Mercedes-Benz Vans has become the latest corporate to launch a hackathon, inviting participants to ‘reimagine’ or customise the inside of its Vito van and how the van drives business at its upcoming Hack My Van event. Using the Vito van as a canvas, six chosen teams of entrepreneurs and creatives will work alongside a team from Mercedes-Benz Vans, product experts, and industrial designers to bring their idea to life.
The hackathon is a way for Mercedes-Benz to tap into the creative minds of the startup community to update and reinvigorate a car that, while it has long been used by small businesses for travel and transportation of goods and services, is not seen as particularly sexy or innovative.
Managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia and New Zealand, Diane Tarr said, “We believe that the humble Vito has long been underestimated and has simply been used just to get a job done. When we see a van however, we see something different.
“We see the potential inside. 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.”
On August 6 a panel of judges will assess the ideas and select a winning team that highlights a combination of innovation and practicality. Over the course of the day the teams will be focusing on demonstrating how the mixture of business ambition and a Vito can unlock growth and opportunity.
The judges will include Diane Tarr, award winning chef Shane Delia, and advisor of Unlockd and TRIBE, Jane Martino. The winning team will be awarded a brand new Mercedes-Benz Vito.
Though corporate hackathons are all the rage, Hack My Van is one of the few to ask participants to work from an existing physical product.
Fintech hackathons have been in vogue of late, with the Bank of Queensland last month hosting a Brisbane event, while CUA is hosting a hackathon at River City Labs in August, asking participants to come up with a potential CUA product that can help customers as they hit life’s milestones, like buying their first car, a house, have a child, and so on.
You can learn more about Hack My Van and apply here.
Image: Diane Tarr. Source: Mercedes Benz.