Long ago Mobile World Congress, which we’ve been covering all week, absorbed a side event for startups, the idiosyncratically named “Four Years From Now”. The event is now well and truly inside the Borg Starship that is MWC, and every year runs a startup competition aimed at finding the ‘best startups’ around the globe.

Thus, out of hundreds of startups that applied and pitched, five finalists were selected by a panel of industry experts and investors after pitching their projects on stage.

Here’s a quick run-down of the five finalists to emerge from the competition. (Some of them are newer than others, and we don’t have funding information for all):

Bitsensing is a radar technology which can detect if passengers are inside a car or not, without using cameras. So for instance, it can detect of a child is left in a car by mistake. It can also detect where in the car the person is sitting. The company is from South Korea and has raised $21.3 million to date.

Trained on “millions” of image scans, Mica AI Medical says it can diagnose suspicious findings long before a breast cancer tumor develops. The platform is designed to get over problem in mammography, whereby 40% of women have ‘dense breasts’, which limits the use of regular mammography.

Based out of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Ocean Ecostructures is the developer of a biodiversity regeneration program. It claims to regenerate marine life, to mitigate the environmental effects of ‘grey oceans’. It’s raised €1.6 million so far, and has four investors including Inclimo Climate Tech Fund and Ship2B Ventures, and is also part of the 2023 Norrsken Accelerator (impact investor) programme.

Qilimanjaro is a full-stack quantum computing (QC) company developing hardware and software. It focuses on high-quality qubit architectures and “coherent quantum annealers, which do not require quantum error correction and can be therefore faster-to-market”. It was founded in 2018 by José Ignacio Latorre, a professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Barcelona.

This “Assistive Voice Tech and Calling App” was covered by TechCrunch last January. It converts whispered and vocal cord impaired speech into a person’s natural voice, in real time. Thus, it could be used by your rather hard-to-understand elderly relative or perhaps a post-operative throat patient. But it could well also morph into a B2B platform for discrete corporate phone calls… Based out of the Netherlands, it’s raised €1.4 million to date.

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