We Spoke With Garage 48, The Hacker Space Hosting The e-Estonia Hackathon
Estonia’s e-Resident program intends to create a digital identity for “e-Estonians.” What’s more, you can become an e-Estonian even as a non-resident of this country bordered by Latvia, Russia, and the Gulf of Finland. Estonia and the Estonian hacker space, Garage48, have partnered in order to drive the program forward.
Developments towards an e-Estonia are set to continue with an e-Residency hackathon set to take place September 11-13th on the Estonian island of Vormsi.
e-Estonia portends to be a digital nation where one can set up a business in less than an hour; tax declaration takes just a few minutes, and involved parties sign contracts digitally. Estonia wishes to make these services available to anyone wishing to join Estonia’s “nation without borders.”
The most advertised benefit of e-Estonia heretofore has been the ability to run a location independent business on the internet. Now, the e-resident program is taking “the next big step.” In an email to hopeful e-Estonians, e-Estonia and hackathon representatives wrote that the program is now developing e-Resident further with new services for e-Residents planned.
“The government of Estonia is welcoming more developers and service providers to enter the scene and integrate the secure and simple e-Residency open platform into services requiring digital authentication and document signing,” the statement read.
e-Estonia wants to offer global services. According to the e-mail statement, “start-ups, banks and logistic companies are already working on innovations that will make their services available to e-Residents.” The vision for e-Residency is a familiar one.
We hope that in the future the development of the e-Residency platform may be compared to the Apple App Store or Android Google Play
Garage48, e-Estonia, and the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the Information System Authority have partnered to create the e-Residence hackathon. The project during the hackathon will be to develop e-services further, as well as functional prototypes of new e-services over 48 hours.
“We hereby invite you to contribute to the Garage48 e-Residency events!” reads the statement.
Hacked sat down with Garage48’s Kai Isand, Karin Rand and Jane Muts to discuss.
How did the partnership between Garage48 and e-Estonia come about?
Karin: Since the activities of Garage48 and e-residency as such are both aimed at innovation and innovative thinking, we found a possibility to work together towards a bigger common goal- to bring new thinking and fresh ideas into the e-world. And what could be a better way than an e-residency weekend hackathon?
Kai: Garage48 has a big community of IT people, amazing developers, designers, and marketers, who are always looking for opportunities to enter a new and exciting field to bring innovation and creative ideas. The goal is to bring together the one of a kind technology and skills of our community.
What can hackers expect from the hackathon hosted at Garage48?
Karin: Hackers can expect a weekend full of fun, but also hard work. The events give the participants the possibility to be a part of building up a new ecosystem and a new way of thinking.
Jane: Often hackers are occupied with their routine everyday work and Garage48 weekend is a great opportunity to use out-of-the-box thinking and meet active people with an entrepreneurial outlook on life. Of course there is also the sweet chance to become a co-founder of a newborn startup. If you plan to participate at Garage48 hackathon then it does not matter if you’re a designer, developer or a marketer – in every case there’s gonna be too little sleep, a lot of challenges and obstacles to conquer but also many inspiring situations.
Is the Garage48 team excited about the e-Estonia project?
Karin: Garage48 team is definitely excited about the project and especially working together with the organizations who created and are responsible for the success of the e-Estonia project. It will definitely raise the awareness of both local and foreign residents and bring attention to Estonia in different areas.
What could an e-Estonia do for the world?
Karin: e-Estonia is the future way of thinking. We believe that e-Estonia will be the one stepping the first baby steps in the e-World and will definitely be influencing the simplification of e-services and the commercial activities throughout the world.
Kai: In this world where most of the services are moving online e-Residency offers everyone a chance to have an identity online. That creates security and trust in all the everyday activities, services that people use and other users who you are communicating with.
Any future plans between Garage48 and e-Estonia?
Karin: Like for the past 5 years, Garage48 will continue influencing the development of different e-services Estonia and other countries.
Kai: We are very proud at Garage48 to have this opportunity to include our community in the development in this pioneering idea. We hope to keep bringing attention to the developments in the e-services in our skilled community to create more and more innovation.
The hackathon takes place 11-13th of September. Learn more here.
Featured image from Shutterstock.