Student coding workshop wins Mercedes-Benz 'Hack my van' initiative

Mobile teaching business takes on automotive manufacturer's first hackathon to engage SMBs and startups

Teams working on hacking the inside of the Vito van
Teams working on hacking the inside of the Vito van

A mobile business teaching children across Australia’s rural and remote communities to write code has been crowned the winner of Mercedes-Benz’ inaugural ‘Hack my Van’ competition.

The initiative was launched by the car manufacturer’s marketing team in partnership with creative agency, The Royal, as a way of engaging entrepreneurial small business owners and thinkers with its new Vito van. Six finalists were selected from a nominations process online to participate in a one-day hackathon on 6 August that saw them ‘hack’ the inside of the Mercedes-Benz utility vehicle.

Code Camp innoVito by Cobalt took out top honours for its efforts to teach children to write code. The initiative started in December 2013 and over the past 18 months has taught 8000 kids to write code in both public and private schools. The aim is to reach 100,000 students in the next 12 months, and Code Camp is already running classes in Arnhem Land with the assistance of the Foundation for Young Australians.

The team behind Code Camp won a new Vito van on the day, leading a pack that also included a biohacking lab, mobile pet photography studio, rubbish to product recycling van and on-demand 3D printing workshop.

The finalists were judged by several innovators and celebrities including award-winning chef and restauranteur, Shane Delia, Mercedes-Benz MD for A/NZ, Diane Tarr, Huffington Post’s Cathy Anderson and Unlockd and Tribe advisor plus co-founder of Smiling Mind and LaunchVic board member, Jane Martino.

“Code Camp is on a mission to teach Australian students to code, and build engagement and a passion for technology,” said its co-founder, Ben Levi. “To have our own Mercedes-Benz Vito, Code Camp will be able to expand a lot faster to teach more students in more remote areas, and it will allow us to run pop-up events all over the country to raise awareness.”

Mercedes-Benz marketing manager, Katherine Gracey, previously told CMO the program was about extending its customer base outside of traditional trade sectors and highlighting the vehicle’s innovative technology make-up.

“We were blown away by the level of creativity and the brilliance of the business ideas we saw from the six finalists,” Tarr said. “This is precisely why we created this event as we are excited by the ideas and possibilities for how the Vito van can be reimagined to transform an existing business, or completely reinvented to create new businesses.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Anyone can become a victim of the sophisticated schemes set up by these scam websites. It's not about being smart; I don't consider mysel...

Mathieu Lecompte

ACCC takes Meta to court over scam cryptocurrency advertising

Read more

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

Blog Posts

​Why we need to look at the whole brand puzzle, not just play with the pieces

Creating meaningful brands should be a holistic and considered process. However, all too frequently it’s one that is disparate and reactive, where one objective is prioritized at the expense of all others. So, what are the key pieces to the ‘good’ brand puzzle?

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Sign in