The Startup Train hackathon is a five-day international event that involves the teams meeting in Minsk, Belarus, and traveling to Riga, Latvia on a train, all the while working on developing their hackathon ideas.
The hackathon will bring together teams from both countries in an untraditional format - hacking and building ideas for five days across two countries. All costs for transportation, accommodation, meals, and visas will be covered by organizers, and internet connectivity en-route from Minsk to Riga will be provided by the partners of the hackathon.
Applications are open, and builders, designers, developers and entrepreneurs are invited to apply here.
What to expect
To join the hackathon you can choose either of the two options: you can look through the already submitted teams and join the one ideas that you'd like to work on, 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 ideas will be chosen by the organizers to participate in the hackathon.
The Latvian teams will travel to Minsk on August 27, where they will explore the city and network with the teams at the 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 at their ideas on the overnight train from Minsk to Riga. After arrival in Riga, teams will meet for additional training, including a pitch 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.
In addition to fostering innovation and new startup ideas, the goal of Startup Train has a higher meaning. It is to strengthen the relationship between the Latvian and Belarusian startup ecosystems and to learn from each other.
“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,” explains 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,” shares Tania Marinich, founder of the Imaguru Minsk Startup Hub.
Minsk-Riga Startup Train is organized by Imaguru Minsk and Magnetic Startup Latvia, fuelled by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and supported by Startin.lv and TechChill.