Make something awesome in 30 hours.
Win massive prizes & giveaways!


Form a small team mixing designers, programmers, engineers, entrepreneurs, game creators or anybody with an idea or problem to solve, and build a technology driven product or service prototype in 30 hours.

Find Team Members Project Ideas 2014 Projects 2013 Projects

Hackagong Prizes

Our prize information is continuously updated as we secure more prizes. Keep an eye on social channels for up-to-date information!

View all Hackagong 2014 team projects on

Overall Winner Hackagong 2015

$5000 cash from WiseTech Global + $24,000 web hosting + business advice & mentoring + coworking desks

An epic prize package to launch you on your startup journey. Awarded to the team with the most viable and validated business potential. In the space of a weekend, this team has built an awesome working prototype product, with one core feature that solves a large and demonstrable problem for a specific target market. They have also proven demand for their product/service with (in order of preference): actual sales, pre-orders, pledges, video/written testimonials, signups, or traffic within the weekend.

Most Innovative 3D Print

Me2 3D Printer

Awarded to the team that designs and 3D prints the most unique and innovative object with practial uses and marketability. 3D printing is the future of global manufacturing, building construction, creation and the distribution of all physical goods. 3D printed Lunar and Mars bases will enable humans to become a multi-planetary species.

Most Creative 3D Print

Me2 3D Printer

Awarded to the team that designs and 3D prints the most beautiful, insane, elaborate, elegant, creative, unique object that planet Earth has ever seen. 3D printing is the magic that allows us to create physical manifestations of our imaginations; the future of artistic expression and personal customisation.

Best Braintree/PayPal Integration

Developer Survival Kit including a PayPal Here
+ $2,000 cash

Awarded to the team with the best payments integration of either the Braintree Payments API or the PayPal API into their product/service. These are powerful, global platforms to process your customer's payments. Accept credit card payments, collect recurring payments, operate a marketplace, and accept over 130 currencies across 40 countries. With the rise of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and nextgen platforms such as Ethereum, there has never been a more exciting time in human history to start exploring and hacking the mediums of exchange in our global marketplace.

Community & Social Impact

$1000 cash from Australian Social Investment Trust and the Illawarra Forum

The Community and Social Impact category is designed to create innovative solutions for capturing and disseminating information, ideas and actions that support community and economic development and create positive social impact.

This year, to launch the category, a unique dataset will be made available to participating teams. This dataset has been has been created in 2015 through a Day of Community engagement called: #Ask. The dataset is community/postcode based and provides a unique insight into what is important to our communities and how we might make the kinds of changes community see for themselves.

Most Immersive Idea

2 x Oculus Rift DK2

Awarded to the team that utilises Virtual Reality technology to create the Most Immersive project. Google Cardboard will be provided to every participant on the weekend to ignite ideas and projects that are building around VR technology. The winning team will receive two Oculus Rift DK2's which provides the ultimate Virtual Reality experience to date.

Best Indie Game

4 x Leap Motion

Awarded to the team that creates the best indie game. Can be built for any platform (VR, AR, desktop, mobile). Video games have become one of the fastest growing markets in the world. In the 1990s the video game industry was worth roughly $31 billion and now in 2013 it is worth $76 billion dollars.

Best IoT Device Hack

Raspberry Pi 2s + Particle Photons

Awarded to the team who builds the best Internet of Things (IoT) device, with seamless integration and useful applications. The Internet of Things is one of the next great leaps for the Internet. A world where every device and object is online, connected and intelligently networked via distributed, decentralised P2P mesh networks. A digital utopia where the devices, buildings, cars, doors, appliances, and all objects around you communicate and adapt to your personal preferences. The Particle Photon (formally Spark.IO) is an Arduino-like device for the IoT with inbuilt wifi and easy API endpoints.

Most Awesome Social Media Photo

Parrot AR Drone 2.0

Awarded to the individual who posts the most awesome photo during Hackagong to either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #hackagong

Lucky Door Prize

Liquid Essentialist Wallet

Awarded randomly to a competitor. Order numbers will be randomised and then one will be picked at random.

Hackagong 2015 Sponsors

For details on sponsoring Hackagong 2015, please contact

Epic Venue

uniCentre, Level 2, Building 11, University of Wollongong

Google Map | UOW Map

Fun Schedule

Saturday Sep 19

  • 09:00amRegistrations begin. If you haven't found a team in the Facebook group we'll help you find one (solo entrants are ok)
  • 09:30amuniCentre doors open. Find a table and setup battle stations. Laptops preferred. Free 54-700Mbit/s wifi with some wired options
  • 09:45amInitiate (responsible) caffeination
  • 10:00amHackagong welcome and openings
  • 10:30amHackagong 2015 begins!
  • 12:30pmLunch noms
  • 01:00pmMentors will begin visiting teams. What problem are you solving? Who is your target market? Are you focused on building a super simple working prototype product, with one core feature that solves a large and demonstrable problem for a specific target market?
  • 05:00pmURAC gym closes. So if you need to shower, go well before 5pm
  • 06:30pmDinner noms
  • 08:00pmFrenzal Rhomb playing nearby at the uniBar. Get tickets here if you're keen.
  • 10:00pmDoors close. Stay for an all-nighter, crash on the bean bags or head home to bed. Assorted midnight snacks available
  • LateSpecial ~2am competition for night owls

Sunday Sep 20

  • 08:00amDoors re-open
  • 08:30amBrekkie (cereal/toast/coffee)
  • 09:00amURAC gym re-opens. Go shower if you stayed overnight
  • 12:00pmLunch noms
  • 03:00pmAll teams are given survey questions and asked to record and submit a no-frills, basic, silent 3 minutes (max) product demo screencast to
  • 03:30pmTeams wishing to compete for the overall prize must create a basic crowdfunding campaign (use any platform, keep it simple). Top 5 campaigns with the most dollars raised and number of backers by noon Sep 30 will be invited to pitch on stage at DemoDay.
  • 04:00pmJudging begins for the category prizes {design, code, build, game}
  • 05:00pm30 hours are up! Stop work. Judging Ends.
  • 06:00pmJudging panel deliberate while we all eat pizza and browse everyone's projects
  • 07:00pmCategory prize winners announced. Photos with giant novelty cheques
  • 08:00pmPack up, head to North Gong pub (closes 10pm). Then maybe Hotel Illawarra (closes midnight)

Wednesday Sep 30

  • 12 noonTop 5 team crowdfunding campaigns with a combination of the most dollars raised so far and the most backers will be contacted and invited to pitch for the overall prize at DemoDay on Friday October 2nd.

Friday Oct 2

  • 10:00amHackagong DemoDay @ The Regent Theatre Wollongong as part of the Blender Festival MindShift (see website for full schedule)
  • 12:00-12:40pm[Public Event: Get Tickets] Top 5 teams pitch on stage: explaining the problem they're solving, their product, target market, business model and how well their crowdfunding campaigns are performing. Each team pitches on stage (3 minutes max), then judges ask questions (~2-5 minutes). Strict cut-off timing. Note: Any Top 5 teams that can't make it to DemoDay can submit a video pitch.
  • 12:40-3:30pmEnjoy the various panels and speakers at the MindShift event. Vote for the People's Choice award. Help back any of the Hackagong team crowdfunding campaigns (which will likely keep running for 2 weeks afterwards). Judges will deliberate to determine overall Hackagong winner.
  • 03:30-3:40pmOverall winner of Hackagong 2015 announced on stage!
  • 03:40-~6:00pm~20 Hackagong teams will showcase their projects in the foyer.

Blog of Awe


GET PREPARED! Hackagong3D Workshop 2 is soon

The second Hackagong3D Workshop is coming up fast and we’ve got some important information to share. If you haven’t secured a ticket, there are still spots available but act fast. You can secure your spot here: In this workshop, we will be demonstrating how to create and prepare a 3D model for printing. We’ll kindly ask… Read more »


Sponsor Watch: WiseTech Global

Sponsors are a huge part of Hackagong. Without the generous contributions from our sponsors, we wouldn’t be running this awesome Hackathon! This is Sponsor Watch, where we take a quick look at one of our sponsors. Company: WiseTech Global Company Website: Location: Our head office is in Sydney (Alexandria) NSW. We also have major offices in the… Read more »


Sponsor Watch: Me3D

Sponsors are a huge part of Hackagong. Without the generous contributions from our sponsors, we wouldn’t be running this awesome Hackathon! This is Sponsor Watch, where we take a quick look at one of our sponsors. Company: Me3D Company Website: Location: Wollongong Number of Employees: 3 What does your company do? We build and sell a range of… Read more »


Hackagong 2014 Category Prize Winners announced!

Over 135 competitors, spread across 45 teams were all in the running for a number of Category Prizes at Hackagong 2014. A group of notable judges determined the Top 10 teams, the winners of each of the prize categories and the overall prize winner. Teams were then presented with their awards at the UOW uniCentre. These most talented individuals… Read more »


Hackagong 2014 Overall Winner Announced!

What a truly awesome weekend at Hackagong. We awarded over $100,000 worth of prizes and giveaways at last weekend’s Hackagong held 29-30 November 2014 at the University of Wollongong uniCentre. This years event attracted over 150 ticket sales, 135 competitors, across 45 teams and competing for 11 different prize categories from best Internet of Things… Read more »


Top 10 Demo and Showcase – Open to Public!

It’s amazing what you can make in just 30 hours! Our Top 10 Demo and Showcase event will display the hard work out Top 10 teams have made during the 30 hours of Hackagong. The Top 10 teams will pitch and demo their new products on stage, where a panel of notable judges will determine the… Read more »


Sponsor Watch: ScriptRock

Sponsors are a huge part of Hackagong. Without the generous contributions from our sponsors, we wouldn’t be running this awesome Hackathon! This is Sponsor Watch, where we take a quick look at one of our sponsors. Company: ScriptRock Company Website: Location: Mountain View, CA Number of Employees: 12 What does your company do? ScriptRock makes GuardRail, the configuration… Read more »


Sponsor Watch: LawPath

Sponsors are a huge part of Hackagong. Without the generous contributions from our sponsors, we wouldn’t be running this awesome Hackathon! This is Sponsor Watch, where we take a quick look at one of our sponsors. Company: LawPath Company Website: Location: We work out of Tank Stream Labs on Bridge Street in Sydney’s CBD. Number of Employees: 15-20… Read more »


Sponsor Watch: Internetrix

Sponsors are a huge part of Hackagong. Without the generous contributions from our sponsors, we wouldn’t be running this awesome Hackathon! This is Sponsor Watch, where we take a quick look at one of our sponsors. Company: Internetrix Company Website: Location: Wollongong HQ & China offices in Beijing & Xiamen Number of Employees: 18 What does your company… Read more »


Sponsor Watch: Typesafe

Sponsors are a huge part of Hackagong. Without the generous contributions from our sponsors, we wouldn’t be running this awesome Hackathon! This is Sponsor Watch, where we take a quick look at one of our sponsors. Company: Typesafe Company Website: Location: Our main office is in San Francisco. We also have offices in Uppsala, Sweden and Lausanne,… Read more »

All The FAQs

What is a Hackathon?

Hackathons originated in Silicon Valley and are now regularly staged all over the world as a way of rapidly producing ideas and building prototypes. They follow a basic structure - developers, designers and business people form small teams with the goal of designing and implementing a digital product or service prototype to be demonstrated at the end of the event. The lack of time participants have means methods of working can often be chaotic and require "hacking" solutions together, hence the term Hackathon.

Who created and organises Hackagong?

Hackagong was started in 2012 by Nathan Waters along with other volunteers (primarily UOW students). Hackagong 2015 is run and organised by the University of Wollongong Information Technology Society (WITS) and a group of independent volunteers. The event is funded completely by corporate sponsorship and funds from the UOW Centre for Student Engagement. Hackagong is a grassroots, non-profit event setup with the mission of igniting startup and maker communities in the Illawarra and surrounding regions.

Are you going to be hacking into computers?

No, there will not be any computer hacking going on. The point of the event is to make things, not break into things.

So this has nothing to do with Hacky Sack?

No, although people are welcome to bring them and play if it helps with brainstorming or relaxing for a bit.

It sounds fun but I don't know anything about programming, so I suppose I'm out...

Wait! Programming is part of the event, but is really just a technical means to an end. Before the programming happens there needs to be problems identified to be solved and creative ideas generated to tackle them. We need people with ideas and knowledge of other industries to get involved so that together we can figure out how to use technology to solve problems and make awesome things. Hackagong also includes many 3D printing, design, hardware hacking and indie game development competitions.

Is food provided and what will it be?

Yes all food is provided as part of the ticket cost for the entire weekend, however we recommend you eat breakfast on the Saturday morning. We'll provide lunch and dinner for both days as well as breakfast on Sunday morning. These will be put out at specific times and announced (see schedule). There will also be assorted drinks (water, coffee, soft drink, juices, energy drinks) and assorted snacks (fruit, noodles, buns etc) you can help yourself to at anytime. The food is basic but filling. We need to feed upwards of 150 people, so we'll be serving things like Dominos pizza, chicken schnitzel burgers, Subway sandwiches etc. There will be vegetarian options, however if you have any other specific dietary requirements (vegan, gluten-free etc) please bring your own food or money to buy food from nearby locations.

Do I need to bring money?

You shouldn't need to purchase anything (such as food) over the weekend, but please bring money and/or debit card just in case you want to buy additional food or have a very specific dietary requirement that we haven't catered for. You may also need to purchase your own drinks at the pub on Sunday night.

Can I bring alcohol in?

No, we're strictly a non-alcohol event. Save that for the Sunday night after-party at the pub :)

Do I need a team and how can I find one?

You're welcome to compete solo, but it's much more fun in a team. If you're looking for team members, post in the Hackagongers Facebook group and attend our pre-event meetups and workshops.

Is there a team size limit?

Nope. However we'd recommend no more than 5, and ideally 3: coder, designer, business/marketer. The more people you have in your team, the harder it becomes to manage and effectively split tasks (too many cooks). Also the more people in your team, the more people you need to split prizes with.

Can I have remote team members?

Yep. It's not encouraged, but it's allowable so long as all the team members purchase tickets, and 50% of more of the team members are phyiscally present at the Hackagong event.

Is there an age limit?

Nope, all ages welcome. Although if you're under 16 we'll need either a parent/guardian to attend or written permission from a parent/guardian.

I don't have a project idea. What should I build at Hackagong?

Since you've only got a maximum of 30 hours, we're not expecting fully developed and polished products. Most teams will build a small prototype that solves a particular problem or is just really cool. So things like small web and mobile apps. There are various prize categories to work towards, so be sure to checkout the details. You can checkout what teams built at previous Hackagong's on our YouTube channel. There is also an ideas thread in the Hackagongers group on Facebook.

Can I compete across multiple prize categories?

Yep you can attempt to compete across all of the prize categories if you'd like. However you only have 30 hours total (with no sleep), so it's probably best to focus in the areas you have skills or passion in.

Can I build anything I want?

Yeah you're welcome to build any project you'd like. There are specific prize categories to compete for which should cover most project ideas. The only projects we do not allow at Hackagong are anything illegal, sexual or offensive. Pretty obvious, but please don't build anything that involves porn, nudity, drugs, guns, violence or is offensive to any particular group of people. Also with the 3D printing competition, please don't design/print any objects like sex toys or guns (the media would have a field day).

Who owns the IP of what gets made at the event?

100% of the intellectual property of anything made, belongs to the participating team. Hackagong, UOW and sponsors have zero ownership in what you create.

Can I work on my project before Hackagong?

All development and work on your project should be performed during the Hackagong weekend. However it's fine to research and formulate the idea before the weekend. You're welcome to think of a name for the product/service and buy the domain name, do some basic market research to see if people want what you're selling, and look into what APIs, code libraries and code samples you could use. Then come in on the weekend and put all the pieces together. We don't check code, but judges will be able to tell if you've been working on the product for longer than a weekend.

Can I use programming frameworks, libraries, APIs, engines etc?

Yeah definitely, you have a very short amount of time in which to build a functioning prototype. So use whatever tools you'd like to hack together something novel and unique.

Do you check for illegitimate software and copyright infringement?

Nope, that would be a huge time sink for the organisers. We encourage you to use legit, purchased software and not to break any copyright infringements, but we won't be checking any computers. The art of creativity and hacking/mashing different things together cheaply and in a short amount of time, often requires operating outside the rules and status quo of the real world. Everything is a remix. Also try to avoid any obvious copyright and trademark infringements in naming and creating your product prototype as judges won't like it.

I'm doing a hardware-based project, what are the requirements/rules?

Hardware is much more difficult than software, so we're not expecting polished/pretty products, just whatever proof of concept prototype you can make in the weekend. Bring your own tools such as soldering irons and whatever you will need. We will be aiming to provide some tools, and maker kits, but better if you also come prepared. Please keep it safe as anything that generates fumes/smoke will need to be performed out in the carpark well away from any buildings. Any damage or mess is your liability and problem to deal with.

Is there a code of conduct?

Yes! Hackagong is an all-inclusive, open event, free of assholes and harassment. We've adopted the "Hack Code of Conduct" found here.

I don't want my photo taken...

Photographers will be taking photos of all attendees at the event in public areas (toilets and sleeping areas are photo-free zones). The best of these photos may be shared to our social media channels during or after the Hackagong weekend. Logistically it is too difficult to completely avoid taking a photo of you. If you do not wish to have your photo taken you have three options: 1) let the photographers know immediately after they have taken the photo that you would like it deleted, 2) after Hackagong you can request a link to the Google Drive folder with all the photos and you can find and request those you'd like deleted, 3) you can request a photo be deleted when/if we share it to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. We also have videographers who will be filming teams to create awesome little ~5min videos to upload to YouTube (see last year's here). If you don't want to be filmed, just let the guys know and they will comply. Or better yet, make one of your other team members do the interview :)

How do I get there?

Hackagong will be taking place at the uniCentre in Building 11 at the University of Wollongong which is accessible by car, train, bus, bike or foot. You all have smartphones and Google has directions :)

Do I have to be there all weekend?

No, you're welcome to come and go as you please. Overnight stay is allowed. However doors will be locked from the outside from 10pm Saturday night, and re-opened again at 8am Sunday. To get back into the building during those times you will need to call the security guard or one of the organisers (numbers will be on the entrance door).

Will it be safe to be there overnight?

There will be a security guard overnight to keep everyone safe.

Do I have to work through the night, and what are the sleeping arrangements?

You're welcome to pull an all-nighter and continue working on your project through the night (snacks available through the night). However we encourage people to get at least a few hours of sleep. Feel free to go home to your own bed and come back in the morning. There are also bean bags that are great for taking a nap on, and there is a dark sleeping area where the games consoles are located.

I'm traveling from out of the region. Where can I stay and shower?

You're welcome to crash on the bean bags in the uniCentre. Showers are available 9-5pm on campus at the URAC gym so don't forget your towel, hitchhikers. However if you'd like a place to stay, please contact the friendly folks at UOW Accommodation Services to see if they can help. There are also other accommodation options in the Wollongong CBD.

Do you provide computers and software?

Not really. Please bring your own laptop (preferred) or desktop. Ample wifi, some wired ethernet and enough powerpoints will be available. We're providing 3D printers and some hardware devices for people wanting to build physical stuff. Outside of this, it's generally a BYO gear event. We're happy to make arrangements for people though, get in touch with us for more details about borrowing gear for the weekend.

Do we need to provide our own Internet access?

We provide you with a super fast wireless or wired connection (up to 700Mbps) to both the Internet and a local network for the weekend. The wifi can be accessed with a simple password, no student login required.

Grab Some Tickets

For only $50

  • Competition entry
  • Free t-shirt
  • Meet like-minded people
  • Free food for the entire weekend
  • All-you-can-print on many 3D printers
  • Access to reps, investors & mentors