Superlumen at MWC18 thanks to Womenup by Airbnb
Last week I attended Mobile World Congress 2018 and 4YFN event as a part of the WomenUp program organised by AirBnB & Impact Hub Madrid! It has been my pleasure to meet all 39 other women entrepreneurs from Spain, selected to participate in this initiative, and learn about their incredible projects.
My role was to represent Superlumen and our team throughout this program, but also to represent all women entrepreneurs in Spain and make sure our presence at the biggest technology event in the world is noticed.
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DAY 1: Keynote by Gloria Molins & AirBnB welcome party
After the official meet & greet with all of the selected entrepreneurs and organisers, we had some time to walk around the exhibition centre and get ourselves familiar with all the exhibitors, the speakers program and most importantly, to get to know our fellow-participants.
The highlight of the day (if not the entire event) was incredibly inspiring and motivating keynote by Trip4Real funder Gloria Molins! She told her story with such passion and enthusiasm that every one of us could relate to her struggles and challenges as a woman entrepreneur. It was just what we needed to hear, to keep us going and keep on fighting for what we believe in.
In the evening AirBnB Barcelona welcomed us to their offices, where they hosted a party for all of us. They were also giving away 3 awards of 2000 EUR each to the most promising startups and the opportunity to work with a startup accelerator. The awards went to Wallyboo.com, Gudog.com and Tappwater.co; some really amazing projects, well worthy of the prize!
DAY 2: Caixa DayOne Investors talk and Women in Mobile
We had a chance to meet and chat with investors and get first-hand info on financing options from Caixa DayOne – a new concept of financial services and consulting for startups, oriented towards innovative startups in technology and digital space.
In the evening we had the privilege to attend Women in Mobile conference (http://www.womeninmobile2018.org/), which topic was focused around Personalisation and AI. We heard from 3 incredible women speakers:
Product Manager @Google (https://assistant.google.com/explore)
Currently working at Google, Tilke is Product Manager for Google Alerts, Google Search and Google Assistant. Tilke talked about how the advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence are transforming the way users access information and interact with technology. By showing examples of the challenges and solutions that Google has come across in building the Google Assistant, Tilke did a demo of how this Age of Assistance is taking shape.
CRM Manager @BlaBlaCar (www.blablacar.com)
She built the CRM department and strategy for @BlaBlaCar for its 22 markets. She talked about what is AI at BlaBlaCar and what does it look like. She concretely showed direct and indirect benefits of AI, which opened the conversation on its impact on our job as Marketing Managers.
VP / Head of Data Science @ AVA (https://www.avawomen.com/)
Expert on algorithm development (from first data analysis to deployment) for medtech and wearables, Lisa explained how data and AI can empower women with powerful health insights throughout their entire reproductive lives. Ava is currently using a combination of machine learning and wearable technologies to help people around the globe become parents.
DAY 3: WomenUp Workshop @Innovation City
Wednesday was the day of the workshop in the Innovation city, which was taking place at the Pier01 in the port of Barcelona and it also happens to be the space of Payment Innovation Hub Barcelona. We all loved the beautiful historic building as well as the location right next to the sea!
The workshop was focused around our experience with the WomenUp program and giving constructive feedback to the organisers on how to improve it for next time. We were divided into teams and did brainstorming sessions to come up with a plan on how to encourage more women to become entrepreneurs and what things can each of us do to help break stereotypes and encourage more women to stand up for themselves in the work place. It was a very eye-opening session for all of us and we definitely walked away from this experience with more knowledge and information which will help us in our future endeavours.
DAY 4: Mobile World Congress
The most exciting day of them all! Mobile World Congress opened its doors to all 4YFN pass holders and I could not wait to enter and visit all the amazing stands.
Of course the first stand on my list was Samsung and their VR experiences! The Samsung’s Gear 4D VR experience uses the Samsung Gear and Samsung Galaxy S phones and offered a variety of interactive rides. It featured a snowboarding experience, a virtual walk on the moon, and even a VR roller coaster. Each ride lasted roughly two minutes and fully immersed you in the experience.
There was also the htc stand with the htc VIVE and the VIVE Pro! They had so many VR games and immersive experiences and unfortunately I could not try all of them! But I did go on a Virtual hot air ballon ride and I got some serious vertigo! The experience was created by @janimationinc and it really stood out for me.
I also tried out Oksus Social VR by SK Telecom. This newest VR innovation enables users to engage with video content and interact with each other inside the virtual world! It is a hybrid of Virtual Reality technology and the real-time community feature of SK Telecom’s award winning media platform service ‘oksusu’. Not my cup of tea, but I get how people could get hooked on this!
Overall this was an incredible experience and I cannot thank AirBnB and Impact Hub Madrid enough for selecting me and allowing me to participate in the program, dedicated solely to women entrepreneurs! I am so grateful to have met so many inspiring women and had the chance to exchange our experience. I’m coming away from this program motivated, determined and with more energy than ever before. I’ll sure be back next year!
by Urska Blagojevic – Superbusiness Dev. Director: Responsible for the business development of Superlumen. Although she is from Slovenia, Urska studied business management in London. After more than 5 years studying and working there (WorleyParsons and Advisian) she moved to Barcelona.