Considering how often we cover Garage48, it is fair to say that we like the concept and the event. Still, it is hard to expect that anything extremely serious can come out of a 48 hour event with random teams and pitched ideas, right? 


Well, not necesseraly. Fastr is now the fifth startup that got started at Garage48 to receive seed funding. Qminder, Campalyst, Vitalfields and Mightyfingers are the other four.

The seed round was raised from an Angel Investor and Valmiera Business and Innovation Incubator. In total they secured EUR 50 000, which might not seem like a lot, but is definitely impressive for a team that got together by basically pure chance and built a prototype in 48 hours.

In case you are wondering, Fastr is a speed reading application for an iPad and as a “certified” speed reader I can tell you that these techniques are definitely worth getting acquainted with. Back in the day, I had to attend a 3 week course but Fastr is promising to teach you through the iPad. According to Eldars Loginovs, CEO of Fastr, it can increase your reading speed “at minimum by 30%, while many users result in reading speed improvement by 200%”.

Getting back to chance, you could argue that Garage48‘s success could theoretically be contributed to luck. After all if you put enough random people together, working on random ideas, often enough – eventually someone ought to build a great company out of it. It’s maths.

Although for that theory to work, the event of success would be very infrequent. Yet when we look at their statistics for 2012, we clearly see that they are performing quite well. Out of 6 events in 2012, 4 companies have received funding and we personally know of a few that either went on to build spin-off products or are still in the early stages and might raise some funding in the coming months.

This means that the event itself is providing value to the startup community and there should be more events like this in the ArcticStartup Region. Perhaps not just Hackathons but events that provide value in general (We have some plans of our own, but its too early to tell). We are confident that we will see more funding stories thanks to Garage48.