Make something awesome in 30 hours.
Win over $100,000 in prizes & giveaways!

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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 Upcoming Events 2013 Projects

Massive Prizes

Overall Winner Hackagong 2014

$5000 cash from WiseTech Global + $24,000 web hosting + $4000 coworking desks + $3000 coding courses + $2500 accounting services + $2000 online legal services + $2000 business advice + mentoring

An epic prize package worth over $42,000 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 sales, pre-orders or pledges within the weekend.

Hackagong 2014 People's Choice

$2000 cash from ScriptRock + Braintree

Awarded to the favourite Hackagong team in the Top 10 as voted by fellow competitors and audience members at the public Hackagong 2014 Top 10 Demo + Showcase event. Come along to the open event on Sunday 30th November, from 5-7:30pm at the UOW uniCentre to see the top 10 Hackagong teams pitch on stage for the overall prize and to vote for your favourite team to win the People's Choice Award!

Most Innovative 3D Print

Me2 3D Printer + Filament Pack

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. Hackagong 2014 will have over a dozen various 3D printers for use, an unlimited supply of printing filaments, and 3D printing experts to assist at all stages (from CAD software to printing hardware). 3D printers on hand include: 4x FlashForge Creator X printers, a Suwit dual extruder, a Han-Bot single extruder and several Me3D printers. Filament on hand includes: ABS, PLA, PET, HIPS, Polycarbonate, flexible, colour change (temp and UV) wood, and conductive. Total of 22 different colours for ABS!

Most Creative 3D Print

Me2 3D Printer + Filament Pack

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. Hackagong 2014 will have over a dozen various 3D printers for use, along with an unlimited supply of printing filaments in multiple colours, and 3D printing experts to assist at all stages (from CAD software to printing hardware). 3D printers on hand include: 4x FlashForge Creator X printers, a Suwit dual extruder, a Han-Bot single extruder and several Me3D printers. Filament on hand includes: ABS, PLA, PET, HIPS, Polycarbonate, flexible, colour change (temp and UV) wood, and conductive. Total of 22 different colours for ABS!

Best Braintree/PayPal Integration

Internet of Things HackPack

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.

Best Data Visualisation

$1000 cash from ScriptRock

Awarded to the team whose product includes the best data visualisation/s; presenting clear, useful and relevant information to users in a unique and beautiful way. With our interconnected planet generating tremendous amounts of data, it is becoming incredibly important for companies to extract relevant information and present it effectively and seamlessly to users. In 2013, over 3.5 zettabytes of digital data were generated on Earth. This is expected to exceed 40 zettabytes by 2020! The next decade of the Big Data revolution will require awesome people like you to merge data science, machine learning and design.

Best Use Of Scala/Play/Akka

$2000 cash from Typesafe

Awarded to the team with the best use of either the Scala Programming Language, Play Framework or Akka Toolkit. In the modern world, the ability to code is rapidly becoming as important as the ability to read and write. Coding is the magicians wand for the rapid manifestation of our imagination without limitation; the ability to write a few lines of code to manipulate pixels and information at the speed of light. Scala is a scalable, object-oriented programming language with concise syntax that makes it easy to build everything from hacked-together prototypes to large mission-critical systems. Play is a lightweight web framework for Scala and Java that makes it easy to build web applications fast. Akka is a toolkit and runtime for building highly concurrent, distributed, and resilient message-driven applications.

Best Meta AR App

Meta 1 Developer Kit

Details TBA

Best Mobile App (students only)

Apple iPads

Awarded to the UOW SCSSE/SISAT student team that designs and builds the best mobile app which solves a clear and common daily problem for a specific user/market segment. Can be built for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, Blackberry or cross-platform (focus on one). Students will begin work on the Wednesday before the Hackagong weekend and then given the option to continue working on the app at Hackagong (judging will be separate). With 968 million smartphones sold worldwide in 2013 and almost 2 billion people now using smartphones on the planet, the ability to build a smartphone app is an incredibly powerful skill. For the first time in human history, any team or individual now has the tools and open platforms to be able to reach and positively affect the lives of over a billion people via technology. For more information, contact Luke McAven.

Most Immersive Game or App

12 Months Unity Pro Licences

Awarded to the team that creates the most immersive game or prosumer app where the individual loses almost all sense of the world around them as they journey through immersive virtual dreamscapes. Can be built for any platform (VR, AR, desktop, mobile). AR, VR and indie game development are the future of entertainment, work, education and story telling. Virtual Reality (VR) devices such as the Oculus Rift, and Augmented Reality (AR) devices such as the Meta Glasses are opening the door to new worlds for our minds to inhabit, work and explore. Hackagong 2014 will have a few of these devices on hand for game devs to use.

Best IoT Device Hack

Nokia Smartphone/s + Spark Core Maker Kit/s

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 Spark Core is an Arduino-like device for the IoT with inbuilt wifi and easy API endpoints. Hackagong 2014 will have 5x Spark Maker Kits available for competitors to use.

Awesome Sponsors

Epic Venue

uniCentre, University of Wollongong Open map

Closer to Canberra or Bega? We've joined forces with two other awesome hackathons on Nov 29-30! Checkout TriHack.org.au

Fun Schedule

Saturday Nov 29

  • 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 2014 begins!
  • 12:30pmLunch noms (snitty)
  • 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?
  • 06:30pmDinner noms (buffet)
  • 10:00pmDoors close. Stay for an all-nighter, crash on the bean bags or head home to bed. Assorted midnight snacks available
  • LateSpecial 3am prize competition for night owls. Spot prizes and fun activities through the night :)

Sunday Nov 30

  • 08:00amDoors re-open
  • 08:30amBrekkie (cereal/toast/coffee)
  • 12:00pmLunch noms (Subway)
  • 12:30pmJudging begins to determine Top 10 {launch} teams. Keep working. Judges will chat to teams at their table in random rotations
  • 01:30pmJudging begins for the category prizes {design, code, build, game}
  • 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 Hackagongers.com
  • 04:00pmJudging Ends. Top 10 {launch} teams are tallied
  • 04:30pm30 hours are up! Stop work. Top 10 {launch} teams are announced
  • 05:00pm[Public Event] Top 10 teams demo on stage. Each teams pitches their product (3 minutes max) while the demo video plays muted in the background, then judges ask questions (~2 minutes). No powerpoints. Strict cut-off timing
  • 06:00pmJudging panel deliberate while we all eat pizza and browse everyone's projects
  • 07:00pmOverall winner & category prize winners announced. Photos with giant novelty cheques
  • 07:30pmPack up, head to North Gong pub (closes 10pm). Then maybe Hotel Illawarra (closes midnight)

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 is run and organised entirely by unpaid volunteers, and the event is funded completely by corporate sponsorship, with some assistance from UOW faculties. UOW/iAccelerate have no ownership in, did not create, and do not run Hackagong in any way. Hackagong is a grassroots, non-profit organisation 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.

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.

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 Hackagong 2013 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.

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 :)

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.

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 on campus at the URAC gym so don't forget your towel hitchhikers (you may need to pay entry). 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 $30

  • Competition entry
  • Free t-shirt
  • $50 Uber voucher
  • $600 Rackspace credit
  • Meet like-minded people
  • Free food for the entire weekend
  • All-you-can-print on 12+ 3D printers
  • Access to reps, investors & mentors