TechCrunch@Barcelona – Discussion and networking lunch at MWC

For the last few of years TechCrunch has headed to Barcelona for the annual conflab known as Mobile World Congress. But last year we neglected to set up a meetup. That changes this year with the start of, we hope, a regular annual meetup involving startups investors and the mobile industry together in the spirit of innovation and pushing the boundaries of mobile.

To do this we’re teaming up with the creators of an awesome new event which runs alongside MWC, called Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival. Consider this the “Off Broadway” or Fringe Festival of MWC, where you get to actually talk about the real issues in the mobile startup ecosystem in a lively debate format.

This interactive event will feature some of the most innovative and interesting startups and investors on the scene. Sponsored by Java, GetTaxi and Swiftkey (with further sponsorship opportunities available), this should be a great way to kick start your week in Barcelona.

So here are the details for our TechCrunch @ Barcelona Lunch Meetup:

Date: Monday 27th February

Time: Doors open at 12.30 for a prompt 1pm start. We will be serving a sit-down lunch. Doors close at 3.30pm.
Location: “Aquarella” Restaurant

Venue: Aquarella, Gran Via 572, 08011 Barcelona. (Two Metro stops to Universitat or a short cab ride from La Fira. A MWC12 Exhibition ticket is NOT required for entry).

Dress code: Unlike MWC there is NO dress code. Relax, it’s lunch!

We are releasing a limited number of early bird tickets now!

Tickets: Available to purchase here

Exhibition tables: Available to purchase here

As well as a gorgoues lunch attended by the main players in the scene, we’ll be having two panel discussion. One from a mobile start-up perspective and the other from an investor / corporate perspective.

Themes for the panel discussion:

• Building mobile startups to get big fast
• Mobile games
• Raising VC for mobile startups
• Making the app stores work for you
• Getting Carriers excited about your app
• Monetization and app distribution secrets
• The rise of the tablet economy
• New devices breaking onto the market
• Developing for the platforms – the latest trends amongst startups
• And plenty more besides!

We’ll be announcing speakers shortly but if you would like to join the panels please contact me, Mike Butcher on mike butcher (AT)

There are demo pod spaces available for companies to exhibit

If you’d like to sponsors the event, please email Helen Keegan on helen (AT)

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other HMFF events on during the week, with everything from breakfast briefings to big parties covering every aspect of mobile, especially the cutting edges you may not hear about as you trawl the halls and stands at MWC trying to avoid the raucous demonstrations…

Sponsors so far:

We are very grateful to our first sponsors who have helped make this event happen.

SwiftKey: SwiftKey makes typing much easier on Android smartphones, replacing the touchscreen keyboard with one powered by smarter natural language technology. The app understands how words work together to give incredibly accurate corrections and can accurately predict a user’s next word. It also powerfully learns over time to make typing even more accurate and users can personalise it using Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, SMS or their blog posts. SwiftKey has received more than five million downloads since its launch in 2010, saving users more than 35 billion keystrokes — or over 400 years’ worth of typing. The app supports 35 languages and is a finalist in this year’s Global Mobile Awards, in the Most Innovative Mobile App category.

Oracle’s OTN Java Developer Community:
Java is the foundation for virtually every type of networked application and is the global standard for developing and delivering mobile applications, games, Web-based content, and enterprise software. As the steward of Java technology, Oracle’s OTN Java Developer Community is leading the technical innovation to enable developers worldwide to efficiently develop and deploy exciting new Java applications and services in a multi-device world. Learn more:

GetTaxi opened its doors in August 2011 and was the first Taxi app to launch in the UK. Founded in Israel in 2010 and aggressively expanding into European markets the company has since received multi million pound institutional investment. GetTaxi allows Smartphone users (iPhone, Android and Blackberry) to order a taxi at the tap of a button on their mobile device or via a web interface. End to end instant connection between drivers and passengers means lower dispatch fees, a lower drop rate, more immediate service, and more fares.

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