From Estonia to Africa. That’s such a journey but if it is for a cause, why not. An Estonian group is bringing their hackathon events to Africa. Ragnar Sass helped Danish IT-entrepreneur and investor Kresten Buch to organise the IPO48 event to Kenya last year. He is planning two events in Africa this year, Nigeria and Ghana. But it is him Priit Salumaa and Martin Villig who started the Garage 48 idea one year ago in Estonia. The success of the idea has inspired Sass to think beyond Estonia and has hosted similar hackathon events in Latvia and Finland.
Garage48 has just announced that they would be holding their first formal one event in Lagos, Nigeria, from May 6-8 2011. Another event in Accra, Ghana will be from May 13 – 15. The event is open to designers, software developers, mobile developers, and others creatives. 100 cool ideas would be selected from the submitted. The events in Africa are sponsored by Google and Nokia. Garage48 is also looking to host events in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.
From his post, Sass says that he has been asked why he is coming to Africa and not go to India. He thinks that the next successful startup can come from whatever continent. “Not every IT startup necessarily needs to be the next Google or Facebook, sometimes it is as valuable if the startup can solve problems of local people and be reasonably profitable,” he adds.
Sass is very positive about why innovation is more important to Africa than aid. “Humanitarian aid is not what the continent needs most,” Sass says. “A functioning ecosystem for business activity is what really would help.”
Watch this Video to Learn what Garage48 is