This summer was extremely eventful and fruitful for MeetnGreetMe, and some of our team members spent the last days of summer in a very extraordinary way.
We were invited to take part in a pretty unusual event – Minsk–Riga Startup Train Hackathon. It was organized by ImaGuru Startup Hub and Magnetic Latvia to fuel Belarusian and Latvian startup communities, expand international networking and give life to the new disruptive ideas.
Startup enthusiasts, experienced mentors, business angels and investors from Belarus and Latvia gathered together to spend 4 amazing days hacking, sharing ideas and working on their great products.
For MeetnGreetMe Team, this Hackathon has also become a chance to test our service and see how much easier it can make a life of a traveler and how small all the problems seem if you have a resourceful local behind your back. Even if you are in another country where you don’t know anyone and even if your problem seems to be one of the catastrophic levels. ;)
But let’s start with the very beginning!
The Hackathon started with the arrival of Latvian fellows in Minsk where they had a chance to meet their Belarusian colleagues. It continued on a train, where the teams had been hacking during the night. Although it seemed unusual at the beginning, it turned out to be really awesome.
After arriving in a beautiful city of Jurmala, teams were consulted by mentors with the background in various fields, received relevant feedback, visited master-classes and continued developing their ideas and improving their products. In the evening, all the participants had a lovely networking session with pizza at the beach of the Baltic Sea.
The next day, after some participants had a 7 km run along the coast at 6 am (crazy, huh?), teams left Jurmala to continue coding and working on their pitches in the Latvian capital Riga. The Grand Finale was planned for the evening, so everyone was fussing and trying to get their things done as soon as possible. This is when our adventure began.
Elena Shkarubo, MeetnGreetMe co-founder and CEO was as excited as everyone else. She was rehearsing her speech when suddenly she realized that she had forgotten her Grand-Finale-Outfit at the hotel in Jurmala. What an unexpected plot twist!
After the first wave of panic, she realized though that this is a perfect chance to test out the MeetnGreetMe service.
The clock was ticking so we immediately contacted our MeetnGreeter in Riga and requested the “Save the party” service. It took only an hour and a half to get the Grand-Finale-Outfit back so we really had a chance to experience that kind of relief which many of MeetnGreetMe Guests have already experienced.
Everything after went smoothly and fabulous: Elena’s speech and presentation were received with applause, the MeetnGreetMe idea found a lot of admirers and the party at the Grand Finale was simply amazing: we had a chance to hang out with Belarusian and Latvian colleagues and exchange feedback and positive emotions.
The next day we had some free time, so we decided to test the MeetnGreetMe service again. This time, we requested an authentic city-tour from a local. We had really specific needs: we wanted to see some not-so-touristy places, visit a record shop to buy some vinyl LPs and have a look at local vintage shops.
And guess what? No sooner said than done!
We got it all: a record shop with a cozy atmosphere, a local vintage shop with amazing ceramics and a friendly owner, and even some recommendations regarding best Chinese restaurants in Riga.
All in all, we had a great trip. Not only because we had a chance to cooperate with Latvian developers and work on something amazing (stay tuned to learn more!) but also because we had this unique opportunity to be in our customer’s shoes and make sure through our own experience that MeetnGreetMe service can be a real lifesaver while you’re traveling.
Now, after we’ve tested it out ourselves, it’s your turn to try!