We at ArcticStartup heart the Garage48 event for all the rush and enthusiasm that comes forth in the 48 hours of pure innovation. But the weather at the events here in the Nordics and Baltics was perhaps just a bit too cold and needed some equatorial treatment, which is exactly the treatment Garage48 will be getting. Garage48 has announced that they will be holding 5 events in Africa.
The Estonian originating Garage48 team and concept, in co-operation with Google and Nokia will be holding the first two Garage48 events in Lagos, Nigeria between 6th to 8th of May and the second to be held in Accra, Ghana between 13th to 15th of May. While the mentioned events are confirmed, the team also plans to hold events in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. Quite ambitious, but ideas such as these spread like a virus and act as catalyst for innovation to charge forth.
I quite agree with the post on the Garage48 blog that startups don’t necessarily need to compete with names like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc as long as they are providing a solution to a local problem. It could be something as simple as archiving the tribes in the country or an English language learning portal that is maintained by experts of the language in the country, or other things similar to it. That in my opinion is innovation, why would anyone want a Ghanaian Foursquare, when a large number of people aren’t even using smartphones?
Bringing Garage48 to Africa is a beginning to a more global approach of the team and they have done a remarkable job after starting just a year back in April, 2010. The environment would give a much needed boost to developers and entrepreneurs in the region, exposing them to potential investors and venture capitalists. I bet there are many investment opportunities in these markets.
Despite expanding to Africa, there are still many opportunities to be grasped in the Nordics and Baltics as well. We hope to see the event organisers active in this part of the world in the future as well.