Base Camp Vol.2 Magnifies the Entire Hackathon Experience

Last weekend, we have opened the Spring Season with our second Base Camp, where Garage48 and Superangel once again invited prototype-ready startup teams to compete for their lifetime opportunity. Given the exclusive mentor crew and differentiated hackathon format, it was surely an enhanced hackathon experience for everyone. Getting 6000€ contract signed on Sunday, launching a new app on Play Store from scratch and collecting 35 positive reviews from 200 new users, doing a language module in 4 hours instead of planned 7 days - these were only a few highlights of Base Camp vol 2.

“Start-ups don't succeed by having smarter founders than everyone else: they build better networks of investors, mentors and connections than the competition, and they tap them regularly,” said once Maria Amelie, award winner author, founder and tech journalist.


As all tech-startup gurus emphasize, supporting the birth of the idea is simply not enough - regardless of how essential it is. Most Garage48 hackathons are known as the birthplace of promising startup ideas. However, helping those ideas to evolve and sustain is vital through both during and after hackathon actions. The biggest fear of all hackathon participants is claimed to be shaped around one single concern: Having a winner idea but not having enough resources to evolve and implement it! Therefore, Garage48 cooperated with Superangel to launch Base Camp as an exclusive hackathon format, that serves as the first step of Superangel Alpine House for winning teams - 12-month high altitude training and funding program designed for early-stage startups. Yes, you can only apply and get selected if you are a prototype-ready team because Base Camp is where you validate your already-built business case. It is where we change the market dynamics and upgrade the entire hackathon experience.

First Base Camp took place in September 2018 and it was a remarkable success for both investors and winning teams as they unlocked the doors to build potential multimillion-euro companies.


“Our team participated in the first Base Camp in September 2018, where we were challenged to develop and market a new feature for our startup within 48 hours. Before Base Camp, we were a small law office called Eesti Õigusbüroo and by the end of this intense marathon we grew into a global legal service platform and rebranded as Hugo. We built Estonia’s first robot lawyer, which has automatically generated more than 1000 appeal documents to be sent to the debt collector and saved 500 000€+  from our clients,” said Artur Fjodorov, founder and CEO of Hugo. “This event was the birth of Hugo and the milestone for our fast growing business life.”


It is our pride and joy to play a part in Hugo’s success. We certainly hope to see many similar success stories arising from our second Base Camp as well. Given the potential we just saw in teams, we are confident to say that it’s only a matter of time.


On March 1-3, 2019 our second Base Camp took place in Palo Alto Club, where we accommodated 13 highly promising teams. Some of them were our alumni teams which participated in previous Garage48 hackathons and came to Base Camp for their real deal breakthrough.

SecureBadger, for instance, was one of the competing teams at Base Camp and the team laid the foundations of their idea during Garage48 Open Banking Hackathon in February 2018. The team leader stated that before Base Camp they only had a raw prototype but now they managed to build a respected business model with a well-functioning website and even acquired an active client portfolio within 48 hours, thanks to intense dynamics and effective mentorship at Base Camp.

PetHealth, on the other hand, was built only 3 weeks ago at Garage48’s Student Startup Camp in Tartu, Estonia. They could work on their idea only a very small time of period yet still got selected to compete at Base Camp alongside other early-stage startups. Ott from PetHeath said that they managed to take their business idea to the next level at Base Camp by focusing on creating business value. While it was only a conceptualized idea prototype before, the team managed to improve its business model further, reach out their target audience and achieve validation within 48 hours.

While dozens of well-known success stories have risen from our events, some of the great teams didn’t make it because they have lacked extra boost and support after the hackathon. This is why we turned the wheel to focus on early-stage startup teams’ post-hackathon developments through Base Camp’s special hackathon format.


“Through the Base Camp Hackathon Series, we are backing up our new positioning; as we are not only the birthplace of promising startups anymore but also the enabler of them to become successful venture entrepreneurs,” stated Mari Hanikat, CEO of Garage48. “Providing further support for winning teams that gained recognition in our hackathons has proudly become one of our key business approaches and reflects our true DNA with the support of such events and cooperations.”


Many other competing teams have taken their existing business models to the next level at Base Camp Spring 2019, simply due to differentiated hackathon dynamics of Base Camp and the desire of getting their hands on the 12-month high altitude training program, covering all the necessary funding and mentorship.


“Base Camp Hackathon is truly amazing for Superangel, as our team gets to spend the entire weekend together with the teams and see how they are working together and building the next successful tech companies," said Marko Oolo, Investment Manager at Superangel. “Following this successful hackathon, we have decided to invite 3 teams to our Alpine House Training Program to help them scale globally.”


This year Superangel piloted also a Stealth Hackathon for Superangel portfolio companies during Base Camp. Utilising the vibe and energy Mobi Lab used Saturday for customer validation in different verticals for their augmented reality product. Superangel helped to prepare and conduct their internal hackathon and reach out to manufacturing industry C-level people. The highlight of Mobi Lab’s internal hackathon was a two-hour interview with a manufacturing industry expert, which resulted in a start of a pilot.


Beside the Superangel Alpine House program, the winning teams were awarded with various other prizes and are expected to become trend-setters following their bang-up training experience. It is time to sit back and wait for them to share their success stories with the world when the time comes. Meanwhile, we suggest you to stay tuned and keep your eyes open for the next Base Camp where your very own breakthrough might come true.

We also would like to give a huge shoutout to anyone who was involved in the hackathon either as a participant or an organizer. Our special love goes to people behind Superangel: Kalev Kaarna, Marek Kiisa, Veljo Otsason, Rain Rannu, Vattan PS and Marko Oolo. Big thanks to our lovely host Joao Rei for turning another Garage48 Hackathon into an unforgettable event with his upbeat energy.

See you at the next Base Camp!

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