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"I would rate it 10/10. There is nothing I have done in the past that I can even begin to compare it to. I have done a lot of other initiatives and accelerators, but at HEX they gave us the opportunity to explore our own business ideas and also see how other companies worked"

Kate Abbott, HEX 1.0 Alumni

So what's it all about?

Melbourne, Australia, held the title of ‘World’s Most Liveable City’ for seven years running – so clearly something good is happening Down Under!

If you’ve ever wanted to experience Australian startup and business culture, and study in Melbourne, The Hacker Exchange is proud to welcome you to our spiritual home.

Melbourne has a diverse and inclusive culture, world-class education, talent (and food!), and a vibrant startup scene, specialising in creativity, health and bio tech, ad tech and life sciences.

Over two inspiring weeks, you’ll join a select cohort of tertiary students and early-stage founders to learn from Australian thought leaders, work on your startup concept and experience the Melbournian startup ecosystem.

Global Innovation Program dates

  • HEX 4.0: 19 May – 1 June 2019 

Applications close 24 March 2019

University credit

Many universities across Australia and internationally have approved The Hacker Exchange for academic credit, usually within a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) or internship elective – you can be from any faculty to apply. Speak to your course coordinator or study abroad coordinator to find out how this could work for you.

We’ve prepared this handy ‘Request for Credit’ document to help you out.


Working in Melbourne’s famous laneway / cafe culture.

Learn why so many students and founders choose Melbourne as their new home base, and learn the inner workings of the Aussie business culture. We’ll meet government and corporate representatives, learn lean startup and product design principles, discuss prototyping and customer intimacy, and tour inspiring companies.

By the end of this week, you’ll know how to build a startup business model thats global, relevant and scalable, have an insight into the Australian business culture, and understand what investors look for in fundable startups.

  • Previous ‘Week 1’ highlights in SF included touring Atlassian and Zendesk, ‘Google Launchpad’ workshop, building iOS and Android image recognition apps, Q&A with a VC. Melbourne highlights will be similar!


Melbourne makers, Bajaboard, creating their next innovation.

Discover the art and science of growth hacking and cutting edge marketing strategies for your startup. Learn how to structure your pitch deck and practice pitching to Australian angel investors and venture capitalists.

Get an intimate insight to what’s trending in Asia-Pacific startups and how you can stay ahead of the curve.

  • ‘Week 2’ highlights include visiting leading universities and accelerators, HEX meetup with founders and investors, Growth Hacking workshop, all day Pitch coaching, Q&A with a startup CTO.

Throughout the Melbourne Global Innovation Program

We’ll be working from a central and awesome co-working space which will become our second home. During these two weeks, you’ll get your hands dirty solving real business problems and iterating on your own startup idea.

You’ll also have direct access to sought-after mentors, and make unforgettable connections with investors, accelerators, founders and professionals from around Australia.

What does it cost, and what's included?

Global Innovation Program cost

The full cost of the Melbourne – Student Innovation Program is $3,900 USD.

What is covered? 

The Hacker Exchange program fee includes all interactive workshops, coursework, speakers, instructors, mentor office hours, co-working space access, educational tours of accelerators, universities and tech companies, 13 x night hostel accommodation, daily continental breakfast, welcome & farewell dinners.

This Program cost does not include air fares.

You can view a sample program agenda here.

About your accommodation & social events

Accommodation is included, and is at a centrally located hostel, rated 4-stars on TripAdvisor. You’ll stay in shared accommodation, with privacy curtains, central kitchen, lounge and outdoor area.

Single accommodation upgrades are available on request.

We’ll arrange a Welcome Dinner, Farewell Lunch, a Hacker Exchange mentor meetup, and invite you to numerous events – where your attendance is optional but recommended! We’ll also give you a local guide book and plenty of free time to have meetings or explore Melbourne and surrounds.

What are my payment and funding options?

Due to high demand, we require a $500 + GST deposit paid within 5 business days of your acceptance to the program to confirm your spot.

The remainder is payable in full 6 weeks prior to departure.

Many of our students have successfully accessed OS-HELP support of $6,600+ AUD, depending on their academic status, residential status, and University’s guidelines. This means you could receive this funding prior to departure to use towards your travel costs, which will be rolled into your student loan. Please check with your University Mobility department to see if you are eligible.

Other students have also successfully sought scholarships or partial funding from their faculties / schools, or university accelerators (check with your Uni) or used a crowdfunding platform.

For more information check out our Funding Options page.

Sounds awesome. How do I apply?

Global Innovation Program dates & deadlines

Program will be held in the mid-year semester break – after exams.

  • HEX 4.0 – 19 May – 1 June 2019

Application deadline: 24 February 2019

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