"The more your network includes people from different cultural backgrounds, the more you will be creatively stimulated 

by different ideas and perspectives."

Roy Y. J. Chua

We are delighted to announce that LaunchVic has funded Cultov8 for the next two years to:

over 2 years

BALLARAT                7 - 8    July 2018

BROADMEADOWS    17-18 February 2018


hold 10 weekend hackathons


4 x 12 week 



for 300 

18-30 year old first generation Australians (born overseas)

DANDENONG           10-11 February 2018

across Victoria,


SUNSHINE                24-25 February 2018

SHEPPARTON          14-15  July 2018

From Mexico, Carlos is a lawyer, teacher and startup founder. He has developed a number of solutions across diverse industries. He has a Bachelor of Law, MBA and a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

Enterprise Facilitator: Sam Haouchar

Hacker Support: Bradley Foote

Our Team

Cel's background is in business development,  operations management, tech and entrepreneurship in Ghana and Malaysia. He has a Bachelor of Science (Biochem), MBA and is finishing his Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Swinburne.

 Enterprise Facilitator:  Celestine Amoako-Boateng

Project Manager: Lynda Ford

Bradley is the CEO of C-Collective, a service which supports young people who have experienced childhood trauma. We have partnered with C-Collective to deliver Cultov8.

Lynda is an Intercultural Cities Expert with the Council of Europe's Intercultural Cities Programme. She has successfully managed a number of hackathons and youth entrepreneurship programs.

Loreena is a retail marketing specialist who has more than 25 years experience across everything from start- ups, SME’s and one of Australia’s most loved ‘big box’ brands, Snooze. Loreena has a Bachelor of Business from QUT.

Sam has had a very diverse career in logistics, project management, business management and consulting. She has a BA (Psych), MBA and Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

What's a hackathon?

It's where people with technology backgrounds work in a room together to design solutions (hacks) for a certain issue. In the case of Cultov8's incubation process this time, the issue is how technology may facilitate smoother settlement for people arriving in Australia as refugees or asylum seekers.

The most important element of any social issues hackathon is that people with lived experience of the issue CO-DESIGN solutions to the problems they have experienced.

A pre-accelerator program helps new teams originating from hackathons to consolidate and progress its idea/product or service to become attractive to further formal incubation, acceleration or investment.

The Cultov8 pre-accelerator achieves the goal of creating viable businesses by providing mentors, access to business networks, resources, knowledge and tools.

What's a pre-accelerator program?

We harness Australia's cultural, language and faith diversity to power the creation of innovative solutions to business or social issues. We do this by accelerating solutions which are created at hackathons.

What we do

Why we do it

Cultov8 is a hybrid of hackathon, online and face to face enterprise development.

We use weekly online discussion webinars, match mentors and hold full day Cultov8ion sessions including pitching for teams to come together to focus on working on their start up.

How it works

Hackathons are awesome! People form teams, come up with great ideas in 48 hours and work them into solutions. The problem is though that there's often no after-hackathon support so ideas fall over. That's where we come in. 

We nurture ideas for 10 weeks and then help teams to find ongoing support such as formalised incubators, accelerators or even venture capital if the team and idea are ready for investment.

The name Cultovate is an abbreviation of two words: intercultural innovation. The term represents the fostering of growth that occurs in new businesses and the innovation that comes from diverse thinking and decision making.  

Cultov8 is a pre-acceleration process created as a landing place for teams and solutions originating from hackathons.

What does intercultural actually


There are hundreds of studies and reports which demonstrate that bringing cultural diversity to the table is critical to creating innovative solutions to problems. 

We actively support the formation of teams with members from different language, cultural and faith backgrounds to see a problem from multiple perspectives - the more diverse the team, the more perspectives there are to contribute to a better solution.

There are a number of definitions for the term interculturalism but the one we use is by Lynda Ford:

At every opportunity, the intentional bringing together of people from diverse cultural, language and faith backgrounds which result in meaningful interactions which help people to:

- reduce fear

- increase understanding

- engage in conversations

- share experiences

- create new ideas and businesses

Why is intercultural innovation important?

For more info about interculturalism and how important it is for our future, see the awesome work the Council of Europe is doing via its Intercultural Cities Programme.

BALLARAT                 7 - 8   July 2018

BROADMEADOWS    17-18 February 2018

SUNSHINE                24-25 February 2018

DANDENONG           10-11 February 2018

SHEPPARTON          14-15  July 2018


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Frequently asked questions:

What happens at a hackathon?

A hackathon is a once-off event which is run over one weekend.

Hackathons are where people with ideas for a business work in a room together to design solutions (hacks) for a certain issue. The idea could be in any industry – fashion, technology, hospitality, agricultural, medical, education. Our focus is helping you to use technology to assist your business idea to come to life. The ideas are up to you.

From Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon, you will meet other people, forms teams to work on an idea, be matched with professional business coaches (we call them Enterprise Facilitators) volunteer mentors, eat good food, have fun and pitch sessions where you tell other people about your idea. 

The format for the hackathon will take you through every step of the process to come up with an idea and get it ready to become a business.


What happens next?

Ideas that come out of the hackathon can go into a twelve week accelerator program. 

Teams or individuals involved in the Cultov8 accelerator will have free coaching by experienced entrepreneurs, free mentoring by experienced people involved in marketing, financial management, technology, branding and other services to help your business start up.

If you were born overseas and you already have a business but want some help with it, you are welcome to attend the Cultov8 accelerator.

What is an accelerator program? How long will it run for? 

An accelerator program helps new businesses to get prepared for success. 

Over 12 weeks our Cultov8 accelerator will work with teams from Cultov8 hackathons (and other hackathons) to consolidate and progress your idea/product or service to become attractive to further formal incubation, acceleration or investment. 

The Cultov8 accelerator will provide Enterprise Facilitators, mentors, access to business networks, resources, knowledge and tools – all for free! 

What commitment is required? 


Each Cultov8 hackathon will be held from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon. 

You are able to come along if you are by yourself to form a team with others or if you are already part of a team and your team is made up of people who were born overseas, you are welcome to attend. 

If you don’t want to go ahead and run a business, you are still able to come to the hackathon. 

They’re fun and really interesting to be involved with as you’ll learn how to come up with ideas, how to make sure your idea will have customers and how you can create a business from your idea. You will also learn skills such as how to develop a website or app. 

 If you want to turn your idea into a business, you can join the Cultov8 accelerator. 


The Cultov8 accelerator will have a mix of online and face to face support with three full days over twelve weeks for teams to get together with their Enterprise Facilitator and other teams to learn more about running a business. 

How much extra work is required? 

The only work required for a hackathon is for you to attend! Over the weekend you’ll form teams to work together on an idea. 

Once the hackathon is over and you’ve decided that you want to turn your idea into a business, you will join the Cultov8 accelerator. 

This accelerator will require you to attend an online webinar (meeting) for one hour once a week. 

You will also be expected to attend three one day workshops which will be held on a Saturday from 9-5pm. 

We know already when we will hold the Cultov8 accelerator Cultov8tion workshops so please contact us if you would like to know the dates. 

If I complete this program where will it lead? 

The hackathons are a weekend for coming up with ideas. If you decided you don’t want to continue on to turn your idea into a business, then no further involvement is needed by you. 

You will have had a great weekend, been well fed, met interesting people and learnt a range of new skills and ideas. 

If you want to start or, if you were born overseas and want to continue a business you already have, you can join the Cultov8 accelerator program. 

We want every team from the Cultov8 accelerator to be successful. 

We will use our networks to help you, by the end of the 12 weeks, access longer term business incubator or accelerator programs. 

If any of the teams are ready for investment into their business, we will also help you to find an investor. 

Is there a financial commitment I need to make? 

No. All hackathons and accelerator programs are free. 

Can I catch public transport? 

We are finalising our venues at the moment and, if you have registered, will let you know the location. 

We expect that all our venues will be accessible by public transport. 

The venue will also be accessible to people who are in wheelchairs or have walking frames. 

What about food or places to worship? 

All food will be halal and a range of dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten/dairy-free will be taken into account when we arrange catering. 

We will have a prayer room available. 

Is there adult supervision? Do they have credentials to work with young people? 

Yes there is adult supervision. There will be at least 4 adults in the room at any time supervising participants. 

As a parent or guardian, you are also welcome to attend at any time. 

Although participants will be 18-30 years, all of the adults in the room have current Victorian Government Working with Children checks and are suitable to work with children. 

Parents are always welcome to ring us on 0423 496 667 (Celestine). 

What if I can’t make a weekend? 

You need to be able to attend the whole weekend hackathon from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon so that you don’t let your team mates down. 

However, if you already have a business and you were born overseas, you are welcome to join the Cultov8 accelerator program from the first week.

BALLARAT                 7 - 8   July 2018

BROADMEADOWS    17-18 February 2018

SUNSHINE                24-25 February 2018

DANDENONG           10-11 February 2018

SHEPPARTON          14-15  July 2018

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