As some of our Facebook-follwers might have seen, Odd, Axel and myself visited the Mobile World Congress this week. Here's what we did:
We managed to get our way over to the congress area fairly early. The site was huge. 8 gigantic halls spread out on an old piece of farmland.
Before arriving I had agreed to meet with a variety of small companies this first day, so while I went over to the meeting area, Odd and Axel started looking around. My meetings went ok, but I would definitly say that I should have done a little more research before agreeing to meet them all. I mean, it was really nice meeting you Vladimir, but unfortunatly we do not need flyers handed out in Belarus at the moment..
The rest of the day we all went around to see the newest mobile technology on the globe. Some of the stands were really enormous. The Samsung-stand was probably the size of some 2 football-fields, and ZTE had what seemed like a spacecraft. However, the largest of them all was the Chinese network producer Huawei. Their stand was on its own a fair with it's own accreditation-gate (invites only), 3 floors and an auditorium. Here you can see the entrance to (and parts of) the land of Huawei:
After getting tired of what felt like beeing part of some science fiction movie, we had a couple free(!) beers in the sun before it was time to get going. We had been invited to a Swedish party (or rather, we had litterally "begged" for the tickets earlier that day). The party was of course exactly how a "party-swede" would have it, free drinks and tapas for everyone. The party (and especially with its free drinks..) was also a great place for networing, and I belive I managed to hand out at least 10 buisness-cards that night.. +10 Linkedin connections, CA-CHING!
We decided to take a slow morning after last nights strong drinks (did I mention they were free?), and went out on a stroll around to see Barcelona. What a cool city! So much cool architecture and sights. After a while we made it down to the beach and realaxed there for some time.
Later we took a taxi back to the conference, and made it just in time for Axel to get a picture with his hero, Magnus Carlsen, at the Innovation Norway stand. We stayed for drinks, and realized that the true value for us beeing at MWC was exactly this, the networking part of it. We had many interesting talks to potential partners for the future, and again exchanged many buisness cards. We ended up at a Tapas-restaurant in the city center called Sensi Bistro Tapas. Great place, and food.
On our last day we decided to visit a different part of the congress, "4 years from now". This was a special startup-fair, and definitly an interesting place for us. Here, startups could gather to talk to eachother and listen to talks from people who felt they had "cracked the code". One of the best things was the matchmaking with buisness angels, a great opportunity for us. After finishing some cool meetings with potential BA-investors, we went for some of the best Mexican take-away we've had.
We returned to the main conference area, and met up with the guys behind the app Snapsale. In the same way as Tise, Snapsale tries to make it better for people to sell their stuff with their mobile phone. Tise is (of course :p) a much better product, but Snapsale is controlled by Schibsted (Goliat), so they have some advantages on us in that sense... We decided to be friends, and they conviced us to take a picture with them as a sign of this friendship.
For the last night we'd got a hold of some special invites for a party at the Intel stand over at the main conference area. This turned out to be one of the "geekiest" parties we had ever been. We all agreed when Odd said; "I tend to look at myself as a big geek, but here, I'm not even on the scale.. ".. Anyways, there were unlimited free beer and tapas, so we stayed for a couple of hours before posing with the Android mascot and then moving on to greener grass.
For me, this greener grass was a party with some of my former colleagues from this summer. Great food and drinks. For Odd and Axel, this greener grass was a closed VIP party for the most important people of Intel. "Do you have an invitation?", "Yeah, we were invited here by Ryan Shawcrest".. There is no Ryan Shawcrest at Intel, but that didn't matter, they were suddenly VIP guests.
After a couple of hours of sleep we went to the airport. Norwegian pilots were on strike, so we had to wait some 4 hours on the airport before leaving Barcelona in an old Jet2Holidays-charter plane (not the best flight, but hey). We finally made it home, and all agreed we had met alot of interesting people and have many great new leads for the upcoming weeks. Motivated and ready for action, you will definitly hear more from us in the near future. Tise out