This spring Baltic region proved the “power of small” in the face of crisis and became the origin of the global movement “Hack the crisis.” 6 months have passed since, but unfortunately COVID case count is in some countries higher than it has ever been before and there are a lot of new challenges, as this situation persists.
To help come up with new solutions to tackle the crisis – U.S. Embassies in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius and Copenhagen are turning towards the hackers and startupers to look for solutions and in collaboration with Garage48 and us – launching a hackathon “48 for the Future” this December. Organisers are on the lookout for people ready to get their hands dirty, brains activated and participate – more information on the Hackathon website.
Hackathon will take place on December 3-6, online, however, the idea submission and registering has already started and there will be a matchmaking event on November 22 to pitch ideas and learn some hackathon tips and tricks.
Startup Wise Guys (SWG) will be actively involved in the mentoring during the hackathon, but moreover – we will grant a spot in our equity-free, no-strings-attached online pre-accelerator program to selected team (or teams) to help continue the journey and build truly impactful solutions.
What is our Online Pre-accelerator?
Even before everyone was forced to go online and remote, we had been providing this program to early stage teams or geographically distant startups to tune them up before full-time equity based accelerator and generally help them learn the basics about startup business in 7-8 weeks.
The program covers topics such as pitching, product development, sales process, legal basics and much more. It provides support through videos, downloadable materials, and weekly deliverables. Every week focuses on a specific topic and is supported by intensive 1-to-1 sessions with experts on the topic. In order to create a team-feeling similar to regular accelerators, teams participating in the Online pre-acceleration program have live Q&A sessions, peer-to-peer communication, pitch training, and a virtual demo day. The entire program is equity-free, investment free and free of charge for the selected participating startup teams.
So far we’ve run our pre-accelerator program in 19 batches with almost 250 teams across different geographies – from Baltics to Balkans to Turkey and Italy.
Pre-accelerator – the missing link after hackathon?
While there are exceptions of course, in our experience we often see that teams that have formed at hackathons struggle on their longer term journey – it might be financially, but often also in terms of discipline, knowledge, follow-through and focus. Sometimes they are simply undecided – if the idea is worth pursuing and are they committed for the long run. This is where an equity free incubator or pre-accelerator program can play a significant role and we have seen during our online pre-accelerator both – teams falling apart (and maybe for good), but also founders taking some serious decisions and even quitting their day jobs to pursue the startup journey.
A program that is organised in batches, i.e., together with a group of other founders, and happens within a set time frame, causes positive rivalry and peer-support, but also – a certain discipline and drive to execute. Many teams throughout our online pre-acceleration program develop their MVP or final product, launch marketing campaigns, start selling and definitely are more prepared to go out there and fundraise.
See what founders, who have gone through our online pre-accelerator say about their experience:
More about hackathon “48 for the future”
But back to where we began. If you want to help build solutions for crisis and economic resilience, feel strongly about a problem you’d like to solve, or simply – have skills, knowledge and want to add a helping hand to others – join the Hackathon! And who knows – maybe you will win a spot to work with us also in the Online Pre-accelerator to make the positive change happen!
The event is organized with the support of the U.S. Embassies, who see an online hackathon as an ideal opportunity for coming together to solve universal problems at times of uncertainty. In their own words: “Innovation is a central part of the American DNA and has, throughout history, helped us get through many challenges. The U.S. Embassies in Copenhagen, Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius envision the “48 for the Future Hackathon” as a unique opportunity to promote collaboration and identifying solutions to the real economic challenges communities around the world are facing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Read more here and submit your idea before November 11th here. See you in December!