Garage48 Re-Invent

When 10-12 May

Where Andela Kigali Office, Rwanda

  • Overview
  • Agenda
  • Get Ready
  • Join Garage48 Re-Invent Hackathon to change the world as we see it!

    Every generation has the chance to make a difference, but the challenges we face today are more complex than ever before, leaving many unprepared to catch up with the pace of sustainable development, agriculture, nutrition and food security, access to finance, quality education, corruption, fake news and media literacy, e-services… to name a few.

    Our society is defined by the people who live in it, and we in Garage48 and Compound55 believe in the attitude of “Getting Shit Done”.

    WE INVITE inspiring minds, designers (UI/UX, other visually creative doers), developers (front-end, back-end, mobile), marketers, project managers and forward-thinkers to join the Re-Invent hackathon on 10th-12th of May 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. 

    Exact location: Andela Kigali, 5th floor, Muhabura Building, UR - College of Science & Technology


    It's a 48 hours long brainstorming marathon during which an idea will be transformed into a working prototype. It starts on Friday evening when all participants gather together and pitch ideas on stage (as many as we get!) - not every one of you have to have an idea tho, so don't worry about that!

    After the pitching session, everyone can choose their favourite idea and join the team. All the work is monitored by our top-notch mentors from all relevant fields you might need a little push on - IT, design, marketing, business strategies etc.

    After 48h, all teams will present their outcome on the stage and a WINNER is selected.


    - This hackathon is mostly an experience of building a new (working) project in 48 hours!

    - Meet and work with new interesting people whom you probably would not meet otherwise.

    - Get support by experienced top-notch mentors & hard-working teammates.

    - Get a chance to win amazing prizes and get noticed!

    Who knows, maybe, you're going to be the next unicorn co-founder?


    Ticket includes everything: participation, food and drinks, access to the venue 24h/day, help from international mentors and the organizing team, also some cool branded SWAG!

    - We provide the coolest space with an inspiring atmosphere;

    - Drinks and food for you to only focus on building the prototype;

    - Branded T-shirts, some extra goodies from our lovely sponsors;

    - Opportunity to change the world as we see it!

    Just to bring it out again - this hackathon is meant for everyone - we do not discriminate by age, gender, nation 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!

    Get your early-bird tix until 20th April 2019!

    Join the hackathon to make the world a better place!


    Compound55 provides professional service to entrepreneurs and startups applying their expertise in all aspects of building a business. We are changing how Africa interacts within itself and with the rest of the world.

    Garage48 was established by 6 active Estonian entrepreneurs behind successful startups like Pipedrive, Fortumo, Weekdone, Mooncascade & Taxify. Garage48 has been organizing hackathons for more than 8 years now - over 200 events in 25+ countries, more than 1500 ideas pitched and nearly 1000+ prototypes built. 12 of the teams have successfully involved venture capital (MSQRD bought by Facebook, Timbeter, Shipitwise, Goworkabit, Heelosophy, VitalFields to name a few) but many of the alumnis have developed their prototypes into working businesses after the hackathon.

    Re-Invent hackathon is powered by E-Estonia and supported by Estonian Development Cooperation, Estonian ICT  Cluster and NetGroup!

    Friday, May 10th
    17:30 - Check in, networking, coffee, snacks
    18:00 - Opening remarks
    18:45 - Presentation of ideas
    20:30 - Team formation
    22:00 - Team work begins!

    Saturday, May 11th
    9:00 - Coffee and breakfast
    10:00 - Checkpoint #1
    11:30 - Mentors go around
    13:00 - Lunch
    13:45 - Development continues
    17:00 - Pitch theory
    18:00 - Checkpoint #2
    19:00 - Dinner
    19:45 - Development continues

    Sunday, May 12th
    9:00 - Coffee and breakfast
    10:00 - Checkpoint #3
    11:30 - Pitch drill session #1
    13:00 - Lunch
    14:00 - Pitch drill session #2
    16:30 - Coffee break with light snacks
    17:15 - Final event and LIVE stream

    We'll start on Friday, May 10th with opening the doors. 

    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
    • sleeping bag and towel (in case you would like to stay overnight)
    • 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 Wednesday noon 12:00 PM, (May 8th), to (Subject: Re-Invent pitch).

    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? (30 sec)
    • Technical solution and 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 favorite idea and this is how teams will be formed. Usually, 12 to 18 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 hackathon. 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 hackathon. Some of them have great fieldwork experience, 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 evening 5 pm is the deadline. Either you have your prototype 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 in the finals - we want a live demo of your product!
    • We will pick teams randomly. Every team gets 3 minutes for product demonstration (+2 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 to


    1. Who can participate?

    Registration is open to anyone:  teams and individuals. We are looking for Designers, Project Managers, Marketers, Engineers, Front-end Developers, Back-end Developer, Full stack Developers, Data Scientists, Experts and people who want to deliver innovative working prototypes in just 48 hours!

    2. How the communication with the registered participants happen?

    We will send you an e-mail several days before the event with the information. Then you can count on the participation, get ready and come hack!

    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 Tuesday evening, all participants will choose their favorite 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 25-30 slots for ideas.

    5. How long is the pitch?

    On Tuesday 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 proper team will have to join other teams.

    7. How big is an ideal team?

    In our experience, 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.


    #Garage48ReInvent #Garage48Africa

    The Mentors 

    Joao Rei
    Garage48 host, business and marketing mentor
    Lembit Loo
    EMEA Director at Net Group Ltd
    Maido Parv
    Senior Product Designer at Wise
    Lionel Mpfizi
    CEO @ AwesomityLab
    Anja Schlösser
    Co-Founder and MD @ Code Africa
    Emmanuel Monehin
    Bootcamp Facilitator @ Andela


    Liis Linn
    Project Manager at Garage48
    Henry Umunnakwe
    Co-Founder at Compound55 | Director @ Startup Grind Kigali | Startup Compound |

    The Programme is brought to you by: