Finding inspiration, expanding networks and finding means of financing projects at Sónar+D


In 2015, Sónar+D is promoting the area of business and broadening its commitment to all networking activities that enhance contact between start-ups and investors, entrepreneurs and experts and businesses and professionals in search of work.

One of the most successful ideas at Sónar+D is Meet the Expert, the activity that leads to the most meetings between professionals and experts in the creative industries. A total of 36 experts will hold more than 300 meetings with participants at Sónar+D. The experts this year include names like Ignasi Costas of Rousaud Costas Duran, specialists in legal advice for start-ups, Guillermo Hinarejos of Isern, trademark and patent experts, Javier Fusté of KPMG, who will be available for consultations about taxes related with entertainment, Francesc Fajula of Sabadell Bank, an innovation expert, and Kedel Ratley, the outreach director of Kickstarter.

inment.,Based on this model, this year sees the creation of Meet the Investor, an activity that will give rise to meetings between 21 investors from leading companies and institutions, and the start-ups and entrepreneurs seeking resources to finance their projects. These investors include Miquel Costa, President of Keiretsu Forum, and Cedric Kutlu, the founder of Fool Funds.

In its second year, the Start-up Competition by Ricoh is reinforced with an international call, which has been answered by 167 start-ups, and with more awards and tools to promote emerging projects in the creative and technological sector. A jury of 21 investors and experts – including internationally recognized names such as Sam O’Keefe, of Techcrunch, the platform specializing in business in the digital world and Cedric Kutki, founding partner of Fools Fund and Hila Oren, founder and CEO of Tel Aviv Global – will decide on the finalists and winners from all the companies taking part in the contest. Attending this competition and meeting the 10 finalists is a great way to discover which trends are currently most highly rated in the creative industries.

There will also be a free training session on 17 June at ISDI, the Higher Institute for Internet Development, on how to create a convincing pitch, how to talk to the press and what the rounds of investment of a start-up are. The finalist start-ups and other entrepreneur accreditation holders who sign up using the Networking Tool may participate.

The finalists will also have the opportunity to showcase their project in a prominent space at MarketLab where they can gather impressions from the public and share their experiences.

But start-ups will not only be present in the competition – this year they play an important role in Sónar+D and various activities be created around them, such as the round table m-startup-barcelona  where different models for accelerating a start-up will be investigated.

Another space to see creators researching and producing the products of the future is the Music Hack Day. 100 hackers from around the world will have 24 hours to carry out projects using the most innovative technologies such as wearables.

Sónar+D will also be hosting the second edition of the Digital & Media Summit, a guided session of collective innovation organized by Barcelona Tech City and the Catalan Audio-Visual Cluster. This meeting will involve 30 companies from the new audiovisual technology industries in order to share ideas and promote joint projects.

Elsewhere, this year Sónar and Barcelona Activa have organized the Job Market Place, which aims to connect the city’s creative and cultural talent with the employment opportunities that the areas of music, cultural management and the creative industries in general can offer. Various companies from these sectors looking for specific employment profiles will be carrying out interviews at the festival for shortlisted candidates. In addition, there will also be two training sessions on how to write a CV 2.0 which will be open to all participants at Sónar+D.

This year sees the establishment of a new partnership with the European Commission, which will also be present at Sónar+D in various spaces, in both MarketLab, presenting projects and organizing round tables and talks about the Starts program that it is promoting this year, and which wants to find tools to involve society as a whole in the process of innovation.

The number of creators and creative businesses that decide to have total control – creative and financial – over their projects is increasing, and a result of this new profile has been the creation of new platforms like Kickstarter and Vimeo on Demand, both of which are present this year at Sónar+D.

Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects, where cultural projects such as books, albums and films can become reality, to sophisticated devices such as Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets and the first domestic 3D printer. This creative freedom will be discussed by its CEO, Yancey Strickler in the inaugural lecture of Sónar+D entitled “Inspiring Creative Freedom”. Other activities on offer from Kickstarter are “Intro to Kickstarter”, a workshop discussing how this platform works, and “From Prototype to Production”, which will talk about how to manage audience inputs when designing and expanding the possibilities of a project at the financing stage on Kickstarter.

Audiovisual creators are using Vimeo to find new ways to distribute their work to their audiences and eliminate intermediaries. Vimeo on Demand is Vimeo’s “videoclub” – a space where large and small audiovisual creators and producers can rent or sell their videos, setting the retail price themselves. The keys to Vimeo on Demand will be explained in a workshop by its creative director Jeremy Boxer.

Pinterest is on everyone’s lips. The world’s largest online platform for inspiration has recently announced that it will incorporate the possibility of e-commerce in some of its products, thereby expanding its business into more commercial areas. Their manager of International Operations, Spain’s Sílvia Oviedo López, will give a lecture at Sónar+D entitled “Pinning down creativity around the world”.

Another interesting lecture for finding out about the future in the creative industries is the one by Bruce Sterling. The futuristic visionary Sterling will close the Sónar+D congress with an evocative journey featuring his most recent fascinations, Smart Cities, technologies against climate change and the Internet of Things. This is a unique opportunity to keep ahead of events.

In this area, the most innovative projects that will shape the future will also be present at Sónar+D in the now consolidated area of MarketLab. A couple of hours walking and talking with the people behind these ideas will give you a clear picture of the current state of the art and technology and its future. In the field of film, for example, the present and future will involve virtual reality and this will also have pride of place at Sónar+D. Realities+D will enable the viewer to see that something that used to seem very far away will soon be within everyone’s reach.

Finally, there will be a space for networking at 8 pm every day, at Meet&Drinks Sónar+D by Estrella Damm, where you can meet other groups who do not normally attend specialized and themed events.

This year Sónar+D expects to host 4,000 accredited professionals, 2,000 participating companies from 60 countries, 500 networking meetings and more than 150 activities. In short, Sónar+D and Sónar are a unique forum in which leisure, culture, technology and networking come together in a natural and pleasant way.

Buy your accreditation here.