A New Zealand 3D printing supplier has taken out Mercedes-Benz Vans’ Hack my Van competition for 2017.

MindKits was launched in 2008 by Tim Carr, who saw a need to take robotics and physical computing to Kiwi students.

Winners Carr and co-founder Fay Cobbett said the Vito can is a boost to their business.

“Winning the Vito enables us to take our proven engaging STEM workshops and bring them to schools with fewer resources, independent of their wealth and status. For the business this opens a new chapter and an expanding market, with thanks to Mercedes-Benz Vans,” they said.

This is the second year Mercedes-Benz Vans invited Australian and New Zealand based small businesses, start-ups, product developers, industrial designers, creative technologists, hustlers and hackers to put together a team of like-minded entrepreneurial thinkers and pitch an innovative business idea using the Vito van as the canvas.

Six finalists were selected to participate in Hack My Van 2017 including a silent disco for children, a mobile VR showroom, a commercial wellness van, and an all abilities childcare service,.

According to managing director of Mercedes Vans Australia and New Zealand, Diane Tarr, the event brings creative and innovative businesses.

“We created this event because we know that when used creatively the Vito can be transformative for a small business,” Tarr said.

“Once again this year the entries were extremely diverse, and we were so pleased to extend into New Zealand, with three of the six finalists – including our winner – traveling across the ditch to be part of the event.”

“Congratulations to Tim and Fay from MindKits who are already providing such a valuable service to school children in New Zealand by delivering hands-on STEM learning experiences. We cannot wait to see them achieve their dreams of taking their workshops on the road to more kids and more schools.”

The first runner up, HME Limited’s ThunderPods, received a $5,000 cash grant, and the second runner up, Ruby & Ollie’s Big Days Out, received a $2,500 cash grant provided by RedZed Lending Solutions.