Base Camp 5th anniversary hackathon gathered 29 early-stage startups who made the impossible possible in 72-hours

The latest edition of Base Camp hackathon solidified the role that both Garage48 and Superangel play in helping early-stage startups. This time we were able to scale and accept more teams into the program by running the event entirely online. We had 120 prototype ready teams applying to take part of the exclusive format, 29 teams locking themselves in for 72-hours, 13 finalists showcasing their achievements for the audience, and 35 experts mentoring for 68+ hours. It’s safe to say that the anniversary Base Camp hackathon proved to be a great success.

The sky is the limit when it comes to the accomplishments of an early-stage startup and its eager, ready to get sh*t done, team. During the 72-hours the participants showed that it’s possible to get 20 contracts signed for a new B2B product, build and launch a new B2C product with the first 50 users in 24-hours, shorten sales cycle 3-5 times, launch a giveaway game reaching 50k people, and extend virtual reality with music - these were only a few highlights of Base Camp.

During the past years, Garage48 and Superangel have fine-tuned the hackathon format to met the actual needs of the young and fresh prototype-ready startups. Base Camp is not your regular hackathon, it’s an exclusive and competitive 72-hour product-focused hackathon for early-stage startups. Startups set their own goals for a weekend-long product and customer validation sprint. Supported by valuable insights and shortcuts from top-class mentors, startups can take their product to the next level and prove to investors that they can get the job done in 3 days.

The 29 selected teams for the Base Camp Autumn 2020 showed strong competence, dedication, and quality, making it a tough competition for all startups. It’s not easy to mobilize your team for 3 days in a row but despite that, the startups came to Base Camp with great ambitions and goals and maintained focus until the last minutes. In addition to improving the product itself (with some teams launching completely new products and features), teams were advised to contact potential users and customers for live feedback and push their business as much as they can using the knowledge from our mentors and expert sessions. The hackathon was also a great opportunity for team building – many startups realized they’ve got skills in the team they never knew of.

But there is a rather special recipe when it comes to cooking up the Base Camp hackathon- our mentors and field experts, ranging from marketing, sales, fundraising, and business development to design and product development. All startups were paired with mentors based on their interests and needs – altogether around 90 mentoring sessions were conducted totaling in 68 hours of wisdom shared with startups. In addition, we delivered two workshops on customer validation and sales and interviewed 3 experts on productivity, sales, pitching, and fundraising.

The outcome? Amazing! The startups were assessed on 4 main criteria: team, traction, business model, and progress during Base Camp. Although we planned to pick out 12 teams, the competition was really strong and we had to let 13 teams to the finals. Similarly, we couldn’t conclude with only 2 runner-ups. So who are the teams who made the most of the hackathon and fought themselves in front of the jury?

OVERALL WINNER OF THE BASE CAMP HACKATHON is Jeff App - a loan broker that helps over 1 billion unbanked people in South-East Asia to access financial services by utilizing alternative data.

3 RUNNER-UPS in alphabetical order:

Edumus - a platform that enables schools to engage working professionals in teaching one grade, one subject at the time, for one school year.

Port 6 - virtualizing natural human movement.

Relancer - a marketplace that helps founders and managers work with professional recruiters who help them grow their teams.

The winner and runner-ups were in a tough competition with 9 startups in the finals. (Click on the startup name to see their final demo). 

Garage48 and Superangel would like to thank all startups that applied, participated, and made Base Camp so amazing. We’re happy to welcome back any previous teams and always keen to meet new startups. We would also like to give a big shoutout to our exclusive mentor crew and our host Joao Rei. One big applause for the organizing team as well - Merit Vislapu, Kaari Kink, Kalev Kaarna, Marko Oolo. And our virtual events couldn’t happen without the help of the production team - hugs to Ahti, Georg, Elise, Petri, and Tiit from Marathon Studios.  

Stay tuned for Base Camp Spring 2021 and keep following our social media channels for updates!

*This blog post is co-written by Merit Vislapu, project manager at Garage48, and Kaari Kink, Venture Developer at Superangel.

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merit vislapu

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