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 CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Is your content marketing missing the mark?

Does it ever seem like the content you create falls flat on its face or that the leads you’re generating aren’t worth following up?

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

​ Creating a purpose-driven brand

So you want to be a brand with purpose. But what does it actually mean to build a brand with real meaning?

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

Customer experience crisis: Proactively mitigating the risk of broken promises

Last Friday, three weeks after United Airline’s spectacular customer experience disaster, customers received a letter from the company’s CEO, Oscar Munoz.

Very rarely have I come across views so true. There are so many gems in this article, reflective of reality, onec can read it again and a...

Shyam Mishra

ANZ digital chief: Tackle the ‘frozen middle’ of your organisation or face irrelevancy

Read more

STOP STEALING BUISNESS CLASS TOILETS from A380, new 787's and A330's!!!!Thats what you call customer experience ONE toilet for all Busine...

Joe

Qantas CMO: What it's taking to evolve our customer experience

Read more

Dare i suggest that a "CEO" role in a peak industry body like Think Brink is not really much of a leap from CMO because it is also a mark...

Sventana

CMO to CEO: Think Brick chief reveals what it takes to make the jump

Read more

Grate post, thanks for the post.No matter what your business is, if you do no not rank among the top most search results of Google, Yahoo...

Rahul

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

Thank you Shane Blandford for carrying my Smarketing vision into KM !

Peter Strohkorb

​CMO Interview: Why aligning sales and marketing drives innovation at Konica Minolta

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in