Dec 13, 2019 / merit

The gathering of next generation of change-makers in Georgia

After working 5 years in Georgia, returning to Tbilisi to conduct the next event in our Empowering Youth series, was a long-awaited occasion. It seems that not only our team has a soft spot for Georgia, but also the participants have a soft spot for Garage48 events because several familiar faces were waiting for us to once again hack over the weekend.

This event series was initiated to carry on with the traditions with community building and to focus on the next generation of change-makers, community-builders and people who are ready to put Georgia on the global map. The Empowering Youth event series is all about teaching the participants about the entrepreneurial activities and to inspire them to be creative, express themselves and strive for excellence in order to initiate a change in their lives and society.

“The biggest win for us after 5 years of working here in Georgia have to be familiar faces that keep on coming back, the pioneers of the Garage48 community in Georgia. They are our success stories, the ones who spread the way of thinking and problem solving among their colleagues and fellow students.” - Kai Isand, our amazing host. 

This 48 hours showed us that although 48 hours can be unpredictable and challenging, with the right motivation and “get sh*t done” attitude a lot can be achieved. People from all over Georgia - Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Tskaltubo, Rustavi, Poti, Samtredia - and world - Russia, Australia, Moldova, USA, Azerbaijan - joined us to pitch their ideas and create something exceptional. On Friday we witnessed 18 ideas being pitched and after team formation 12 strong and capable teams started to work side by side.


“The Youth Empowered Hackathon was my first experience with hackathons and such a rewarding experience on the whole. I was able to meet really interesting people and at the same time work with them. It was simultaneously challenging, inspiring, stressful and enriching throughout the weekend.” - Tiko Kharkhelauri from team Directionary.


For this hackathon we also teamed up with Open, an initiative supported by Open Society Georgia Foundation, to challenge the participants to tackle mental health issues in an innovative way and create solutions to some of the burning challenges Georgia faces in terms of mental health.

“When we first decided to join the hackathon and bring in the topic of mental health, we never really expected such amazing outcomes we received. We want to thank all the participants for making a change in support of mental health. We are truly excited and sure that digital mental health denotes a promising future in Georgia.” - Mariam Supatashvili from Open


“We were blown away by the final outcomes and we witnessed the grand scope of opportunities that exist in the intersection of innovation and mental health.” - Elene Lomadze from Open

We hope that all the 12 teams carry on with their work and that they don’t forget that even though they weren’t selected as winners by the jury, they still are!

Here are the honorable mentions from the Youth Empowered Hackathon:
OVERALL WINNERS - Directionary: An online linking platform to ensure potential clients find rewarding connections to therapists. Alongside this is a custom character creation feature to empower users in their psychological issues.


1st RUNNER UPS - Symphony of Emotions: An app that helps people to create unique music with the help of their emotions and also assisting them with their emotional and mental issues.

2ND RUNNER UPS - VISU: An AR app that makes learning process easier for children, especially for dyslexic children, by helping them visualise materials.


FAVOURITE OF THE AUDIENCE - ARI: An app that lets you order eco-friendly steam car wash service to wherever you are.

Best technical solution - XYMBA: A platform that lets you earn money for your data by selling it to the highest bidder.


Open Challenge WINNER - Symphony of Emotions:
An app that helps people to create unique music with the help of their emotions and also assisting them with their emotional and mental issues.

Open Challenge Special Mention - Psy-ED: An interactive application that helps people to deal with depression through learning its causes and ways to get better.

Huge thank you goes out to every participant who joined us for this fun weekend in the amazing Fabrika Tbilisi. Thank you so much to our partner Impact Hub Tbilisi and the women behind it - Keti and Elene. Thank you to our amazing mentors - Kai Isand, Andreas Roosson, Tõnis Bramanis, Henrik Rank, Romet Tagobert, Vaska Chubinidze, Marcos Piani - who keep on joining us all over the world. 


Thank you to Open, an initiative supported by Open Society Georgia Foundation, for challenging the teams to tackle the problems around mental health in Georgia. Thank you to Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Fund for Development and Humanitarian Aid for supporting our work in Georgia since 2015.

Georgia, we will see you in February for the Garage48 Youth Empowerment Bootcamp!

Garage48 Youth Empowered Tbilisi 2019 is organized with the financial support of Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Fund for Development and Humanitarian Aid.