16 potential startups launched at Garage48

The last weekend saw 16 new potential startups created on pure enthusiasm and caffeine. This was Garage48 the first of its kind in Estonia. 

The idea is similar to other startup boot camps like Startup Weekend where people have a limited amount of time to come up with an idea for a product or a service and implement it as well.

On Friday evening 100 people came to Garage48 in IT College, Tallinn. The atmosphere was pregnant with IQ and excitement. Participants and observers described the event as the startup event of the year. One of the organizers Ragnar Sass summarized the event: "There was a nuclear explosion on the Estonian startup scene this weekend!"

This is by the way true. Garage48 showed everybody that with a small team and 48 hours it's possible to produce cool products and services bringing them to a level where the solutions are actually usable or even more - produce revenue. 

The main point of the event was simple - to inspire people to embark on ideas, to encourage them for actions by showing that a creative power of a small team can achieve truly amazing things. At that Garage48 was definitely not an event to search for yet another "killer idea" VC's would love. 

It was not a business plan or investment project competition but a mixture of a hackathon and an exercise from a bootstrapper's bible. The world has seen many great examples of this approach to prevail - YouTube and PayPal being very good examples.

The proof of the right attitude towards the event was an entertaining idea of Cocktail Roulette whose main functionality was up and running in the first hours of Saturday and 9AM on the same day saw the first revenue.

Garage48 was concluded on Sunday evening. There were more than 200 people in the audience looking at the presentations of the garage teams. The jury was respectable: the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts, venture capitalist Allan Martinson, Heidi Kakko from Estonian Development Fund, Pirko Konsa from Tehnopol, and Garage48 organizers: Ragnar Sass, Rain Rannu, Martin Villig and Jüri Kaljundi.

There was a favorite of the jury and the public chosen:
  • The favorite of the jury was: kratid.com - Kratid is an interactive virtual pet service, where you can design and take care of your online pet. BUT, you can also order the "real pet" to be mailed to yourself or your kids. The team built a great website and already got over 30 orders.
  • The favorite of the public was: wannalunch.com. Wannalunch is a ervice to arrange lunch meetings with people on a specific topic, where you need help or advice. Add your topic, date and place, invite people to join in.
Please see the full list of 16 new services from Garage48 blog.

PS. The first days of this week, after the event was over, brought quite an amazing amount of attention from local and international media not to mention the fuzz in Twitter under the #garage48 hashtag. For example, check out the TechCrunch Europe article.

We kindly thank all the attendees and supporters, Garage48 would not have been a great event without you. See you again in autumn, let's make Garage48 as tradition.
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