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"The skills and people you connected me to made my year so much more rewarding and more successful than I thought possible. What HEX has created is truly special and valuable."

Jack Reeve, HEX 1.0 Alumni

So what's it all about?

The Hacker Exchange connects forward-thinking entrepreneurs to the vibrant and innovative culture of Silicon Valley.

Over two inspiring weeks, you’ll join a select cohort of tertiary students to learn from world-class thought leaders, and work hands-on in a Silicon Valley start-up environment.

Program dates

  • HEX 1.8: 1 – 14 December 2019 
  • HEX 1.9: 8 – 21 December 2019 

Applications close 1 September 2019

University credit

Many universities 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.


HEX 1.1 at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Learn how Silicon Valley became what it is today and demystify its inner workings. We’ll cover lean startup, product design, prototyping and customer intimacy, and tour some inspiring companies.

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

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


Visiting Facebook in Menlo Park, CA

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 Silicon Valley investors.

Get an intimate insight to what’s trending in Silicon Valley and how you can stay ahead of the curve.

  • Previous ‘Week 2’ highlights included visiting Stanford University, Eventbrite and Y Combinator, Growth Hacking workshop, all day Pitch coaching, Q&A with a startup CTO.

Throughout the Silicon Valley Global Innovation Program…

Anna and Georgia building apps with Thunkable.

We’ll be working from Covo – one of the freshest co-working spaces in the Valley. 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 both Australia and the USA.

What does it cost, and what's included?

Global Innovation Program cost

The full cost of the Silicon Valley – Student Innovation Program is $4,950 AUD + GST.

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 and tech companies, 13 x night 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 SF.

What are my payment and funding options?

Due to high demand, we require a $500 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. Payment plans can be arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Many of our students have successfully accessed OS-HELP support of over to $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.

Sounds awesome. How do I apply?

Program dates & deadlines

HEX 1.8: 1 – 14 December 2019

  • Check in to Hostel Sun 1 December 2019
  • Program starts Mon 2 December 2019
  • Program concludes Friday 13 December 2019
  • Check out of Hostel Sat 14 December 2019

HEX 1.9: 8 – 21 December 2019

  • Check in to Hostel Sun 8 December 2019
  • Program starts Mon 9 December 2019
  • Program concludes Friday 20 December 2019
  • Check out of Hostel Sat 21 December 2019

Application deadline: 1 September 2019

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