Practices > Good Practices > Spatial Cross-Collaboration > Garage48

Garage48 is a series of international startup-bootcamp events.

The events started in Estonia in April 2010 and have since then expanded to other countries in Northern Europe and Africa (16 events held). All Garage48 events are held in English and have ~100 participants from different countries. Participants have different skills, ranging from software development to design, marketing, sales and entrepreneurship.

Garage48 events usually start at 5pm on a Friday evening. All participants gather together in a big room and pitch about 30 to 40 ideas on stage. Each idea is put on the wall and everyone can choose their favourite idea and team. Usually about 12-15 ideas will be selected and teams start working. Garage48 provides mentors, while teams are working on their projects. Sunday night 6pm is the deadline to step on the stage again and live-demo your project. There is the jury and audience to vote for their favourites and choose the winners.

In March 2012 Garage48 event was focused on creating Internet and mobile based music products. The organizers of the event have joined forces with the annual music industry conference and festival Tallinn Music Week. Garage48 Tallinn Music was a 48 hour hackathon, where 100 people turned ideas into working mobile and web applications within 48 hours. From 20 ideas pitched on the first day, 14 got a team together and started development. The winner was who provides the easiest and fastest way to create, manage and share your band’s technical riders. It is an easy to use workflow tool for promoters, festival and venue managers to agree technical terms with bands.

Garage48 events have got lots of media coverage – starting from well-know tech blogs like TechCruch, ReadWriteWeb and ArcticStartup to numerous articles in newspapers, blogs, TV and radio:
• Finalist of European Awards “Best Ongoing Startup Program of 2011” by TechCrunch Europe
• Finalist of European Awards “Best Ongoing Startup Program of 2010” by TechCrunch Europe
• “Pioneer of the Year 2010” by Network of Estonian Non-profit Organizations
• “Best Organization of the Year 2010” by Estonian Association of Information Technology & Telecommunications (ITL).

Role of partners?
To bring together right people – startup, designers or developers community, to share expertise and knowledge (mentors) and to provide seed money for the brightest ideas.

Why is it needed? 
Many people are afraid to start their own business, because of common issues: lack of know-how and co-founders, lack of seed money, afraid of risks, etc. Garage48 is here to change that mindset and show that it’s all about positive attitude, creative team members and a motivating deadline. Less talk, more action!

What are the success factors and challenges? 
Goals of Garage48
• Organize practical, international and fun startup events with a really lean budget;
• Show that teams can turn an idea into a working service or prototype within just one weekend;
• Prove that new web and mobile projects can be started with a good team and really lean budget;
• Promote entrepreneurship and startup culture in Estonia, Northern Europe and Africa;
• Teach people to work under a tough deadline – you need to focus on the core items of the project;
• Get to know new people from other industries, roles and countries;
• Less talk, more action and fun!


Business name: Garage48
Contact name: Martin Villig
Address: Rävala pst 7
Telephone: +37 2 5084461
City: Tallinn
Country: Estonia
E-mail: info[at]
Legal status of Company: Foundation
Number of employees: 6
Nature of business: Start-up Programme
Name of company collaborating with: A number of creatives, web and mobile developers, incubators, technology and science parks, sponsoring companies etc
Title of project: Garage 48 – from an idea to prototype within 48 hours
Dates of activity from: 2010 – present
Activity Theme: Brokerage + Spatial Cross-Collaboration
Project website:


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