Wow! As the dust settles on TechCrunch Barcelona all we can do is look back and think: Wow!
The event was everything we had hoped it would be. Barcelona’s thriving startup scene came out in their droves and were treated to an evening that was a celebration of the potential of the city’s emerging scene. The quality of the startups was really excellent and they gelled with a team of top-class mentors, led by the irrepressible Mike Butcher.
The pitch competition clearly illustrated the breadth and depth of young tech companies in Barcelona. Cognicor began by showing how they transform the process of making a complaint. Dinube have a merchant centric approach to the world of mobile payments. You can organise your online research better with Icebergs. Then there was Knok taking house-swapping to the next level with 14,000 people already signed up. Next up were Lhings who are your social network of things in the cloud. You can eat that doughnut but Nutrino will make sure you make up for it later! Overall the judges felt that two companies stood out from the rest. They gave a special mention to Smadex who are using algorithms to make the most out of mobile advertising. But there could be only one winner and Marfeel’s focus on improving making the tablet experience put them on top of the pile!
We did interviews with these companies as well as our sponsors and some other great companies who didn’t quite make the final cut - you can see them (along with the Smadex and Marfeel pitches) on our YouTube Channel.
It wasn’t only about the companies on the stage however. We had 200 people at the main event and a total of 400 at the after party! Everywhere you turned there were exciting new opportunities and an irrepressible energy.
One of the standout moments for many was the moment just after the pitch contest when the judges had left the room to make their decision. Hermes had the mic and to fill the time until the judges came back he asked if there were any startups in the room who wanted to take the opportunity to make their pitch. Suddenly there were eager entrepreneurs popping up all over the place and you really saw that the startups on stage were just the tip of the iceberg!
We woke up slightly hungover on Friday morning but filled with a new energy for this city that we love. Yes, the crisis is taking its toll, but as long as there are people like this dedicated to making their dreams a reality then the emerging startup scene in Barcelona may yet play a key role in dragging this country out of the gloom and into the light!