If I’m completely honest, going there meant also going out of comfort zone. If you’re used to having an IT team that does what is needed, the notion of having to really fight for the survival of your ideas on a level playing field was something that I wasn’t all that used to anymore.
I believe this is something that happens to all managers to a certain degree. You might tell yourself that „but I have to fight for my ideas at work too!“ – it’s not the same. If you’re CEO and ask the IT team to build something, the CTO will most likely not tell you that your idea is crap (maybe not in those exact same words at G48 either), get off the stage and find some other people to do it for you. So G48 is definitely a great way to help revitalize your public speaking and team working abilities.
But what I actually wanted to tell you is that this weekend the gravitas of Garage48’s influence dawned on me. I met an Australian bloke who moved here to work on his start-up (promotional brackets: www.stepsie.com). When I asked “why?”, the answer wasn’t “a blonde”, as it usually tends to be. Instead he said that he could do it anywhere and he heard that Estonia has a vibrant start-up scene, so why the F not -Tallinn it is!
I would argue that Garage48 has to do with the fact that such people (= young trend setting professionals and entrepreneurs) say such things and place such trust in Estonia as a welcoming environment.
I don’t have to tell you how the internet age is democratizing the world economy, how 20 years ago building an international business from Estonia was virtually impossible, how these global success stories of #estonianmafia keep popping up one after the other or how we now have the opportunity to really put Estonia on the map of the world by having another tiger’s leap. Taavi Kotka is doing a superb job at that (mad props, btw).
What I would like to say is that when it comes to hands-on work towards building a start-up ecosystem, no one is doing a better and more important job than Garage48 meaning the founders and the current team. The beauty of it is that it’s all about enabling you to do what you want by giving the necessary framework. Different incubators are maybe useful for some companies, but there is really nothing like having yourself thrown in the water and learning to swim that way. Years from now, when Estonia will be absurdly rich because of the plethora of wildly successful start-ups (including an app called “Duckificationify” which teaches people how to make a proper duckface. I hope.), people will look back and say “Well that’s also because of Garage48, of course”.
Here’s to another 48 years of boosting the Estonian start-up scene. I salute you and cheers!
post by: Martin Kõiva (Participant at the Garage48 Tallinn 2014 “Health&Wellness” event)
If you liked Martin's story, find team Ticky to show support. You can also read more about the Garage48 Tallinn 2014 “Health&Wellness” or find the next event happening near you.