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The Minsk–Riga Startup Train Hackathon starting on August 27 is curated to bring together startup builders, developers, designers and entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, startup enthusiasts, business insiders and investors from Belarus and Latvia. It’s a five–day opportunity to get insights from a different perspective and build competitive products while exploring both cultures. The applications are open until August 13.

Stories Editorial August 7, 2018

The Minsk–Riga Startup Train Hackathon will bring together teams from both countries in an untraditional format — hacking and building ideas for five days across two countries. The Latvian teams will travel to Minsk on August 27, where they will explore the city and network with the teams at 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 on their ideas on the overnight train from Minsk to Riga. After arrival here, teams will meet for gaining more knowledge, including a pitch course, and explore the city afterward. The hackathon will end with a Grand Finale in the very center of the Latvian startup community on August 31.

«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 the 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,» adds Tania Marinich, founder of the Imaguru Minsk Startup Hub.

The goal is to build a stronger relationship between Belarusian and Latvian startup ecosystems, create opportunities to meet new teammates who look at issues from a different angle and build competitive products. All costs for transportation, accommodation, meals, and visas are taken care of by organizers.

Minsk–Riga Startup Train is organized by Imaguru Minsk and Magnetic Startup Latvia, supported by Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, Startin.LV and TechChill. More information can be found on its webpage.