International Hackathon Garage 48 Took Place at N-iX

10 Mar, 2017

An annual hackathon Garage 48 has recently taken place in Lviv. It was devoted to web development and, according to organizers, became one of the biggest events among other Garage 48 hackathons.

Garage 48 – an international event which takes its roots from Estonia, but travels through different countries. Countries, where it took place before, include Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Moldova, Finland, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa. The history of the project consists of more than 70 events with 4 thousand of participants involved. Nearly 15 thousand of ideas were presented in all of these events, which resulted in 685 products that are on the market right now.

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The hackathon in Lviv united more than 200 developers, designers, marketers from different cities in Ukraine as well as Belarus, Finland, and Canada. Foreigners have different reasons for choosing Lviv. For instance, for Belarussian startup GraiMe, an app for street musicians and their listeners, it was important to get acquainted with artists in Lviv:

We came to Lviv, because we had an idea to create a service for street musicians and their listeners for a long time already, and Lviv – is one of the capital cities in the world of street music. It stands in line with Berlin and London. We’ve really found a big number of musicians here who became our first users” – note the team members.

Garage 48 began with presentations of ideas in front of all hackathon’s participants. This way, individual participants could join the projects which lacked professionals needed for their startup.

For most of the participants, such presentations are a training before serious pitches, which some of them have never done before. Yes, the creator of the winning project GoBuddy, Oleh Stasula, admitted that he was really nervous since it was his first pitch ever.

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After the presentations were over, the participants created teams (if they haven’t done it before the hackathon) and a fierce work began. In 48 hours they had to create a prototype which then can be turned into a real product.

Completely different mobile apps were among the suggested projected. Here are some of them: Chamy (a service where you can ask for help, and those who offer to help you might receive an award), Support Job Service (it will send your CV itself and find work options that suit you best), What do people think about (a service that makes a psychological portrait based on what people write in their social media and smartphones), Fit Dreams (an app which decides when is the best time for you to go to bed), Recruiter’s Helpmate (a chatbot for recruiters which reminds to reply to e-mails and can answer FAQs of candidates), PicBack (through this service you upload a photo and random people react to it, which helps you to decide whether it is a good idea to publish it on your personal profile).

As it was mentioned above, GoBuddy – an app which searches for the best deals to insure your trip. The search takes place in a chat with a chatbot called Justin Case, which explains why the project name includes “buddy” as well as their motto – Just in Case. The winners received a double reward – 10 000$ from Midealab as initial investment and N-iX CEO Andrew Pavliv has doubled this prize.

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According to Maarika Truu, who was the mentor at the hackathon, the win of GoBuddy came as a surprise for jury members:

When we started the mentorship, we didn’t see any exceptionally big potential in this team. However, later they showed great design and proved they care about marketing. The team itself is great. All jury members voted for it. When you have more or less equal teams, there is a chance of a heated discussion in the jury – who should get the final vote? We asked ourselves a question – which team has a potential to develop after the hackathon? This is why we have chosen GoBuddy”.

She noted that Ukraine is one the priority countries for them and, in particular, Lviv which showed the highest rate of IT development in the country. Let’s hope that soon Garage 48 will excite Lviv IT professionals with interesting ideas and intense work again.

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