360Live — Networking at MWC
In February we hosted our annual MWC event, and it was our first under our new 360Live brand. Now in its 7th year this gathering of entrepreneurs, investors and corporate executives has become a popular fixture in the increasingly busy MWC calendar. This year was no exception with 175 industry figures coming together at Hotel Omm to discuss the major themes of the week.
Recognising that Donald Trump was going to be settling into his new role we designed the event with a regulatory theme. The assumption being the goings-on in the White House would have been on many people’s minds as they try to understand the implications of a Trump America. Little did we know what a busy first few weeks he’d have in office!
This year’s panel:
Christopher Rogers, a hugely successful entrepreneur who previously founded Nextel which was sold to sprint for $35bn. Today his focus is scaling Lumia Capital, an expansion-stage VC focused on globalising tech in the US and under-served emerging markets.
João Barros, is a serial entrepreneur currently building the ‘Internet of moving things’. His latest company Veniam is building vehicular networks capable of collecting vast amounts of actionable data. Backed by Tier 1 investors Veniam’s technology can enable future Smart City applications and is already powering intelligent transportation systems in the US and Asia, as well as the world’s largest network of connected vehicles in Europe.
Efrat Fenigson, VP Marketing of Airobotics, a company that has developed a full end-to-end pilotless drone solution with a broad range of industrial applications. It’s a first of its kind in the market and Efrat drives Airobotics’ marketing and communications strategy.
Jon Gravråk, the Chief Digital Officer of multi-national operator Telenor who leads digital strategy and oversees the group’s digital investments in areas such as IoT.
Finally we were particularly fortunate to have Kellie Meiman Hock, Managing Partner of McLarty Associates. Her firm is the international strategic advisory firm of choice for many leading technology companies who seek help navigating the minefield of international politics and regulation. With strong links to governments all over the world, including the White House, she didn’t disappoint with rare and valuable insights from Capitol Hill.
Our panellist’s discussed a wide range of topics including the challenges associated with rapid innovation that we are witnessing in areas such as Autonomous Vehicles and the struggle of local regulators and policy makers to keep up. It was suggested that in many cases at least part of the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the innovators themselves to help shape regulatory frame works, whilst others argued that it was only natural the regulators are behind the curve and they’ll only step forward to establish new frameworks following pressure from the public. The implication being that in many cases companies would have little choice but operate outside the boundaries of a regulatory environment which could present additional levels of risk.
On Trump. The consensus of the majority of Americans in the audience seemed to be that irrespective of where they stood on his politics, a Trump in the White House would be good for business, at least US business, as he openly talks about slashing red tape. However it was also noted that the President is anything but predictable and a few San Francisco based execs felt that Silicon Valley is on a collision course with the White House. Other topics on the evening included Drones, AI and opportunities in Health.
As the MWC visitor numbers continue to balloon, it’s increasingly important there are sidecar events to help leading figures in the industry find one another amongst the crowds. 360Live was designed for that purpose; a curated, invitation-only format, with the sole purpose of bringing together a select peer group of industry thought leaders to network, share ideas and do business. We hope to see you next year.