All aboard the Latvia-Belarus train hackathon

Take note – story published 5 years ago

Applications are open for an unusual business event, even by the standards of startup culture: a Minsk-Riga Startup Train Hackathon.

The international hackathon starting on August 27 will bring together startup builders, developers, designers and entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, startup enthusiasts, business insiders and investors from Belarus and Latvia.

"It’s a five-day opportunity to get insights from a different perspective and build competitive products while exploring both cultures. If you are ready to gain more experience and knowledge, apply now for Minsk-Riga Startup Train," say organizers.

The Latvian teams will travel to Minsk on August 27, where they will explore the city and network with the teams at Imaguru Minsk Startup Hub. Before departing to Riga, hacking in teams and mentoring sessions will be held. The most untraditional part of the hackathon will be the night on the train, when mixed teams from both countries will spend the night hacking away on their ideas on the overnight train from Minsk to Riga.

Latvian hackathon
Latvian hackathon

After arrival in the Latvian capital, teams will take part in a pitching course, and explore the city afterwards. The hackathon will end with a Grand Finale in the very center of the Latvian startup community on August 31.

“Ideally, attendees from both countries will be able to learn from each other. Belarusians can learn European level of business development, as for Latvians - technical expertise and art of IT would come in handy, the same as ability to recognize the root of the problem and what is needed to solve it. Even if Belarusian and Latvian startup ecosystems are very different, this event might be a starting point for developing both ecosystems together,” said Olga Barreto-Goncalves, Startup Train organizer in Latvia.

“Startup Train is an amazing opportunity to gain international knowledge and experience, the same as to establish business contacts between startups in both countries. Although in many countries, and even in railway transportation companies, a hackathon is used actively for creating innovative ideas, hacking on a train is an entirely new experience for Belarus. We’re eager to show that the Belarusian startup environment is open and evolving in the context of the global startup ecosystem,” said Tania Marinich, founder of the Imaguru Minsk Startup Hub.

The goal is to build a stronger relationship between Belarusian and Latvian startup ecosystems, create opportunities to meet new teammates who look at issues from a different angle and build competitive products.

To join the hackathon you can choose either of the two options: you can look through the teams and join in if you see something you would like to be a part of, or, if you have your own idea and want to develop it with other like-minded people, fill the form and tell the story. Once the teams are formed, the best ones will be selected and coordinated directly about all the details. Read more information and register here:

All costs for transportation, accommodation, meals and visas are taken care of by organizers. Internet connection on a route Minsk-Riga will be provided by the partners of the hackathon.

Minsk-Riga Startup Train is organized by Imaguru Minsk and Magnetic Startup Latvia, fuelled by Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and supported by Startin.LV and TechChill.

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