On Friday, August 31, "Minsk-Riga Startup Train" Grand Finale took place at the Overkill Ventures accelerator. Each of the 10 teams presented their project which they developed during the hackathon while crossing the borders of Belarus and Latvia. The jury, composed of both, startup professionals and investors, evaluated the ideas and announced the winner - the team "ARrow".
With the help of the newly created platform "ARrow", the sketched product idea can be converted into a digital prototype sketch, allowing developers and designers to immediately evaluate, present and refine. The team won tickets to the “TechChill” startup conference, which will take place in Riga on February 21 and 22. Additional knowledge will be gained while visiting the conference in Minsk - "Venture Day Minsk". In order to successfully develop the idea, the team received a month-long subscription co-working place "People Work" in Riga.
The 2nd place won the team "LoVAT", previously named "VAT Compliance". Working on the branding and strategy, the authors of the idea also chose to change the name. “LoVAT” wants to save the worries of entrepreneurs by offering a digital platform where VAT payer status can be declared regardless of the country where business might be located. At the moment, the application process is time-consuming and, due to the lack of knowledge of the law, can be difficult. With the solution provided by “LoVAT”, the problem could be solved. On the contrary, the 3rd place won the team “OpenBusiness”, they developed a digital platform for retailers and banks for collecting and analyzing statistics. The authors of the idea received the opportunity to visit the conference "DevOpsDays Riga 2018", which will take place on September 28 and 29.
Each team had 7 minutes to show their project - a three-minute presentation, 2 minutes for demonstration, as well as 2 minutes to answer the jury's questions. The jury included startup professionals and investors - Krists Avots from Overkill Ventures, Evita Kreile from Startup Wise Guys, Armands Jurjevs from LatBan, Maxim Kazeyeu from BNB-Bank, Tania Marinich from Imaguru Startup Hub Minsk.
"Hopefully, the participants of the hackathon will continue to work and develop their ideas further. The projects presented are very interesting and we believe that in the future these ideas could grow into potential startups recognized around the world. We are open to innovative solutions and providing the support to startup builders. We hope that this event will be the start for their professional development that will lead to new goals,” says Magnetic Latvia Startup representative and “Startup Train” organizer Olga Barreto-Goncalves.
The “Startup Train” was an opportunity for mixed, Belarusian and Latvian, teams to develop a new or existing idea. Such an event helps to establish closer cooperation in the startup industry. The "Minsk-Riga Startup Train" began with the arrival of the Latvian delegation in Minsk on August 27, followed by meeting the Belarusian team members, group work, hacking and mentoring sessions. After arriving in Riga, teams went to Jurmala to continue their projects. During this unique event, participants gained experience working in teams, consulting with mentors, as well as having insights in both startup ecosystems and their main differences. Thanks to the hackathon, future entrepreneurs from Latvia and Belarus, might build startups together.
Minsk-Riga Startup Train is organized by Imaguru Startup Hub Minsk and Magnetic Latvia Startup, fuelled by Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and supported by Startin.LV and TechChill.