For one weekend, 75 eager minds gathered into a brand new (read: not quite ready yet:) maker-lab/co-creating space right in the heart of Chisinau - Artcor. 16 motivating ideas were pitched and 12 strong teams formed, who all worked hard to make the most out of the opportunities provided by YEP Moldova, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Garage48. But to be honest, we were the ones empowered and inspired as there were ideas from building a hate speech monitoring system, app that shows where the ambulance or firefighters are in real time, a browser plugin that would translate texts in images etc - ideas that when turned into a prototype, can make the world a better place for all of us.
“All hackathons are super empowering, because you can test your skills and realize quickly that you can actually do “it”,” said Kris Haamer, a serial hackathon-participant. There were youth from Moldova, Ukraine, Transnistria and Kris, originally from Estonia. “My Russian proficiency is non-existent, but it is useful for work. One thing is to hire people from Ukraine or Belarus and to be a customer or a work provider, another thing is to create real friendships and to do this, you need language skills and the hackathon is a good way to get to know each other - it provides you the inspiring surroundings with all the necessary tools and inspirational people.”
Well, working together for 48h has definitely lead to some cool projects. Here comes the crème de la crème with the most empowering solutions:
Veezify - Unique platform for Moldovan startups. Helping to find team-members for their startups.
Price: Access and participation to Startup Wise Guys program
Cristian Rusu, Dorin Pușcașu, Dumitru Samson, Ion Olari and Kris Haamer
Veezify team's idea clearly shows that there is a need for unity, need for a community and for a platform that helps to connect. “The original solution was meant to be just a website, something like a job offer portal. But at some point it just seemed to old school. So we discussed with mentors and with other people in the hackathon, new ideas emerged and we built a pop, better interface,” explains Kris Haamer, one of the team members, how they ended up with Veezify.
2nd place was a tie
Image Translator - Browser plugin that would translate texts into images
999+ - Browser plugin that filters and organizers products by quality, price, etc
Price: Access to YEP program + Latitude tickets
Rent IT - Platform that would allow people to rent anything
Prize: Access to YEP program
The jury also decided to give out a special prize for the biggest effort and to the most dedicated team.
Master Star - 3D aplication where people can build their own garden gazebos.
Favorite of the Audience
Wesley's Foods - Delivery of healthy food
“Empowering the young ones and giving them an opportunity is what makes the world go round. And we were more than happy to be on this rolling 48h hackathon-world with these bright and positive people, who didn’t even wink an eye to the more than humble conditions we held this hackathon in,” said Garage48 CEO Mari Hanikat. Kris added that every young and older person should at least once take part in a hackathon! “Hackathon is a brilliant format that helps you test everything from an idea to serious team collaboration, and Garage48 has “tuned it's hackathon recipe” in a way that most of the teams will get the prototype ready by the end of the event and some will turn it into a successful company later on.”
We thank the mentors who shared their time, knowledge, energy and connections with us: Joao Rei, Garage48; Cesar Zeppini and David Castillo from Veriff; Vasile Schidu from Tekwill; Egor Guzun from Endava and Maxim Bircu from Ellation.
All the participants, mentors, sponsors, supporters and team - YOU ROCK!
Empowering Youth hackathon in Moldova was supported by Estonia Development Cooperation.