New Zealand-based MindKits wins Hack My Van 2017.

A range of Australian and New Zealand-based start-up businesses and designers competed to re-imagine the inside of a Mercedes-Benz Vans Vito during our second Hack My Van event. An innovative concept by New Zealand- based start up MindKits took out first prize.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural Mercedes-Benz Vans Hack My Van event, a second competition was held in August and this year the entries were just as impressive. 

Creative entrepreneurs from Australia and New Zealand were invited to re-imagine the inside of a Mercedes-Benz Vito. Six finalists, including start up owners, industrial designers and creative technologists, were chosen to compete for the chance to bring their idea to life with the help of a Mercedes-Benz engineer. This year, three of the six finalists travelled from New Zealand to compete in Melbourne. 

A silent disco for children, a mobile VR showroom and a commercial wellness Van were among the shortlisted concepts. In the end, Judges Dr. Kate Cornick (CEO, LaunchVic), Nick Crocker (Partner, Blackbird Ventures), Shane Delia (award winning chef and restaurateur), Megan Morton (Australia’s leading stylist), and Diane Tarr (Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia & New Zealand) agreed New Zealand MindKits was deserving of first prize: a brand new Vito. 

MindKits was established by Tim Carr and Fay Cobbett in 2008 in response to a lack of STEM and, in particular, robotics education programs, in New Zealand. The pair will looking forward to driving their brand new Vito around New Zealand to provide STEM workshops in schools. ‘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,’ they said. 

According to Diane Tarr, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia and New Zealand, Hack My Van highlights the many ways that Vito can be used creatively to transform a small business. ‘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,’ she said.

To learn more about the event visit hackmyvan.co.nz