What is HackFood?

HackFood is a weekend long business building competition and start-up boot camp that connects Australia’s brightest and most passionate entrepreneurs, foodies, chefs and developers with one goal in mind: to uncover unique digital technology solutions that address some of the biggest challenges faced by the Australian food industry.

Teams will work together and be mentored by some of Australia’s most future-thinking digital and food professionals, going from whiteboard concept to validated digital solution over the course of one weekend. With the opportunity to learn, connect, network, present a pitch and win prizes, this a can’t-miss event for any forward-thinking foodie!

Who Should Attend?

Anyone passionate about improving Australia’s food system and creating positive change.  But HackFood is not just for developers.  The event has been designed to encourage fresh thinking and input from food professionals, business minds, developers, foodies and entrepreneurs.

Top 6 Reasons to Attend HackFood


Industry-leading judging panel – we have an amazingly impressive panel of judges who will be evaluating our finalists’ presentations!


Amazing mentors – we have a similarly impressive list of industry-based mentors who will be around the event throughout the weekend to inspire, support and provide feedback.


Clear judging criteria, clear outcomes – all participants will be emailed specific criteria on how HackFood is asking our judges to evaluate our finalists. This will help not only to guide which ideas to pitch, but also how teams should focus their finite time throughout the weekend.


Focus on validated solutions – the event isn’t just focused on building creative apps/websites, but also on validating whether these ideas would have merit in the marketplace. Watch what can be achieved in only a couple of days within your teams!


Networking – this is Australia’s 1st ever food-focused hackathon!  If you’re a passionate, forward-thinking person wanting your digital ideas to be heard, you’ll be in the best company possible to meet others just like you.


Incredible food – we guarantee there won’t be a bland pizza in sight!  Australia’s most innovative online catering marketplace (YouChews.com) will ensure everyone is well-fed and nourished. After all … this is a f-o-o-d hackathon!


Food Industry Challenges

HackFood is asking participants to pitch a unique idea which addresses any one of the following  problems facing the food industry.  Got your own idea on how to solve a specific food-related problem?  Have another idea which you’re really passionate about? Drop us a line and we’ll confirm it’s within the spirit of HackFood!

Challenge #1:  Food Waste

The average Australian wastes $1036 in groceries every year.  How can digital technology be used to solve this problem?

Challenge #2:  Getting to Market

Starting up a new food brand and growing that to the next-big-thing is a real challenge.  How can innovative, smaller producers get their products to the end consumer cheaply?

Challenge #3:  Customer Retention

How can these businesses keep customers coming back for more and more using digital technology?

Challenge #4:  Food Traceability

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of where their food comes from.  What’s a unique way of letting customers know the origin of their food, how it has arrived in their shopping basket, and what this should mean to them?

Challenge #5:  Agribusiness

Agribusiness is a $230bn industry – larger than mining. There has been little innovation in the digital space to solve the considerable problems agribusiness faces. Unpredictable weather, export market changes, and distribution and logistics challenges are just some of the issues relying on manual or labour-intensive process. How can we introduce 21st century reinventions of antiquated solutions within this sector?

Challenge #6:  Convenience

We’re all time poor, and consumers are increasing demanding convenient food options without sacrificing taste, value or health.  How can digital technology by used to deliver the ultimate in consumer food convenience.

Challenge #7:  Healthy Eating

With so much information available to consumers, how can the everyday person easily make healthy eating choices? How can technology facilitate these daily decisions?


HackFood 2015 Prizes

Q: Grand Prize

The winning team at HackFood 2015 will be awarded a preferential pitch to the soon-to-be launched Simplot Food Innovation Program which, if successful, carries $30,000 in seed funding from the Slingshot Investment Fund towards your new start-up business.  Full details of the program will be launched on Sunday November 8th following final HackFood team presentations!

Q: Second Prize

The second placed team at HackFood 2015 will be awarded a free 60-day start up bootcamp from Pollenizer! This prize will be an amazing opportunity to further develop and explore your food tech start up, with ample insights and support to take your idea further.

Q: Third Prize

The third place team won’t go away empty handed – you’ll celebrate your success together over a case of amazing wine from our event sponsor Vinomofo!  #cheers

Q: Random Draw Prize

The HackFood organizing team loves a bit of mystery, so we’ve partnered with Yelp! Australia to offer a randomly-chosen HackFood participant an invitiation to the next suuuper exclusive Yelp! event!  Normally, this event is reserved for Yelp! elites – however you’ll be included as well. Enjoy!


Sydney Seed Fund

Garry Visontay, Startup Investor


Frank Arrigo, API Evangelist

Federal Parliament

Senator Bridget McKenzie, Senator for Victoria

Startup Daily

Mat Beeche, Founder Shoe String Media


Gopi Krishnan, National General Manager

As Featured On ...


HackFood 2015 Sponsors


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I don’t necessarily have an idea of my own … but I’m great at helping out others bring their ideas to life! Is there a place for me?

We would love you to take part! There will be plenty of others who would benefit from your ideas, support and effort.

Q: I have an idea to pitch – what happens if mine doesn’t get picked as a finalist? How many will get selected?

Ten (10) ideas will get chosen as finalist to be worked on throughout the weekend.  All participants not selected, regardless of whether they pitched or not, have a key role to play: work together in teams to support the finalists to refine, improve and validate their idea and put together the final pitch for the judges.  This collaborative effort is what makes hackathons so powerful, and such a unique experience for all involved

Q: What types of participants can I expect to be competing?

All sorts!  What will make HackFood unique is the diversity of backgrounds and skillsets taking part.  Teams will need people wearing all sorts of different hats – include yours! Bring your passion and ideas to take part – no matter what your background

Q: I’m not a software developer – should I take part?

Absolutely.  Everyone will have their opportunity to get their hands dirty and share ideas which will shape the outcome of all the prototyped business solutions.

Q: I’m a food professional, this would be my first ever hackathon. Is there a place at HackFood for me?

Your industry experience will provide a very important contribution to the weekend – please come!

Q: : I don’t want to be a participant in the competition itself, but want to be around for the weekend – what’s on offer and what would I come away with?

We have casual tickets for Friday and Sunday pitching / networking (see EventBrite details below) for those wanting to connect, be inspired, learn from those participating / presenting, to network and … maybe dream a little.  Come and support the teams by watching their pitches!

Q: Who owns the IP?

As a facilitator, HackFood and our sponsors / partners do not make any claims to IP that emerges from the event. Ideas are not IP, and any code belongs to the individual who creates it. By sharing your business idea, the benefits of the feedback and collaboration you will receive when people get excited about your vision far outweigh any potential risks.

Q: I have mentorship skills which could assist – is this helpful?

You bet!  Email kevin@hackfood.com.au and we’ll be in touch shortly


Get involved in HackFood!

Are you an organisation with a vested interested in the outcomes from HackFood, or simply share a commitment to digital technology innovation in the food industry? We would love to help you get involved!  Click on the following link (FoodHack 2015 Sponsorship Packages) to see how you can get involved in Australia’s first ever food-focused digital technology hackathon  – if you don’t immediately see a sponsorship package which meets your needs, click here send an email to sponsorship@hackfood.com.au and we’ll call you back to discuss how we can achieve a great win-win sponsorship outcome in-line with what you’re seeking to achieve.



5:00 pm Registrations and Networking (drinks provided by Fishburners, canapes provided by YouChews.com
6:00 pm HackFood: Welcome, Introductions, Event Overview / Expected Outcomes - Liz Kaelin, Co-Founder, HackFood
6:20 pm Speaker: Dean McEvoy - Founder Spreets, Founder Icon Park - Market Validation and Lean Canvas Review
6:45 pm All interested participants: “60 Second Pitches” (until completed)
7:30 pm Top 10 Finalist Pitches Chosen
8:00 pm Networking, Teams Forms & Registrations
8:35 pm Hacking commences
10:00 pm Milestone Deadline: Lean Canvases drafted
11:00 pm Bump out


8:00 am Delicious Breakfast (provided by YouChews.com)
9:00 am Speaker: Gary Elphick, Founder Disrupt Surfing, Advisor, Danny Burrito
9:30 am Hacking continues - get out of the building!
12:00 pm Milestone Deadline: Customer-validated Lead Canvas updated
12:00 pm Awesome Lunch (provided by YouChews.com)
12:30 - 1:00 pm Speaker - Ryan Cross, founder, Cross Functional Business Model Canvas & Value Proposition Design
1:00 pm Hacking continues
6:00 pm Milestone Deadline: 30-second Speed Pitches
6:30 pm Amazing Dinner (provided by YouChews.com)
7:00 pm Hacking continues
10:00 pm Bump out


8:00 am Delicious Breakfast (provided by YouChews.com)
9:00 am Speaker: Pete Cooper, Founder, iCentral - The Art of Pitching
9:30 am Hacking continues
12:00 pm Awesome Lunch (provided by YouChews.com)
2:30 pm Milestone Deadline: Dry run presentations to Mentors
5:00 pm Judging: Final Pitches and Presentations
6:30 pm Winners Announced
6:45 pm Networking & Celebrations (canapes provided by YouChews.com)
9:00 pm HackFood 2015 concludes