Feb 25, 2021 / merit

Base Camp Hackathon - How To Impress Investors in 72-hours?

Base Camp Hackathon is just around the corner! Together with Superangel, we’re carefully choosing up to 30 startups to compete at the 72-hour virtual product-focused hackathon from the 18th to the 21st of March. Base Camp is not for everyone. It is meant for early-stage startups, who are fast learners and have the grit to use insights from world-class mentors to speed up and get their product to the next level in 72 hours.

Base Camp hackaton is a no-strings-attached event from entrepreneurial investors to awesome early-stage startups. Over the years, we have boosted over 76 startups and been a springboard for ambitious early-stage companies, such as Port6, Snackable, Zitycity, Avokaado, Remato, Montonio, Relancer, Edumus, Taut, and VideoCV. Early-stage startup teams get often trapped into putting out million burning fires but the Base Camp hackathon allows them to focus and get in 72-hours done improvements, which can sometimes take weeks.


“Base Camp is an excellent opportunity to isolate from the noise and be laser-focused on one idea. An early-stage startup always has a lot of ideas and hypotheses to test. At the same time, it’s easy to float away and shift focus to some urgent things to fix.” - Toms Niparts, Jeff App, Winner of Base Camp Autumn 2020



Our goal with Base Camp Hackathons has always been to pull in the awesome mentor’s crew who themselves have built several companies and know the growing pains of an early-stage startup. From tips on UX and UI, how to shorten the sales cycle by 3-5 times to high-level business talks, sessions with Base Camp mentors are highly valued by all of the alumni teams. This is our promise, no death by 20-minutes-too-generic-mentoring-sessions or boring zoom workshops. When you join the Base Camp hackathon, you’ll get competitive insights from mentors from Bolt, TransferWise, Pactum, Nortal, and so on!


Base Camp is the best way for an early-stage startup to prove to investors, that they have what it takes to work tirelessly, and that they have assembled a team who can really get sh*t done! Our alumni teams have been able to collectively raise over 18M€ after competing at the hackathon. The latest addition to the money pool was Port6, who managed to bag a 1M€ seed round investment post-event, with Superangel as lead investors.


While putting this blog post together we had a chat with our alumni teams from the Base Camp Spring 2021 hackathon to get some exclusive insight into what they wish they knew before entering the competition and what are their suggestions for the new batch. Here are the top 3 recommendations from Port6, Edumus, Taut, and VideoCV. 


1. PREPARE, PLAN, AND THEN PLAN SOME MORE


Ohto Pentikäinen, CEO and co-founder of Port6: “Prepare! You get to meet a bunch of super helpful people in a short amount of time. I wish I could have done more research on the mentors attending beforehand so I could have benefited even more from the 1:1 sessions. Also, under-promise, over-deliver. We managed to develop the first version of our developer kit in the event. It has been in internal use and development since.”



Maria Rahamägi, Founder of Edumus: “My suggestion for the teams entering the competition would be to think through what do you want to do and achieve during the hackathon, and then prepare your team accordingly so once you start the hack everyone will know what to do.”


Kalvis Petersons, CEO and co-founder of Taut: “Plan ahead and save some operational hustle during the event. If you already know what you’ll be doing over the weekend, then talk to your customers beforehand so they can allocate time over the weekend for customer interviews. Cancel everything else and focus on your hackathon tasks. This way you’ll have maximum productivity and you’ll leave the event with a launched product.”


Kristian Kalle, CEO and founder of VideoCV: “Be ready to hustle hard and then even harder. Plan to build something with higher quality, that you can finish and test. We were actually able to launch a new product thanks to that.” 


2. LISTEN AND NETWORK


Kristian Kalle, CEO and founder of VideoCV: “You’ll receive some awesome industry knowledge and a lot of helpful feedback about your product that you can implement right after Base Camp. That’s what we did!”


Ohto Pentikäinen, CEO and co-founder of Port6: “Give the event your undivided attention for the weekend. We got to know a whole new community of like-minded people.”


3. THERE’S NOT MUCH SLEEP, BUT THERE’S FUN!

Ohto Pentikäinen, CEO and co-founder of Port6: “Sleep properly before the hackathon. An online hackathon is different from a typical hackathon. Serendipity in social situations is much harder to achieve and takes some energy.”


Kristian Kalle, CEO and founder of VideoCV: “You probably can’t count on sleep during those 72 hours.”



Maria Rahamägi, Founder of Edumus: “Don’t take things too seriously. Working long hours can only be done with good mood, good food, and having fun!”


Kalvis Petersons, CEO and co-founder of Taut: “The next 72-hours will be really intense and draining and you can only sleep a few hours over the weekend. But the energy from the organizers, other teams, and mentors is so cool that you’ll be in such a good mood on Sunday evening. Having some fun along the way will keep the spirits up and help to make the weekend even more memorable. For me, I will always remember the weekend I participated at Base Camp.”



Base Camp is definitely not just a hackathon, but rather a platform for crazy enough early-stage startups who get amazing things done during the 72-hours. To quote the winner of Base Camp Spring 2020, Pete Ward from Humaniy Inc: “Base Camp is enriching, tiring, awesome, and I would definitely do it again.” So be like Pete and Humanity, embark on the journey, and submit your application now.


The deadline for startup applications is the 7th of March 2021: https://garage48.typeform.com/to/S6bdKWsv.*


*You should apply if you are an up and running early-stage startup, have an MVP, and have talked to potential customers, want to get your product to the next level fast, and prove to a range of investors that your team can execute.


Read more about the upcoming Base Camp Spring 2021 hackathon here: https://garage48.org/events/base-camp-spring-2021


Join the Facebook event for updates on mentors, and prizes: https://www.facebook.com/events/442894496903299
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