Setting up a startup company can prove to be too overwhelming for many potential entrepreneurs who are too unsure of their success to take the necessary first steps. Estonian Garage48 has set out to change this mentality by organizing weekend-long conferences where team effort, positive attitude and motivating deadlines combined will create tangible results.
February 7-9, 2014, marked perhaps the most successful Garage48 event in its 4-year long history, and the first of its kind. The Garage48 Hardware & Arts was held in the city of Tartu, Estonia, and hosted over 130 members from the creative communities of engineering and design, making it the biggest Garage48 event so far.
There is one thing I absolutely love and that is gadgets. The beauty of the whole concept is that they are slowly turning from the geeky nerd fab into something a little more mainstream. With the advent of 3D Printing, hardware prototyping platforms such as arduino/raspberry pi and crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, we are truly in the age of gadgets.
Back in the day, when I tried to get the first ever MP3 CD-Player for a couple of hundred bucks, people though I was mad. Now, it is normal to chase gadgets and nearly everybody has some. However what is a lot more impressive, and important, is that we can all create gadgets without having to buy-out factories in China and raise millions of EUR’s in funding. In fact with some of the modern tools for prototyping, it should be possible to put something together in a matter of a couple of days.
Garage48 is one of those startup weekend type events, where people gather together for about 48 hours and develop something that could potentially be founded into a startup. The concept isn't all that old, but the people behind it have been active. This weekend Garage48 will take place in Riga and in the coming months, a lot of other cities will also see a Garage48 event take place. In April (15th-17th), Garage48 will take place in Tallinn, at the end of August in Tartu. Later in the year Garage48 will most likely be visiting Stockholm and Helsinki as well. Additionally, the team will have 5 events in Africa this year.
MobileMonday, a simple concept that has eventually turned into a large networking platform for all things mobile, celebrates its 10 year birthday this week in Helsinki and Tallinn. According to MobileMonday Estonia, close to 500 people attended the three day summit. There are now 108 chapters around the world helping people network around mobile issues.
Blurt.at is another of the Garage48 projects that were launched over the duration of 48 hours a few weeks back. They haven't stopped with their development and are moving full steam ahead with the idea. Blurt.at is a new way to create polls and comment on them. The project team behind the idea, according to Garage48 website, was Anu Viks, Sander Jahilo, Maret Kruve, Priit Salumaa, Asko Seeba, Meelis Kaldalu, Jaan Tallinn (as well as Ahti Heinla and Jaen Saul were helping out).
Sayat.me is a new Estonian startup looking to enable better, honest albeit anonymous feedback about people (to begin with). The service was founded by Asko Seeba as well as Priit Salumaa and Indrek Ulst. In its short existence, it has build traction quite a bit and today traffic is north of 20 000 unique daily visitors.