Hackagong is an annual, weekend-long hackathon competition held in Wollongong where teams of designers, developers, creators, tinkerers and business-minded people get together to build something innovative from start to finish in 30 hours. Teams then pitch their product solutions to the public and potential investors, where judges award prizes to the winners. The event is organised by the University of Wollongong IT Society with the mission of encouraging the formation of new startups in the Illawarra, and promoting a local startup and maker culture. It is simply a very cool event.
Since the first event in 2012, Hackagong has successfully run four major events, attracting 700+ people and awarding over $50,000 in prizes. In 2014, Hackagong attracted over 150 competitors and had over $100,000 in prizes and giveaways. The events have provided fantastic opportunities for individuals to showcase their talents to the world and potential employers, network with like-minded peers, and form new scalable startups with innovative products. Some examples of successful products to come out of Hackagong include:
- Giftling.com – 2012 overall winner, over $85,000 raised on the platform, used by KidzWish Foundation and the Australian Greens
- Liquid Wallet – 3D printed prototype at Hackagong 2013, ran a successful Kickstarter campaign this year and raised over $17,000. Currently running a successful business outside of Melbourne and are sponsoring Hackagong 2015
- Sideprojectors.com – Developed at Hackagong 2013, is now an active marketplace for second-hand startups
Hackagong offers the space, tools and mentorship that designers, developers and creators need to build and get their startup off the ground – all in just 30 hours. Additionally, teams will be in the running to win different prizes. Categories include design, programming, 3D printing, data visualisation and cryptocurrencies. The winner of Hackagong 2015 with the most viable business idea will receive $5,000.
Hackagong starts on the 19th of September and runs until Sunday evening. Tickets are available for $30 by going to http://hackagong.com and ordering them through the website. Ticket price includes entry, food for the weekend, a free shirt, access to 3D printers and Rackspace credit.