunity for networking. Therefore, following conference sessions and visits, attendees also got to know each other as the congress offered several targeted networking events. They also had a bit of fun with the help of GSMA and Niantic, the creator of Pokémon Go, which developed PokeStops and PokeGyms throughout MWC to encourage networking.
Although Maxcode was not quite a Poke-enthusiast, we have really enjoyed the time spent exchanging business ideas with other industry professionals and tech representatives. The Mobile World Congress turned out to be a surprising experience leaving us with valuable information, new connections and front row tickets to the latest cutting-edge technology in the mobile ecosystem.