Garage48 Minsk 2015 hackathon was truly EPIC! As always we had a very international crowd in Minsk with participants from Estonia, Latvia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Finland, Turkey, UK and of course Belarus. Garage48 always loves to come to Minsk, which is why this was our 6th time in this city. Having over 100 people participating, it proves us that this region is full of ideas and ambition. However, startups that emerge from Belarus and from the Baltics, need to keep in mind that you need to think immediately about business and making revenue. As far as this hackathon stands, we are confident that our teams have a real chance! Indeed, an impressive 22 teams delivered their prototype for Sunday's demo presentations, which is a massive achievement from all the participants and mentors. We encourage everyone to keep on supporting not only your team, but also other teams, who are part of this incredible success story. Use social media and other channels to spread the word about these amazing projects. Because who knows - maybe this small reference could lead to something big?
We come to Minsk for the technical talent and this hackathon was no exception in delivering strong execution of all the chosen ideas. Janika Liiv, our tech mentor from Estonia, congratulated teams on their achievements: "Minsk is very strong in regards of technical skills and expertise. As the majority of participants were developers, all the teams had pretty solid projects to show off at the end of the hackathon.
There were some pretty neat mobile apps - Sportivity was one of my personal favorites, MustSee! and FeedMe finished also with nice looking solutions and we can't forget the winner MSQRD, who are going to take video filters to the next level. The quality and speed of their application really is noteworthy. It was also fun to see multiple projects use image recognition in their projects - from simple text recognition to live product replacement in video streams. I really hope Nagibator is going to grab a piece of that large video manipulation pie they were so lively talking about."
As far as product development goes, the design was also very strong. One of our design mentors Fred Moritz was helping to pull all the designs together, even though they would have done amazing anyway. Fred added: "Although the event lacked designers, I was surprised by the quality of the esthetic and user experience design. The few designers who participated were able to create stunning visuals, as they said, "just in 5 minutes because we didn't have much time". I was also impressed by the way everybody listened to the mentors advice - during the mentoring sessions, we could really feel that there was a dialogue happening, to find the best result together."
As we put all this technical and design greatness together, mixed with some marketing tricks and business knowledge, everyone can create top-level startups. Keep in mind:
Steve Jobs once said: "Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you."
So now since the 48-hours have passed of non-stop hacking, we still have so many emotions from the finale event, plus so many people to thank for making it one of the most prolific events ever!
First, we need to thank all the mentors who were helping the teams all Saturday and Sunday. Thank you to Ragnar Sass (Co-founder at Garage48 & Pipedrive), Janika Liiv (Founding Engineer at Clanbeat), Fred Moritz (Mobile design, web design and print design), Raigo Lilleberg (UX/UI Designer, Founder at Kreit), Bret Metsküla (Marketing Manager at Honeypot Conferences), Anton Shunkov (Technical Evangelist at Microsoft), Eugene Nevgev (CEO & Co-Founder of SplitMetrics), Max Kamenkov (Co-founder at SplitMetrics), Vadim Nareyko (COO at Viaden), Kirill Kudin (Founder & of Product at WiFi Map) and Serge Stepuro (Developer at Viaden).
The hardest decisions today were made by our jury members, who had to pick the best from the best. Thank you to:Ragnar Sass - Co-Founder & New markets at Pipedrive, Co-Founder at Garage48
Janika Liiv - Founding Engineer at Clanbeat
Anton Shunkov - Technical Evangelist at Microsoft
Nastia Khamiankova – Imaguru, Bel.Biz
Eduard Babariko – ulej.by
Huge thank you to our long-time partner in Minsk Nastia Khamiankova and the whole Imaguru Startup HUB team for helping with the event the whole weekend and being such lovely hosts during our stay.
A special mention also to our own Garage48 organising team - Kai Isand and Ele-Riin Kullamä, who besides being the usual powerwomen, made lots of friends at the event!
We hope that all our teams will be inspired by SpliMetrics, who were also present at the event and mentoring the teams. SplitMetrics started out just a year ago from Vitebsk and are now making real revenue. Let's see who will be the next successful company coming out of Belarus.
So now let's go the winners of the evening. As we had 22 teams, we gave out more prizes than initially planned. Keep in mind that prizes are not important, as building something is the biggest prize you can get!
Runner-up + Microsoft Special Prize
Best Business Case
Biggest Progress Prize
The Cutest Team
Personalized traveling pinguo - wingman. He knows places you like and by winging orient you there.
Favourite of the Audience
HUGE APPLAUSE TO THE REST OF OUR TEAMS:
Team members: Katerina - idea owner, team leader, content manager, Alexander - Windows phone developer Evgenia - Windows phone developer, Dmitry - IOS developer, Dima - Back end
We are building mobile application for tourist quests. We are using iBeacon for indor location and tresuary hunting. And VR, AR for visualization.
Team members: Jaroslav Likhachevskiy - Team Lead/Back-end, Serge Stepuro - Mobile engineer, Elisaveta Likhachevskaya, German Prokopenko - Designer, Eugeniya Baranova - Marketolog
Team members: Andrey Safonov - Lead, Multideveloper, Sergey Prontsevich - Backend, Roman Lavrinuk - Frontend, Ksenia Sharapkina - UX, Marketing, Artem Kobrin - Lawyer, Marketing
Team members: 3 members on hackaton and 5 more developers at the distance
Team members: Alexey Kruchenok CEO, mobile development, Artem Bogush, mobile developer, Nikita Dudnik, artist, Gerry Konnov, marketing, buisness developer
Team members: Sait Hasan Arslan - Developer, Kaan Karadag - Developer, İlhan Çelebi - Developer, Artsiom Samusevich - Project Manager, Tatjana Mändla - Marketer
Team members: Yevhenii Sabanin - backend., Dan Kutsyna - frontend,designer., Dasha Marmalukova - Marketing, Rustam Nadrshin - Mobile developer, Viacheslav Todorovych - visionary.
BELARUS STOCK MARKET DATA ANALYSIS TOOL
Team members: Makarevich Aliaksandr, team lead, back-end, Aleh Kliauzo, back-end & front-end dev