Estonia to host an EU-Africa virtual hackathon

Estonian startup organisation Garage48 will host a virtual 72-hour hackathon, called “EU:Africa – The Journey”, with the aim to unite socially conscious problem solvers from across Europe and Africa; the application deadline for participating teams is 8 December and the event is to take place from 9 to 12 December.

The hackathon and the simultaneous virtual conference take place for the second year in a row, with the aim to unite socially conscious problem solvers from across Europe and Africa in one common mission – finding solutions to the most pressing socio-economic issues.

“We believe people from both continents have a lot to learn from one another and leveraging each other’s knowledge is the most effective way to find solutions,” Garage48’s CEO Mari Hanikat said in a statement.

The free online event comes with a €50,000 prize fund and a two-month acceleration programme for top 20 teams.

The organisers hope to bring together 3,000 participants – at least one person from each country from Europe and Africa, 100 mentors, 50 speakers and representatives of 500 community organisations. 

Co-hosted by the African Union

The event will address the following topics: education, food security, job security, vulnerable populations, health and wellness, financial services, big data, cyber security, digital economy, digital governance and smart cities.

The first event in 2020 brought together 315 teams – out of which roughly 1/3 had participants from both continents. “Twenty-five teams have registered as companies since, have reached different stages of business development and are already improving the lives of thousands of people,” Garage48 said.

The hackathon, co-hosted by the African Union, is an initiative of the Estonian foreign ministry with Garage48 as an implementing partner.

A startup event organised in November by Garage48 as part of the “EU:Africa – The Journey” programme in Namibia. Photo courtesy of the “EU:Africa – The Journey” Facebook page.

Garage48 hackathon series was founded in Estonia in 2010 by several local startup entrepreneurs – among them Pipedrive’s cofounder Ragnar Sass, Bolt’s cofounder Martin Villig and Fortumo’s cofounder Rain Rannu. Their idea was to create an experience that simulates a resource constrained startup environment, where decisions must be made fast and the budget is often lean. Since then, Garage48 has organised almost 200 hackathons in 26 countries.

The application deadline for participating teams in the “EU:Africa – The Journey” hackathon is 8 December.

Cover: A startup event organised in November by Garage48 as part of the “EU:Africa – The Journey” programme in Namibia. Photo courtesy of the “EU:Africa – The Journey” Facebook page.

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