« Back to overview

Garage48 Foundation

Garage48 Foundation was established by 5 active start-up entrepreneurs from start-ups like Fortumo, Pipedrive and Weekdone. The core mission of Garage48 Foundation is to enhance startup entrepreneurship and put together people with different skills to create new innovations.

The foundation runs Garage48 weekend events and operates Garage48 HUB: the central tech co-working space in Tallinn, Estonia. Garage48 events bring together people with different skills to form teams and develop ideas into working IT product prototypes in 48 hours.

With origins from Estonia & the Valley, Garage48 events evolved being the first of its kind in rapidly developing tech countries: Estonia, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya & elsewhere. All events are organized by Garage48 core team hand-in-hand with local grassroots-based organizations and start-up activists thus ensuring quality, internationalism and impact for ecosystem. Since 2010 there had been 29 events in 11 counties; with ~2300 participants, 300+ prototypes launched and 20+ start-ups created.

Based on its experience in entrepreneurship support in software industry in 2013 Garage48 Foundation developed 2 new programmes to enhance creation of technology based start-ups: Student Startup Camp and Hardware & Arts. The first one is an undergraduate level university course (bootcamp) aimed at introduction to startup entrepreneurship and rapid product development for business, marketing, design and IT students. The second aims to link IT, hardware and electronics engineer and industrial designer/architect communities to develop phy-gital (physical + digital) products.

Which other Creative Sectors has the SME worked with?
Design, Mobile & Social Media, Games, Multimedia & Web

Which other Growth Sectors has the SME worked with?
Education, ICT, Technology

Were any relationships rewarding?

Garage48 has developed a number of its entrepreneurship training programmes in cooperation with universities an incubators that represent creative sector, for example Estonian Academy of Arts (Estonia), GameChangers (Russia) and others. The Hardware & Arts project is being developed in direct partnership with Estonian Academy of Arts as the programme is built upon the idea of linking growth and creative professionals to develop new cross-sectorial innovations. Most of Garage48 programmes require participation of creative industry professionals (~20% of total participant pool) thus good working relationships with creative sector is of uttermost importance and part of Garage48 core activities. A number of creative sector initiatives have been developed in Garage48 programmes benefiting from access to IT professional community; for example:

  • Mobile application that allows to control music effects designed especially for theatres
  • Web-based solution for musicians to ease publishing their content in web music streaming services and receive royalties (www.distrus.com)
  • Garage48 Tallinn Music Week project (March 2012 and March 2013) – a special programme to link IT and music industry professionals and build IT services for music industry and entertainment
How does the SME think it could benefit from other sectors' input?

Garage48 operates in cross-sectional way per se; we try to link professionals who have previous experience about their industry specific problems with tech talent that can build solutions to solve those. Meeting new creative industry companies would allow us to link technology sector with ideas for new markets and industry specific problems. In addition both consumer and business customer focused startups in many cases need input from creative professionals to build user friendly and engaging products. In case of our recently launched Hardware & Arts programme we are looking forward to reach out for new partners in creative sector that are interested to develop technology-filled design products. Before the launch of the Hardware & Arts programme Garage48 did a hardware tech community survey that indicated strong need to build closer relationships with creative industry to turn lab-based technologies into consumer products. Thus gaining new contacts in creative industries would
resolve this need.

In similar manner Garage48 has delivered a number of projects dedicated to public sector to address public sector issues with IT solutions, for example Garage48 Tartu Public Services programme in 2011 that resulted in launch of a number for working initiatives including technological solution to ease access to emergency services for disabled people and Garage48 Diplohack event in 2013 that resulted in 5 technological solutions for enhancement of civic society.

What can the SME offer other sectors?

Our company’s know how is about **linking together different communities of professionals** (and different countries) to create new products and **guiding potential entrepreneurs into through the product prototyping phase**. We can leverage our extensive know-how about enhancement of grassroots based start-up entrepreneurship as well as previous experience in leveraging this know how in different sectors (creative, education) **we are open to meet new partners from specific creative industries** that would like to tap into capabilities of IT community or educational sector to takeaways from our intensive programmes into a broader context.

To what extent would the SME be prepared to share information?

Garage48 upkeeps strong social media channels that cover all 11 countries were we have had previous projects; in addition we have mailing list for 3000+ IT professionals in the Baltics and opportunity to spread information within our programmes and events taking place in Garage48 HUB. We are ready to commit these resources for purpose of disseminating information about this project.

How would the SME describe its potential for cross innovation?

As also mentioned beforehand Garage48 is consequently looking for new opportunities to launch new cross-sector initiatives to stimulate innovation based entrepreneurship and we develop sector tailored training programmes to achieve. A recent example of successful cross-sector innovation was Garage48 Parnu 2013 programme, which linked Parnu city’s traditional industries (forestry, metal production and tourism) with IT professionals. As a result 2 promising start-ups were launched (both finalists of biggest national start-up award in Estonia – Ajujaht): one developing IT products that radically increase efficiency of forest management process and the other one – we-service that helps people to find short term part time jobs (important for tourism industry: to fill vacancies in season and find alternative employment in non-season).

Out of the 11 Cross Innovation Partner Cities, are there any particular cities with which the SME would like to form a new relationship?
Stockholm, Vilnius, Warsaw

Are there any particular organisations outside the SMEs home country, with which it would like to connect?

We are open to build new connections without particular organization preferences.

« Back to overview