The Basics

Who should attend the Hack? Anyone with some hands-on experience (or looking to develop some) using and developing the Internet of Things (IoT). We're looking for people with backgrounds in IoT, Engineering, IT, Business, Design, Sociology, and Environmental Science that are keen to develop creative IoT solutions to address Newcastle's urban challenges.

Do I need to have previous hackathon experience? Don't worry if this will be your first hackathon, there'll be plenty of experienced hackers, mentors and organisers to guide you through. As long as you're enthusiastic and ready to work in a team, you'll be right as rain.

I want to brush up on my IoT skills before the Hack, what should I do? Core Electronics is running an IoT workshop on in the lead-up to the hack on 18th October at 6pm.


Do I need a team to enter? Not at all. A great thing about the hackathon format is hearing new ideas pitched by strangers and creating a diverse team with them to work on the idea over the next two days. Sometimes groups will turn up with a full team and idea to just go at it, but that's by no means a rule here! The Thursday night event is focussed on team identification and formation, so we're expecting others to turn up without teams yet formed.

Can I just come and work on an idea on my own? We're all about teamwork and complementary skills at this hack, so our preference is that you be part of a team of 3-5 people working on an idea. 

How do we pitch ideas and attract potential teammembers? On the Thursday night we'll do an initial idea pitch and team formation. Anyone with an idea will have 1-minute to talk about their expertise, the general concept of a solution they want to develop, and the type of team members they're seeking. After everyone's pitches, we will assist you in forming teams around your idea or joining another team if you wish.

Do we or our team members have to be at the venue the whole time? After the initial idea pitch and team formation, you're not required to be at Eighteen04 in person during the hack, although we recommend you are present to take advantage of the expert mentors, facilities and snacks on offer, along with regular team briefings by the organisers. It's fine if you have another location that you prefer, however at the very least you should try to make it back to Eighteen04 by midday Saturday for final pitches and judging. We'll have a Slack channel open through the course of the event which we'll advise on the night.

Are you looking for hardware and/or software solutions? Solutions that integrate both hardware and software to create a working prototype will be valued highest. We'll have a range of hardware available at the hack for you to use, which will appear in this FAQ when we've finalised it.

Will we have any datasets to use?

We've identified multiple open datasets and portals that can be used during the hackathon, including from the Australian and NSW Governments, as well the Bureau of Statistics and Meteorology and Open Data Institute Australian Network. We'll have this list accessible on the DevPost Urban IoT Hack site, but feel free to use your own data if they're appropriate.

What are the Judging Criteria?

We'll be confirming these in detail on the night, but here's a guide to coverage:

  • Technology + engineering aspects

  • Risk + security aspects

  • Business + Civic benefits

What are the requirements for the prototype designs?
All the details will be announced at the start of the event. As a guideline, we will be looking for evidence of:

  1. Market assessment

  2. Challenge targeted

  3. Market validation

  4. Proof of concept (wireframes/sketches/screen flow)

  5. Evidence of collaboration activity within the team

  6. API or Framework leverage

  7. Working prototype

What are the Prizes? What is there to win and achieve?

Prize pool will be confirmed at the opening of the event, but will include at a minimum:

  1. Winner of the best Urban Challenge Solution: $3000 + 3-month residency at Eighteen04 hub & co-working space

  2. Best innovation in the Urban Challenges: $1000 + 2-month residency

Have more questions??

Let us know by asking on Twitter @laughingmind with the Event Hashtag: #UrbanIoTHack or sending an email to listen@laughingmind.comand we'll do our best to get them posted on the Urban IoT Hack on DevPost event site.


Is there a program schedule for theHack? 

Yes, we'll release the detailed schedule shortly; briefly, the event runs from 7pm on Thursday evening 25Oct2018 to 2pm on Saturday afternoon 27Oct2018. There will be an initial idea pitching and team formation session on Thursday night, after which the hack will commence and run until Saturday afternoon when teams will pitch their solutions and winners will be determined. Outline schedule is below.


7pm - Registration and meet everyone

7.30pm - Introduction to the Hack Challenges

7.45pm - Event info

8.00pm - Idea pitches and team formation

8.30pm - Team registration + wrap-up


8am - Doors open and the hack begins! We'll have roaming mentors willing to dole out advice and jokes to help you along the way. Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.


8am-12pm - Ultra-focused hacking continues by the competing teams.

12.30pm - Pitches!

1.30pm - And the winners are ...

2pm - Wrap up and exchange contact details with other participants. Congratulations and enjoy the rest of your weekend!