Empowering Women hackathon has once again put a stamp on Ukraine’s future!

Where do you go when you seek for inspiration?

Do you go for a walk? Visit a bookstore? Read some articles or put on your favorite music? Some say surrounding yourself with a tribe of like-minded people can lift you higher and help you get inspired through positive and constructive energy. Like-mindedness, however, does not necessarily refer to common tastes and backgrounds; sometimes it is simply about the shared desire of being a part of something bigger than oneself.

At our Empowering Women – Estonia 100 hackathon in Lviv, we have hosted so many diverse minds coming from inter-disciplined and multi-cultural backgrounds only with one thing on their minds: Making an impact through a life-changing idea! This means to be ready and determined to work hard and challenge yourself while feeling the inner and professional growth. As the president and CEO of IBM once stated: “Growth and comfort do not coexist.”

On Friday evening, our host and superstar Ragnar Sass has kicked off the hackathon, with an emphasis on the massive potential of Ukrainians regarding going the extra mile to achieve more in life. All participants were given the opportunity to focus on any idea they want, work on any solution they desire – the only focus was to encourage more women to choose the entrepreneurial path and inspire them to become whatever they hunger. That night, 17 ideas were pitched and 16 of them found teams. By the Saturday evening, only 15 teams could survive the intense atmosphere of a hackathon. The event was bursting with innovative ideas and the vibes were sensational! We had more than 100 participants and half of them were women! 


“The event was quite a success as there were so many female participants working on breakthrough ideas. Every experience we share with different nationalities and genders is very important to enhance creativity, productivity and cooperation opportunities between countries.” stated our jury member Hanno Tomberg,  who is the board member of Archimedes, our key partner and initiator of this event. “For Archimedes, it is very important to share Estonian know-how and promote our exemplary education system in such organizations in order to help news ideas being born. One day, one of those will be the new unicorn and women might be the ones who are running it.”

In order to empower women, though, we need to listen to what they want. And that’s exactly what we did, while the teams were non-stop working on their solutions during 48 hours. 

“We came to participate as a team because we have had this idea for a while now but we have been looking for an opportunity to focus on it intensely and build the product finally. This hackathon seemed to be the right place!” said Yevheniia Mitriakhina from Team E-democracy. “Plus, Estonia being very strong in e-governance also inspired us and title of the hackathon stimulated us to take an action!” Yevheniia also added that they knew a guys from school who won the Garage48 Empowering Women Hackathon in back in March and seeing his victory also triggered them to take part in the hackathon.

Eugen Smoliy from team BuckIT simply stated that he participated since he wanted to test his capabilities and see if he can be a part of the rise of a new startup. His teammate Khrystyna Stasyk’s motives were similar: “People are not aware of what can be changed in the world or can be achieved in terms of personal growth within just 48 hours. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and make a change, that’s why I am here today.”

Ladies of Team “Women of Fortune” had a different story. “Our team leader Roksana Danek joined this same Empowering Women hackathon in March and developed the roots of our idea. She got so inspired and gathered us together to participate in this one.” stated Lily Smirnova. Her teammate Mariana Miakush added “I got intrigued right away because I really liked the idea of the hackathon – mostly it’s always about men. I’ve been to other hackathons before, but it was always too technical and male-dominated. I felt closer to this one as Empowering Women title captured me closely.”

It was truly golden to see all the determination and excitement on participants’ eyes. Long before the final pitches, they were feeling and acting like winners as they seemed to know the most important part of this hackathon: They proved themselves as the survivors of such intense event and they got out of their comfort zones with the aim of making a change in the world. It was simply amazing how they inspired us immensely with their attitudes while it was us trying to do the same for them.

Jaanika Merilo, who is known as the angel of the Ukrainian economy – took place in our jury as well and highlighted the importance of giving a little nudge to achieve great things: “It is extremely important to support all ideas built in such events to encourage and empower future solutions. It is essential not only to empower women, but also to inspire teamwork and cooperation.” 

Garage48 team already completed 2 successful “Empowering Women” hackathons in Lviv and 3rd one is coming in December to Kharkiv. 3 events with full empowerment in one single year will be going on our 2018 records proudly, knowing that every single idea and mind have been and will be encouraged.  

"The first Empowering Women hackathon in Lviv did its job well led to a cumulative growth in women-generated ideas and applications as we could clearly see in this one. This proves that it’s not just a good idea to make IT community diverse but there’s also a real demand for diversity." stated Andrew Pavliv, one of our mentors and jury members, alongside being the CEO and Founder of N-iX, our beloved local partner. He is right, the demand is unmistakably out there and was embodied in this hackathon once again.

We were coming to the end of 48 hours and our 15 teams as sole survivors were getting ready for their final pitches. Our top-notch mentors were taking care of each team closely and preparing them to become winners, through business, tech, design and marketing guidance. On Sunday evening at 17.15, we have gathered at the main hall and rang the bells of Live Stream – it was time! Each team was coming to the stage one by one and pitching their final prototypes with utmost confidence and brilliance. Jury was amazed, but they had to pick a winner – or maybe few instead!

Overall Winner Award goes to SafeRoad

Their idea was to make the roads safer through an face tracking application. Their solution can detect when the driver is tired and about to fall asleep, so the alarm goes on and suggests the driver to stop and rest for a while. 

The team got awarded with €1000 + All-inclusive travel to Estonia, supported by Archimedes and Study in Estonia.

Team members: Volodymyr Khmil - Marketer / Vasyl Khmil - iOS developer / Volodymyr Vrublevskyi - iOS developer / Andriy Vahniy - iOS developer / Anastasia Chorniychuk – Designer / Andriy Tsebak – Business Mastermind

Andriy Vahniy from SafeRoad explained that the team came up with the idea on Friday night as a result of another participant suggesting them to go and pitch an idea as well. The team members knew each other and they were there to join other teams but they ended up forming their very own team and working on the winner idea. “We took a risk, got in the mood and surely had a lot of fun in the process.” he stated. All members seemed positively surprised to see how things turned out for them. 

Jaanika Merilo, on the other hand, confidently stated that SafeRoad is a great example to prove that a real product with real impact can be built in only 48 hours. “Even in short time you can do magic.” she underlined.  

1stRunner Up Award: CupDivide

Their idea was to offer personalised healthy snack cups to replace junk snacks in the office. For that they worked on an AI based mobile app that would collect and analyze your nutrition needs based on face scanning as well as lifestyle data based on your past activities. They want to connect it with a delivery service to offer one healthy meal per day at least. 

The team got awarded with 2 tickets to Startup Day 2019, along with a chance to pitch on the stage. All flight and accommodation tickets will be covered.

Team members: Alex Pakholiuk – CEO & Product Designer / Ira Halenok - CTO/Full-stack Developer / Viltaliy Vaskiv - Art director/Product Designer / Anastasia Lavronenko - Product Marketing Manager / Roman Kapiy - Product Strategist

2ndRunner Up Award: Look&

The most important task of the morning is choosing what wear. Their idea was designing an app with smart suggestions on the outfit ideas. The key feature was that it scans all the clothes you have in your closet and makes cool, matching suggestions accordingly, by also considering weather status. 

Team got awarded with free tickets to IT Arena 2019, supported by Lviv IT Cluster 

Team members: Kira Svitlana - UX/UI / Alexander Demianenko - Back-end developer /  Pavlo Kuzina - Front-end developer / Luka Yakymchuk - UX/UI / Alex Zholob - Back-end developer /  Rinat Botchenko- UX/UI — in Lviv, Ukraine. 

Special Prize for “Biggest Local Impact”: GreenBee

Their idea was to develop hardware and IT solutions to help local farmers. The product would analyse the problems, monitor the data and offer agricultural suggestions across Ukraine.

They got awarded with Tickets to RobotixInternationalConference+ TalTech Summer School.

Team members: Yanko Bohdan - Product Owner & Hardware Expertise / Pateichuk Olga - Graphic Designer / Andrey Blonsky - Full Stack Java Developer 

Special Prize for the Most Educational Solution: Sandwich Movie 

Their solution will help people learn new languages while watching movies by switching the audio track from foreign languages to native ones in a certain sequence. It would avoid the overwhelming feeling and make the learning process easier, relaxed and more subconscious. 

They got awarded with $1000 from N-iX and its Open Mind fund. 

Team members: Dmitriy Kryvosheyev - Software Architect / Vadim Syromyatnyk- Full Stack / Valentyn Miziev - Front-end Developer / Rita Pronenko - Designer 

Special Prize for Young People Making an Impact on Politics: E-democracy & PropaGANda 

E-democracy offers a platform which consists of general information about politics and politicians for elections from official open sources and mass-media. 
PropaGanda offers an app that would analyse the articles in the Internet to see if the writer composed some subjective/biased words that might manipulate the audience.  

E-democracy team members: Sofia Petryshyn - Front End Developer / Solomia Lenio - Full Stack Developer / Anastasia Livochka - Business Mastermind / Vika Nychay - Business Mastermind / Marta Baranovych - Backend Developer / Yevheniia Mitriakhina - Marketeer

PropaGANda team members: Volodymyr Zabulskyy - Backend Developer / Roman Vey - Backend Developer / Markian Matsyuk - Front-end developer / Mykola Bilayev - Full stack / Roman Ilechko - Data-miner 

Favorite of the Audience: BuckIT 

Their idea was to develop an app to create personal bucket lists, push people out of comfort zones and empower lives with what really matters.

The team got awarded with Tallinn University Summer Tickets + Acceleration Program by LvBS Center for Entrepreneurship.

Team members: Khrystyna Stasyk – Marketeer / Andriy Mudryy - Business Master Mind / Oleksandra Lukavetska – Designer / Mariia Vesna – Designer / Lena Dragan - Front-End Developer / Eugen Smoliy - Back-End Developer / Nadiia Stasyk - Back End & Project Coordinator

Special Prize for "Most Beautiful Product & Presentation": Chichi

Their idea was to build an Airbnb format for beauty salons. In other words, a mobile app for searching and booking beauty services.

The team got awarded with 2 tickets + exclusive place at the Startup Alley at IT Arena 2019

Team members: Kseniya Muzhykova – CEO / Arsen Boikanych - Mobile Developer / Yuriy Haliuk - UX/UI, Java Developer / Yulia Zakutnia - Product Marketers / Katya Bikanova - Business Development

Special Prize for "Best Community Building Project": Women of Fortune

These ladies wanted to build a non-profit organization with an integrated communication platform that connects investors with female business minds, provides updates on female-focused events and pro-bono consulting by industry professionals.

The team got awarded with a certificate for 3 months of iHub co-working space.

Team members: Roksana Danek - Business Development/ Lily Smirnova - Business Visionary / Lyudmila Dobrynina - Designer, Marketer / Mariana Miakush - Marketer 

Here are the rest of the competing ideas and teams:

"Brainy": Their idea was to develop a mobile and web app that helps you as your virtual assistant. It provides ability for users to craft their own Brainy for their personal needs. Key feature: AI modules called Cells.
Team members: Victoria Vovk - Project Manager / Yulia Mirylo - Marketing Manager / Anil Unal - Lead Developer / Saygin Sevinc - Backend Developer 

"Rocky Mountains!": It's a social network portal for hikers of any level. It was designed to collect and share all info about hiking routes, required equipment and support to find the best option for the greatest hiking experience. 
Team members: Liudmila Kocherzhenko - UI/UX Designer / Andrii Mykhalchyshyn - Back-end/Full-stack Developer / Yevhen Shuliakivskyi - Front-end Developer / Iryna Drohaitseva – Visionary 

"PetCare"Their idea was to develop an NGO based app to connect animal lovers with shelters in order to help the animals via various ways, including personal care or donation.

Team members: Mark Boychuk - Project Manager / Vitaliy Lobas - Business Mastermind / Grygorii Nakonechniy - Front-end Developer / Valeriia Hutor - Back-end Developer / Mariana tsapiv - Back-end Developer / Victoria Koval - UI/ UX Designer / Arthur Khachatryan - Android Developer / Vladyslava Kurbanova - Front-end Developer / Viktor Rudyk - IOS Developer / Yurii Holuzynets - Business Mastermind

"Postalee": Their idea focuses on postal address attestation as easy as confirmation emails.
Team members: Taras Herman - Team Lead & Front-end Developer / Tarmo Annus – Developer

"VolunteerX": Their goal is to help the volunteers to find relevant events where they can be useful and vice versa. To implement such opportunity and create mutual benefit, they will create a website for organizations and chatbot for volunteers.
Team members: Ruzhena Koval - Backend Developer / Rostyslav Radysh - Backend Developer / Yana Misiura - Visionary & Marketer / Lyubamir Mudrii - Backend Developer /

THANK YOU!

We at Garage48 have always been strong supporters of empowering women trend and have witnessed quite a few new female leaders being born out of our hackathons. In cooperation with Archimedes and Estonia 100, we are very proud to empower participants and enable them in their future successes. We are truly thankful and grateful to all our mentors and partners who made our hackathon truly impactful through their guidance, know-how and passion.

A special thanks go to our mentors and jury members!

Ragnar Sass Our host and founder of Lift99

Jaanika Merilo – Advisor to the Minister of Infrastructure & Deputy Mayor of Dnipro

Andrew Pavliv - CEO & Founder at N-iX

Hanno Tomberg – Board member at Archimedes

Kristina Lillemets - Director Infrastructure at Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA)

Christer Loob- Co-Founder at Operose

Mikk Kard - Software Developer at Heathmont

Eva-Maria Kangro - Manager of Customer Service Processes at Eesti Energia

Calum Cameron – Startup Development at Proud Engineers        

Helen Kokk - UX & Service Design Lead at NORTAL

Andreas Roosson - Graphic Designer at Hmmm Creative Studio

Triin Mahlakõiv - Co-founder at North Star AI

Merilin Lukk – Head of Estonian Startup Visa Programme / Startup Estonia

Kate Alekseyeva - Senior Software Engineer at N-iX

Maksym Palamarenko - Director of Software Development Office at N-iX

And sincere gratitude to all partners and sponsors:

Archimedes, Work in Estonia, Study in Estonia, Start-up Estonia, Estonia 100 and of course N-iX!

It was a true blast! Our next empowering women hackathon will be in Kharkiv on Dec 7 with the same mindset, aiming more and more impact!

Hope to see you there!