The Goods Shed first Hackathon

Alibaba Cloud and NAB’s Cross Border Hackathon marks the first hackathon at the Goods Shed

Working with Stone and Chalk, two companies came together to solve problems and develop ideas around Australian/Chinese relationships. What can we do for Chinese business people coming to Australia, and how can we help our Aussies travelling to China or doing business in China?

Teams came up with apps, platforms, and websites to help travellers and tourists find their way around and do good business, no matter where.

What I wanted to focus on however, is the Goods Shed. First you haven’t been to the Goods Shed, it’s located down at 710 Collins St, an old, heritage listed building. Oh, and this is the Goods Shed North – there’s also the Goods Shed South. I’ve been once before, for Launch Vic’s “Yeah Nah” conference last year. However, it has dramatically changed since then.

The Goods Shed North is a great space for startups and corporates. This is the space before the large event area was opened (Photo credit: Architecture AU).

There’s a lot more businesses co-located here now. Here’s a few of them:

  • Stone and Chalk
  • SproutX
  • CyberRisk
  • The Actuator
  • That Startup Show
  • Gobbill
  • and tonnes more!

What’s cool about all this? There’s a good mix here. A number of accelerators, FinTech companies, startups, VCs, research, and even broadcasting. This diversity ensures good collaboration across the whole Melbourne ecosystem, and we’re already seeing the fruits of this. The Cross Border Hackathon bought together a company located in the building, a big bank just across the road, and a corporate partner. Collisions like this don’t just happen by accident. Sure they are “accidental” in some ways, but the simple fact that they are all in the same physical area means there’s a high likelihood of ‘accidental’ meeting.

The events space all set and ready for a hackathon. You can see the offices located around the central area, allowing serendipitous encounters to occur

This is the reasoning behind many co-working and creative spaces. Take Pixar for example. They deliberately put the bathrooms in the middle of each floor so that people would bump into each other on the way to their daily business. Carlton Connect and Melbourne University is striving towards this with the development of Melbourne’s Premiere Innovation Precinct at the old hospital in Carlton.

The Goods Shed is a smaller scale of this. Like any co-working place in Melbourne, it’s a hive of activity. And the place is only half full, with heaps of scope for more companies to come in. The site is currently undergoing a fit out to extend available offices, and the big open events space is improving to host bigger and better events.

With the Cross Border Hackathon, the building is now ‘christened’ and ready to host more hackathons. It’s an ideal space for a hackathon – located in the CBD, tram stop right outside, plenty of desk space for teams, big events space for pitches, kitchenette for food, quiet spots for practicing presentations, and more. This is a fantastic new addition to the Melbourne startup/corporate scene and I can’t wait for more hackathons to be run here.

Harrison and I have a great time at the hackathon! Stone & Chalk media looking good



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