We started 2023 with a roar by organizing our first internal Hackathon. It brought together employees from across our locations in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The pan-Baltic approach helped to foster collaboration as participants from different countries and backgrounds worked together to develop real solutions that could benefit customers across the region.
The two-day event was a huge success, with participants showcasing their skills, creativity, and passion for technology.
The making of the Hackathon
To make the Hackathon a reality, we collaborated with Tehnopol Science and Business Park, who also helped us revamp our innovation process.
We collected a record number of ideas at the Innovation Lab pre-events in Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn in the autumn of 2022. That is also where we spotted some talents that got fast-tracked to the Hackathon in Tallinn.
The ideas underwent a selection process and were narrowed down to six, focusing on health, data management, retail, parking, and the pharma industry. Everyone from Hansab could then apply to join one of the teams.
The event day
The Hackathon kicked off with an inspirational speech by Testlio's co-founder and Board Member, Kristel Kruustük, who shared how Testlio was born out of a single challenge and grew thanks to the founders' tenacity.
This set the tone for the next 48 hours, during which the teams worked on turning their ideas into prototypes and validating them with customers. Along the way, internal and external mentors challenged them to overcome obstacles and notice blind spots.
They were also given access to various resources, from empathy maps to business models, to help structure their thinking.
At the end of the event, the teams pitched their solutions to a panel of judges who evaluated them based on criteria such as innovation, feasibility, and potential impact.
The panel of judges included Aigar Urva - Founder and CEO of Hansab Group, Lev Dolgachov - President of EstBAN, Founding Partner of Syda Ventures, Angel Investor, and Indrek Orav - CEO of Science and Business Park Tehnopol.
Two winning ideas were selected to proceed with the development of their business ideas – Navigators and Sandbox.
Two other teams will also continue developing their ideas - HERS and Entringo Lite.
Our first hackathon was a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation. By hosting an internal hackathon, we were able to tap into the talent and expertise of our own employees, many of whom have a deep understanding of the company's products and services.
This approach also allowed employees to learn new skills, work with colleagues from different departments and countries, and collaborate on innovative projects that could have a real impact and potential to drive growth and improve the customer experience across the Baltics.
Photos by Sander Peterson