Empowering Youth vol 5 brought together ambitious youth from Moldova and Ukraine

The fifth edition of Empowering Youth is officially wrapped up! We had a lively Mentors’ Masterclass in Moldova and a hybrid hackathon bringing together teams onsite in Moldova and virtually from Ukraine. All of it with a common goal - to Empower Youth and encourage them to start their entrepreneurial journey.

Before the hackathon, we held a Mentors’ Masterclass on 13 October. At the full-day workshop, our hackathon host and lead mentor Mayri Tiido shared the insights and know-how of being an effective hackathon mentor to 25 active participants. The workshop covered listening, giving feedback, team dynamics, helpful canvases, and other topics. We hope to see them as mentors at future Garage48 hackathons! 

Mayri talking about team dynamics at the masterclass. 

The next day, October 14, we were ready for the hackathon. At the opening, 23 idea owners pitched their project onsite in Chisinau. It was great to see many familiar faces from the previous editions of Empowering Youth.  Unfortunately, due to power outages, we only heard the pitches of 7 of the 10 Ukrainian teams. Nevertheless, after team formation for the onsite participants, we started the hackathon with 22 teams – 12 in Moldova and 10 in Ukraine. Among the Moldovan teams, we had a mother-and-daughter duo from Ukraine, and one startup founder from Estonia, so the onsite demographic was refreshingly international! 🇺🇦🇲🇩🇪🇪

The ideas that the teams worked on were very diverse. As it was a youth hackathon and many participants solve problems close to their hearts. The most popular topic areas that participants tackled were education, art, recruitment and medicine. We also saw teams tackle more niche topics like bee colonies, people’s moods, and social enterprise investment.

I love that the topic is Empowering Youth because young people should be empowered and feel like they can make a change. It's great to see that the teams really are making a change in a short period of time. They’re able to validate their ideas, establish partnerships, and have meetings coming up in the week after the hackathon to really keep working on their idea.

- Mayri Tiido, hackathon host and lead mentor

The opening of the hackathon.

After 48 hours of intense teamwork, mentoring and prototyping, 15 teams made it to the finals! Among them were 10 Moldovan teams and 5 Ukrainian teams who were able to work online in more stable conditions.

Huge thank you to all of the mentors who helped the teams during the hackathon: Mayri Tiido, Gerardo Garcia Diaz, Jaanus Sakkis, Martin Verrev, Dragoș Șargu, Cristian Coșneanu, Akram Karameh, Radion Cicic, Dorin Puscasu, Serhii Karlash, and Maria Romanova. 

The jury consisted of Anton Waschuk, and mentors Gerardo, Akram, Cristian and Dragoș. After a long discussion, the winners were chosen. 

Meet the winners:

Overall winners (Moldova) and Favourite of the audience: ToUtoring


According to PISA studies, 40% of Moldovan students don't understand what they read in books. Classrooms are crowded, teachers don't approach students individually, pupils don't pay attention and there are no updated tools for the process of learning. ToUtoring solves this with a 1:1 online tutoring service that is personalised for every student’s needs. 

The team won tickets to sTARTUp Day and inspiring startup books from YEP! Moldova.

Team ToUtoring.

Team members: Marta, Daniel, Adrian and Nichita.

Overall winners (Ukraine): Lita

Everyone has a 40% chance of getting cancer. The earlier it is detected, the easier the treatment. Lita is a medical assistant on your smartphone. It includes information about diseases, prophylaxis, vaccination schedules, and reminders of upcoming visits. 

The team won tickets to sTARTUp Day.

Team Lita joined us virtually from Ukraine at the award ceremony. 

We are really surprised and grateful to be able to be here. Thank you to the mentors and everyone involved. We really appreciate it a lot!

- Team Lita

The team consists of doctors.

First runner-ups: HomeLab

STEM subjects are still taught in schools in the same way as they were decades ago. The main focus is on memorising facts and formulas despite the fact that students learn better through practical experiences. HomeLab created a website and kits that help students learn science subjects through experiments that they can do in their own homes.

The team showed us an innovative and creative business, which we believe will be very successful going ahead. With more effort and experience, their business acumen and ideas can really go somewhere.”

- Anton Waschuk, Program Director at Western NIS Enterprise Fund

The team won Garage48 merch.

Team HomeLab at the award ceremony. 

Team members: Alexa, Stefan, Anastasia and Rafael

Special prize for showing a lot of progress: Beehive

1/3 of the food we eat is on our table thanks to beehives, but the varroa mites, which affect up to 50% of beehives can set that in danger. During the hackathon, Beehive built a camera that detects mites on bees using AI. In addition, they put together the supporting software, which is why the jury decided to award Beehive the special prize for speedy progress. Save the bees!

Beehive won inspiring startup books from YEP! Moldova.

Team Beehive at the award ceremony. 

Team members: Grigore and Vladimir.

If you want to see more of Empowering Youth vol:

👉🏻 Check out photos from Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3. 

👉🏻 Check out the photos from the Favorite of the Audience competition.

👉🏻 Rewatch the finals.

Empowering Youth Hackathon Volume 5 was organised by Garage48 and YEP! Moldova with the financial support of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Fund for Development and Humanitarian Aid.

About the author

jana saastamoinen

Jana is the Marketing Manager at Garage48 with years of experience in event and digital marketing. ☀️

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