A trends-shaping upgrade from Garage48: From offering mentors for hackathons to growing local mentor communities

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” said Harvey S. Firestone once. At Garage48, we acknowledge that the real significance of empowering future ventures through hackathons lies between offering successful mentorship and providing ideal growth conditions. On this basis, we organized The Mentor Masterclass in Chisinau, Moldova on 7th November 2018 as a one day training program, and tutored the participants about how to be a successful mentor for early stage startup teams.

While providing top-notch mentors for each and every hackathon is fundamental and worthful; coaching potential minds to become future’s best mentors is another value generator and among our key duties. Over the years, we have come across lots of business masterminds, tech-wizards and entrepreneurs; and realised that being a kick-ass specialist doesn’t necessarily make one a successful mentor.

One of the key characteristics for that matter is shaped around not pushing your opinions to teams/individuals, instead giving actionable advices and help them eliminate blockers. Only then, it is possible to see fruitful results from the teams, who are there to find their own voices with the support of right guidance.

Given the need and value in the market, we decided to organise The Mentor Masterclass as our first event that’s focused solely on the value of good mentorship, with the aim of cultivating the entire entrepreneurial community as well as startup ecosystem. By educating and integrating effective mentors to the community, we have upgraded our game plan and expanded our target audience who are to reach their full potential.

The demand was surprisingly high, we had over 80 candidates interested in attending, however we had to narrow down the selection to the top 35 from the region. All participants were either experts or coaches with a certain speciality but lacking the knowledge of right tools to guide. They joined us from Ukraine and Moldova, where there is a growing trend in terms of tech businesses and entrepreneurship, which brings along the need for solid mentors community to cultivate the growth. In the future, we hope to bring in participants from other nearby locations, as we look forward to strengthening the ties between Chisinau and regional startup hubs. At Garage48, we are all about connections and ecosystems.

The event was led by our experienced trainers Mayri Tiido and Joao Rei, who underlined the importance of converting soft skills into competitive specialties in order to turn an expert into a mentor. “We have covered a wide range of basic rules required for effective mentorship, varying from ‘how to give and ask for feedback’, to ‘active listening’ and ‘idea validation’. By the end of the course, we were confident that the local startup community had gained new, fresh mentors with excellent tutoring capabilities.”


The Mentor Masterclass was organized by Garage48 in partnership with NIKA Business Generation and Yep! Moldova, supported by Estonia Development Cooperation.