The impact of Garage48 Wood hackathon is bringing it back

In the end of October last year, the first ever Garage48 Wood hackathon took place in Estonia. Around 100 participants  from students and hobbyists to wood industry company practitioners in the fields of industrial design, architecture, wood processing and engineering, marketing and project management gathered to make ideas of new solutions in the wood industry a reality.

Success of the participants is bringing the hackathon back

The Garage48 Wood hackathon was organized as a part of the Wood & Furniture project in the Estonian-Latvian Interreg programme in cooperation of  Vidzeme Planning RegionTSENTER and Garage48

co-founder and mentor of the 
first Garage48 Wood hackathon Priit Salumaa says that Garage48 Wood was a fascinating experiment for Garage48 to expand the scope of their hackathons. And what turned out, was an event that gathered the brightest minds and most skilled hands of the wood industry to co-create an inexplicable magic of saw-dust, amazing energy and ideas. “Wood hackathon now holds a special place in the Garage48 team and we are really excited to bring it back,” says Priit.

Laima EngereWood and Furniture project lead at Vidzeme Planning Region is in close contact with the wood industry companies on a daily basis and she has seen how the first Garage48 Wood hackathon has activated the wood industry. Multifunctional team work has helped SMEs to redesign their processes in the companies later and since last year, the wood hackathon has become one of the most anticipated event in the industry.

Inspiration to change company prototyping processes and start company mini-hackathons

The impact of the prototyping weekend carries on in the activities of the participants and the companies they work in. Arturs Veveris and Harijs Balodis, members of the management board of a furniture manufacturing company Wega LLC have taken the experience from the Garage48 Wood hackathon into the everyday manufacturing processes of the company. „The hackathon inspired us to work through and develop the prototyping processes of our new products and we have even made similar mini-hackathons inside our company and team,“ says Arturs.

 “The hackathon inspired us to work through and develop the prototyping processes of our new products and we have even made similar mini-hackathons inside our company and team.

Arturs and Harijs with their team at Garage48 Wood.

The needed push and next step to making the idea into reality

Tiit Kolk, CEO of AS Wermo furniture manufacturing company in Estonia joined the event out of curiosity and to test out an idea he had - a foldable fishing boat made of plywood that you can carry in a special backpack to the fishing location and then fold it open. After building the first prototype at the Garage48 Wood hackathon, their product and team named „VIISK“were awarded a pass to Ajujaht, the biggest business ideas competition in Estonia. With proceeding to the TOP 30 they are now continuing on developing the product with a smaller team that grew out of the hackathon.

The Garage48 Wood hackathon gave me a big push and the next step in making my idea into reality.

„The event was a true inventor’s party! It was a very great experience, in a friendly environment and with lots of young inventors, with whom I made really good new acquaintances. The Garage48 Wood hackathon gave me a big push and the next step in making my idea into reality. Additionally, I gained lots of positive experience from Ajujaht business ideas competition, to where we received a pass from the Wood hackathon as the idea with greatest business potential. It is definitely a great event, that gives participants lots of diferent new experiences and the chance to meet new people working in the same field as you,“ says Tiit.

VIISK team member Remo Allikas, the CEO of Võru Empak AS, also a furniture manufacturing company, says that he also had some ideas to present at the hackathon: „I wanted to get feedback to my ideas – are they also valued by ohter people, are they relevant and potentially give solutions for many. I had never attended an event like this and didn’t know what to expect, but I would have never imagined it to be such a positiive experience, together with Ajujaht journey that followed. I definitely reccommend to take part in the Wood hackathon as it gives a very good opportunity to realize your idea, get honest and clear feedback and gather a bunch of useful thoughts for developing your idea and product.“

 “Garage48 Wood hackathon  gives a very good opportunity  to realize your idea, get honest and clear feedback  and gather a bunch of useful thoughts for developing your  product.

VIISK prototype testing at Garage48 Wood.

Garage48 Wood 2

The opportunity to test out new ideas and product developments make new acquaintances among the students, practitioners, and mentors of the wood industry in Estonia and Latvia comes again on Nov 23-25th, when Garage48 Wood 2 hackathon takes place in Cesis, LatviaParticipants are provided free transportation, accommodation, catering, equipment and materials, and support from industry mentors.

About the author

kadri tiisvelt

Kadri is the COO of Garage48 with years of experience as a hackathon organizer and community builder. She loves to create and bring together supportive environments for starting entrepreneurs who wish to make their ideas into valuable services and products. 🌸

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