Garage48 Empowering Youth Kampala

When 13-15 March, 2020

Where Innovation Village, Kampala

  • Overview
  • Agenda
  • Get Ready
  • It is time to get super(em)powered! Garage48 Empowering Youth Hackathon is coming to Uganda to enable youth to gain access to the field of entrepreneurship through turning ideas into businesses! It has been a while, but this is the fourth time that Garage48 is organizing an event in Kampala.

    Being creative, expressing yourself, striving for excellence and never giving up are the key factors to initiate a change. We all have these powers, but we can’t really trigger them alone. Coming together and sharing your ideas and thoughts with everyone will give you a better understanding and create clear goals and objectives.

    Empowering the young ones and giving them an opportunity to share their ideas is what makes the world go round as they are the ones who will determine our future.

    This event is a possibility to surround yourself with people who empower you to become better,  so prepare yourself for 48-hours of excitement, inspiration, creativity, and validation. Teams are formed on spot around the best ideas (so please, do not worry if you don´t have an idea at all - you are more than welcome to the hackathon!). 48-hours that follow, will be filled with vibrant community energy,  brainstorming, and hard work, all in order to turn the initial idea into a working prototype. All the teams will be supported by top-notch local and international mentors. All the finished prototypes will be presented at the Sunday finale and the best teams will receive rewarding prizes that will enable them to develop their ideas even further!

    Coffee, refreshing drinks, warm meals and snacks are provided throughout the event, so you can focus on developing your idea into a full-on prototype.

    Just to be clear, this hackathon is meant for everyone- we do not discriminate by age, gender or the ideas, as long as they all carry that spark of hope for a better tomorrow. Synergy& diversity are vital for innovation and growth!

    Inspiring minds, young designers, developers and forward-thinkers- apply now, get people talking by sharing your idea on the event's Facebook page and get ready for the weekend that can change your professional life! We will make the selection of the best applicants by the 5th of March and let everyone now via e-mail!

    Join the event on Facebook

    Hackathon is being held at the beautiful rooms of  Innovation Village

    Remember, you DO  have a story to tell and now is the time to start!  

    #g48empoweringyouth, #g48kampala , #betteryouuganda

    Garage48 Empowering Youth is powered by Better You Academy. 

    ☆☆☆ PRIZES ☆☆☆

    Main Prize - TOP 3 teams will get to pitch their idea in front of 100 000 people on the stage of National Career Guidance Day at  Kololo Ceremonial Grounds  on March 20

    The winning team will get a spot in an equity-free online pre-acceleration program from Startup Wise Guys accelerator.  More info about the prize here!

    Better You Academy membership for every participant!

    Garage48 post-hackathon-mentoring for 3 consecutive months

    stay tuned for more!
    13th of  March, Friday

    8:00 Registrations, networking, snacks and coffee
    9:00 - Opening remarks and introduction to the day
    9:20 - Presentation of ideas (90 seconds per idea)
    11:00 Team formation
    11:45 Team's pick their working areas
    12:00 Lunch
    13:00 Teamwork begins
    14:00 Mentors go around
    15:30 Checkpoint #1 Homework is assigned
    Doors remain open till 17:00.
    Homework time!

    14th of March,Saturday
    08:00 - Coffee & snacks. Development starts
    09:00 - Checkpoint #2
    11:00 - Mentors go around
    12:00 - Lunch
    13:15 Pitch training (theory)
    15:00 - Checkpoint #3
    Doors remain open till 17:00.
    Homework time!

    15th of March, Sunday
    08:00 - Coffee & breakfast. Development continues
    09:00 - Checkpoint #4
    10:30 - Pitch drill session #1
    12:00 - Lunch
    12:30 - Pitch drill session #2 with demo
    14:30 - Final event
    16:30 - 17:00 Winners & networking&cake!

    We'll start on Friday, March 13 at 8 am with opening the doors. Please come on time, as the registration process might take some time. The time before the official opening is a great opportunity to get to know the crowd and to network. See the agenda for further information.


    Positive attitude, open-mind and lots of energy together with everything you need for a rapid product development. Please take your:

    • laptop
    • 3-5m power extension cord (as power might be on distance)
    • mobile phone
    • all chargers

    • photo camera to take and share photos
    • mattress and a sleeping bag
    • credit cards for domain registration
    • business cards (if you have any)


    Ideas are presented based on "elevator-pitch" method within 90 seconds. Event host and the audience can ask 1 to 3 short questions. You can prepare 1 (one) PDF slide to support your pitch. You should send the slide by Friday, 13 of March  noon 12:00 PMto (Subject: name of your project).

    Consider following key points:

    • Briefly, describe your idea background (10 sec)
    • What is the name of the idea? (5 sec)
    • What's the idea all about? What is the problem your idea solves? Target user count and description (30 sec)
    • Technical solution and there is a revenue model (in case of non-profit idea, how the maintenance and further development costs will be covered) (30 sec)
    • Minimum viable product and plan for 48 hours. Who do you need in your team? (20 sec)

    NB! Practice your pitch to your friends or family before you present! 90 seconds goes really fast!


    After pitching is over, we will put all the ideas on the wall. Every participant will choose their favourite idea and this is how teams will be formed. Usually, 14 to 20 best ideas will get enough interested people to get the "green light" for the implementation. The average team has about 5 to 7 people and the team should be "balanced" - covering all required roles like necessary engineers, designers, a project manager (team lead/visionary/field expert) and marketer in order to get the product/service ready in 48 hours! The minimum size for a team is 4 people and max is 8 people. If some ideas get too few people or are not balanced (probably unable to build the service), the idea will be dumped. Those people should choose another idea/team.


    After forming the teams, organisers will give a room/space for every team for the weekend. You should start by dividing roles, setting the product vision, customer journey and start working right away. It is very important that you have a project manager (team lead/field expert) on the team - one of his tasks is to keep the focus of the team, one eye on the clock and the other on the team progress. 48 hours is really a short time.


    We provide full catering at the venue. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on Saturday and Sunday. There is also snacks/drinks/coffee available, so you can fully focus on your work.


    We have arranged great mentors to work with the teams throughout the weekend. Some of them have great fieldworkexperience, others are more technical. Be open and ask for their advice and contacts. They are there to help you!

    Please wear your name badge during the whole event, this will help to encourage networking. Otherwise be open, get to know new people, share your ideas and give ideas/feedback to other teams.

    MOST IMPORTANT - have fun!


    • Sunday afternoon 14:00 pm is the deadline. Either you have your service ready or not, time will tell.
    • Each team will practice their demo together with mentors and jury members for 10 minutes to make the final adjustments and make a better presentation.
    • We do not allow any Powerpoint presentations for web services - we want a live demo of your product!
    • The final demo event starts at 5:30 PM
    • We will pick teams randomly. Every team gets 3 minutes for product demonstration (+1 minute for questions).
    • We admit, that the development process is the ultimate importance. But we still have a jury, to evaluate the results and choose the top projects.


    Take your sleeping bag & mattress and you'll have a possibility to stay overnight in the venue.

    If you have further questions, please see the Agenda tab above and FAQ below. If you don't find an answer there, then please write us at


    1. What is Garage48 Empowering Youth?

    It is an intensive hackathon where people pitch ideas, form teams and build prototypes or sometimes full product/service over the 48 hours.

    2. Who can participate?

    Registration is open to anyone:  teams and individuals. We are looking for Designers (Graphic, UI, UX), Project Managers, Marketers, Front-end Developers, Back-end Developer, Full stack Developers and people who are into hacking and want to deliver innovative working prototypes in just 48 hours!

    If you register for the hackathon event, then we expect you to be ready to work on the project also after the hackathon is over.

    PS. If you come as a team, each team member still has to register individually.

    3. I don't have my own team? Can I come?

    Sure, Garage48 is about networking, meeting new people, hacking, building new products/services and finding new friends. After pitching ideas on Friday evening, all participants will choose their favourite idea and form a team on-site. You should carefully review all pitched ideas, talk to the team members, negotiate, brainstorm and finally find the best matching project for yourself. Then join this team and start working on the project.

    4. How to submit and pitch an idea?

    We ask all participants to submit their ideas already when registering but also share your idea to our Facebook event

    before the event. This allows other participants to review their idea, ask questions and possibly to develop the idea further. In the hackathon event, there will be about 30-35 slots for ideas.

    5. How long is the pitch?

    On Friday night there are 90-second pitches for each idea, followed by 2-3 questions from audience/mentors. You can have one slide (PDF) to support your pitch.

    6. How are the ideas selected for the event?

    Afterwards, when ideas are pitched, each participant will choose the idea that s/he wants to work on. Ideas that are able to gather a sufficient team around them will prevail. People who have chosen the ideas that are not able to gather the proper team will have to join other teams.

    7. How big is an ideal team?

    In our experience, the best teams have between 4 and 7 members. Each team should be self-sufficient by having all the main roles (business and product vision, design, programming, marketing, expertise in the subject of the hackathon) covered. The minimum size for a team is 4 people and max is 8 people.

    8. If I present an idea at the event, can someone steal it?

    Of course :) Hackathon has many participants, including journalists, bloggers and tweeters - your idea will not remain a secret. So, if you think you have a top-secret, patentable, Nobel-prize worthy idea, then don't present it in the hackathon ;). On the other hand, if you have an idea that has been sitting in your head for some time, waiting for right time or right people to be put into practice, then this hackathon is a great place and environment for making it happen!

    9. Are 48 hours enough?

    Yes, and No. 48 hours is more than enough time to take an idea, build a working prototype, alpha or beta service and make it publicly available for users, potential customers. (Unless you are building a nuclear reactor, new drug, a spaceship or something similar, of course). However, to make your prototype, alpha or beta into a viable business, much more work after the event is needed. We encourage (and give preference in selection) to those participants, who show an interest and willingness to continue working on (successful and promising) ideas after the event!

    10. Is it a startup competition to get funding?

    Not really. The main idea of the event is to build a startup community, find new friends and meet people, build something cool in 48 hours. But it's not so much about winning the prize or getting financing. This hackathon is mostly an experience of building a new (working) project in 48 hours, meet and work with new people whom you probably would not meet otherwise.

    11. Can I buy a domain and set up hosting account before the event?

    Yes, you can do various preparations for your project unless you start designing or coding. We encourage you to think of the project name, business model, short-term and long-term plan etc. But it's not allowed to do any coding work on the project before the event.

    12. What happens to the developed products and services after the event?

    The project built during hackathon events owned by the team who built it. So it's up to the teams to decide how do they take it forward. Some ideas are very likely to be developed into successful businesses, others struggle to find a feasible business model and fade away. Organisers are encouraging teams to continue developing the ideas and provide mentorship, but ultimately, the success or failure rests solely with the members of the team.

    13. Is the hackathon a continuous 48-hour marathon or can I sleep during the event, too?

    Sleep is for the weak. (Just kidding). While some teams pulled all-nighters at the last events, most successful teams did take time to get a full 7-8 hour sleep, come back in the morning refreshed and were fully productive during the day. We provide floor space in the venue in case you don't want to go home or to your hotel.

    14. What if I have registered for the hackathon event as a participant but can not come to the event?

    Please notify us by e-mail: ( as soon as possible about such changes. This way we can give your spot to someone else.

    15. What are the criteria for the jury to select winning team?

    The jury gives points between 1 to 10 and evaluates the following: people and team, business potential, product, presentation.


    #g48youth # g48kampala # betteryouuganda

    The Mentors 

    Joao Rei
    Garage48 host, business and marketing mentor
    Kristjan Raude
    Member of the board at Estonian Business Angels Network
    Roland Tokko
    Launch and marketing strategist. Co-Founder of Better You Academy
    Patrick Bitature
    Founder and Chairman of the Simba Group
    Nataliey Bitature
    Chief of Staff at The Simba Group
    Luminsa Apollo
    Operations and Entrepreneurship Specialist
    Luigi Morel
    Software Developer- with a keen interest in entrepreneurship and pushing Africa forward


    Edna Kainomugasho
    Business Developlment Manager at Incredible Youth International
    Hanna-Marta Lunge
    Volunteer at Garage48
    Catherine Tamale
    Communications Specialist and Marketing Manager at Garage48

    The Programme is brought to you by: