Garage48 to boost the co-operation between private and public sector

Garage48, together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, has organised the first Digital Country Hackathon (aka Digiriigi Häkaton), to bring start-up culture to the public sector for digitalised state solutions! The event was designed as the pioneer of Garage48 e-governance hackathon series, dedicated to boost the cooperation between public and private sector to develop Estonia as an e-country even further. 

The aims of the hackathon was to create added value for many state-related matters and lead to fast, innovative and profound solutions in the favor of entire nation, powered by the effective cooperation between IT and the public sector. Therefore, we encouraged the public sector to team up with reputable IT specialists in order to solve everyday life problems related to bureaucracy and administrative subjects. Through Digiriigi Häkaton, we managed to created strong networking and partnership opportunities between the public and private sector, resulting in impactful solutions provided by the remarkable effort of winning teams and valuable input of governmental bodies. 

"We would like to bring representatives of state institutions and tech-venture entrepreneurs together to trigger further development of Estonia as an e-state, while also increasing the user-friendliness of our services," said the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Mr. Rene Tammist. “Our information society is already well developed, but we still have many opportunities to use different emerging technologies to make the lives of Estonians more convenient and comfortable.”  

Digiriigi Häkaton was not a regular 48h weekend event; ideas were ready and teams were formed much before the event kickoff. Serving to its purpose, the ministry worked closely together with other governmental institutions to map out 20 most burning and challenging issues. Consequently, the ideas were developed comprehensively - and in advance -; all they needed was a team to execute corresponding prototypes. On the first day of the hackathon, we listened to 15 different organizations pitching the pre-cooked 20 ideas, out of which 12 problems were chosen by the representative teams of leading Estonian tech-organisations to tackle within the next 48 hours.  

AlphaBlues and Mikaels Labs chose the idea presented by the Ministry of Justice: a chatbox for legal help.

CGI Eesti was solving the question about possible automation of the state asset sales process, which was pitched by the Ministry of Finance.

Credit Info worked together with the Ministry of Justice on "cleaning" court judgements of personal data with one click.

DATEL, Tiim B and Fujitsu Estonia were solving Social Insurance Board's challenge on how to simplify the process of applying for parking permits for a vehicle servicing a disabled person.

Finestmedia, Producement and Net Group were helping the Estonian Emergency Response Centre on finding out how to get real-time pictures and videos from the (accident) scene.

Flowit was helping the Centre of Registers and Information System to simplify the business-name choosing process for the entrepreneur - so the formation of a business could be quicker.

Helmes was helping the Estonian Defence Forces to replace paper-based information processing, when talking about formation of reserve units.

Mooncascade and Reach-U (Alpha Team) was solving the idea presented by Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication: People wish to be mobile, but today's public transport system is outdated and does not meet the needs of people living in rural areas. The technical solution would offer independence and freedom to choose time and driving.

Optimist Digital and Reach-U were helping out The Association of Estonian Cities and Rural Municipalities: At the moment, a person needs to look for the necessary e-services from several different places. But all these places have different logic and they are not associated event-based. For example, activities can be linked event-based from the birth of a child to school.

Proekspert and TalTech were helping the Ministry of Culture by making the procedure for inventory of museum collections less time consuming and more efficient.

Vumonic was helping out the Competition Authority by establishing a tool for calculating a reasonable price for the service.  

"It was an extraordinary 48 hours - I truly enjoyed observing the company teams working with such efficiency and enthusiasm on solving the public sector problems” said Mari Hanikat, CEO of Garage48 and the key organiser of the hackathon. “Something quite exceptional was happening, and Garage48 was in the heart of it as the privileged party to organise and promote such milestone-event. I cannot wait to see winning teams applying their solutions to real life!”   

Speaking of, here are the teams which were recognised to bring utmost impact and change to Digital Country of Estonia.  

1st place: Net Group (awarded with 10K funding)


2nd place: Proekspert (awarded with 5K funding)


3rd place: Flowit (awarded with 5K funding) 


Many other special awards also found their owners:

Best User-Experience Award: Mooncascade

Best User-Interface Award: Optimist Digital

Best Tech-Solution: Net Group

Best Data Management: Vumionic

AI Special Award: Mikaels Labs

Best Process Redesign: Helmes

Special Future-Hope Award: TalTech - Tallinn University of Technology

Best Pitcher Award: AlphaBlues

Favourite of the Audience: Finestmedia 

Digiriigi häkaton #1 was one of our biggest hackathon in 2018; 150+ participants and nationwide experts with real life challenges!  We are truly thankful and grateful to all our top-notch participants, mentors and partners who made this hackathon truly impactful through their guidance, know-how and passion.

"I'm extremely happy that nearly 9 years after Garage48 started doing hackathons in the region, the mindset and methods we represent have penetrated as deep as to core of developing our digital society," said Priit Salumaa, Co-founder of Garage48 & Mooncascade, and the host of the hackathon. " We stand here today and we see how 100% professional teams from different companies solve real problems of our small state. I am deeply thankful and super proud not just as a co-founder of Garage48 but as an Estonian citizen - I truly believe that our state is able to adapt and change as the world changes and keep up with the global society."

"I hope that the result of this hackathon will be the continuation of real cooperation between the state and several companies," Minister Mr. Rene Tammist added. "Many solutions developed at this hackathon are immediately ready for use after completion, and make the functioning of the country more efficient, easier and more comfortable for the people."

 We agree and cannot wait for feeling the winds of change already!
Time to stay tuned and step aside while the winners are working hard for an upgraded digital society! 


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