From 27 February to 1 March, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) will once again be at one of the world's technological innovation benchmark events, namely 4 Years From Now (4YFN). The event – organized by Mobile World Capital at the Fira de Barcelona trade fair venue – is expected to receive more than 20,000 participants and technology start-up stands from all over the world in the sister event to Mobile World Congress.
The UOC is taking part in 4YFN for the third year running with a stand – coordinated by its entrepreneurship support platform Hubbik – which will provide first-hand information about UOC community initiatives, which are backed by the counselling of the UOC Knowledge Transfer and Research Support Office. At its stand, the University will be hosting six start-ups promoted by its students, alumni, faculty and administrative staff, namely:
- ARlab, the UOC's augmented reality laboratory, promoted by Luis Villarejo, technology specialist at the UOC. Villarejo comments that the aim of ARlab is to "offer new opportunities for businesses and organizations to communicate their brand strategy better and promote their products".
- Geomotion Games, a start-up specializing in the creation of video games using localization-based technologies. In charge is Pau Yánez, researcher with the Faculty of Information and Communication Sciences. Yánez stresses that "location-based apps seek to ensure customer loyalty and keep them through a play experience".
- Nutrapp, a company working in online nutritional advice for people who need to make changes to their diet. One of its visible faces is Marga Serra, course instructor for the UOC's Master's Degree in Nutrition and Health, who highlights that “Nutrapp is based on a system of online nutritional coaching to improve eating habits and the implementation of the Mediterranean diet". The company has won two awards, one from the Ministry of Health and the other from the Spanish Community Nutrition Society.
- Planomi is a leisure marketplace for last-minute purchases, which allows users to buy the experience in advance and for the provider to accept them subsequently or not. The buyer is informed of the decision 24 hours before the experience. If it is not accepted, the provider returns the money to the buyer, with an extra. One of its promoters is Albert Grau, professor on the UOC Master's Degree in Mobile Application Development.
- The collaborative consumer platform, Sharing Academy, allows university students to look for and offer private classes between classmates who have studied exactly the same course, the same bachelor's degree and at the same university. The platform already has over 10,000 students from 53 universities throughout Spain. One of its creators is Jordi Llonch, a UOC Multimedia graduate. Sharing Academy won the prize for the best app at last year's Mobile World Congress.
- Ubiqme is a corporate expense optimization app for companies and freelancers. One of its entrepreneurs is Joan Iniesta, a Business Administration and Management student at the UOC. Ubiqme has been supported by Booking and TripAdvisor, among others.
Geomotion Games, Planomi and Sharing Academy have the opportunity to be present at 4YFN with the UOC due to having taken part in #SpinUOC 2016, the UOC's annual transferable knowledge conference, whose project selection call is open until 12 February (more information here). #SpinUOC is aimed at promoting projects by anyone in the UOC community, be they student, alumnus, professor, course instructor, researcher or administrative staff specialist.