Educational software start-up Code Camp has won a new Mercedes Benz Vito in the 2016 Hack My Van competition with a concept for a mobile pet studio dubbed innoVito by Cobalt Designs.
Hack My Van is an initiative which sees small businesses and creatives repurpose a Vito van in order to foster entrepreneurs and is judged by award winning restaurateur Shane Delia, managing director at Mercedes Benz Vans Australia and New Zealand Diane Tarr, Huffington Post’s Cathy Anderson and LaunchVic board member Jane Martino.
Six finalists were selected to participate in a one- day hackathon last weekend. From a biohacking lab, to a mobile pet photography studio, a story finding van, an on demand 3D printing workshop and a rubbish to product recycling van, the judges saw diverse business ideas.
Presented by minister for small business, innovation and trade, Philip Dalidakis, the new Vito will assist Code Camp in reaching their target of 100,000 students over the coming year.
According to Mercedes Benz Vans boss Tarr, the judging panel was impressed by the concepts put forward.
“We were blown away by the level of creativity and the brilliance of the business ideas we saw from the six finalists. 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,” Tarr said.
“Congratulations to Code Camp innoVito by Cobalt who are teaching children the most critical skills for the future. We cannot wait to see them take Code Camp on the road.”
Code Camp began in December 2013 as a hobby. In the past 18 months Code Camp has taught more than 8,000 students to write code across Australia at both private and public schools.
The organisation’s aim it is to teach every student, from all socioeconomic backgrounds, and to reach 100,000 students in the next 12 months.
“Code Camp is on a mission to teach Australian students to code, and build engagement and passion for technology,” said 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 popup events all over the country to raise awareness.
“Code Camp aims to build a more innovative future for Australia, and having Mercedes-Benz, one of the most innovative automobile makers in the world behind us is incredible.”