In 2011, Garage48 held it’s first event in Uganda supported by Google and MTN Uganda. 11 prototypes were built from that event of which one, Mafutago (an app to help motorists find the nearest fuel station with low prices) went on to become the 2nd runner-up during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Helen Kokk, the participant and mentor of the first Garage48 Kampala 2011 brings out her experience from the event: "The energy level of the event was truly inspiring, people in Uganda are really ambitious and thirsty for start-up projects. We saw talented developers but lack of design and UX skills, also the pitching knowledge was really low." Helen adds: "All in all Kampala event had strong projects but they would have needed more help with post-events engagement".
"Uganda’s startup scene is slowly growing, and we have decided to move the needle with Garage48 by having them contribute volunteers to assist in our programs some of which include the Women Passion Program, Outbox edu (educational platform for entrepreneurs) among others and assist Outbox in the area of strategy and business development which would include business modelling, fundraising, program development etc.," said Richard Zulu, Co-Founder and Lead atOutbox.
As part of the project, we shall be holding a Garage48 hackathon later this year supported also by US Embassy, which will contribute professionals sharing their motivations on how to motivate women in the technology sector. Ragnar Sass, Co-Founder of Garage48 added: "As the IT skills in Uganda are remarkable, we want to focus more on bringing knowledge of design and UX to the local community. This way the projects being developed during the week-end hackathon would be even more competitive also in European and US markets."
Garage48 Uganda Volunteer project is partly funded through Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs by means of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid.