SA reboots with Break.Make.Create

Posted: May 20, 2014

Break.Make.Create is South Africa’s newest hackathon, launched to not only improve the skills set of the marketing industry, but give all creative, technical-minded and innovative thinkers the chance to tinker, craft and play.

The initiative will kick-off with its inaugural event, organised by Hellocomputer, in Cape Town, 2014’s Design World Capital, on June 5 and 6.

No stranger to hacks, Hellocomputer launched a series of mini hackathons in 2012. During these, teams of creatives, tech heads and even some very inspired kids hacked computers, home appliances and other odds and ends to make incredible things happen.

Like in Hack for Kids, where Scalextric cars moved according to how many vegetables kids were eating, and pillows that could actually keep score in a pillow fight. In Hack for Fun, a hamster cage was rigged with all kinds of hamster-friendly sensors that would tweet according to the pet’s position.

These 48 hour hackathons provided plenty of laughs, learnings, awkward selfies and inspired end-products. They also were the spur for several innovative ideas Hellocomputer took to market – like a tweeting badger, or an outdoor website.

What makes Break.Make.Create different? Well, while other hackathons have been smaller, and closed to the public, this one is open to anyone with an innovative mind and a flask of coffee.

The theme is music, and with R10 000 going to the winners – and judges like Rob Ford, funder and principal of The FWA Network, and Ryan McManus, executive creative director of Native – the competition should be fierce. But even if you don’t win, you might have the next big idea for one of your clients.

“If coffee-fueled, all-out creative, anything goes, musical madness and mayhem is something that interests you, then you’re exactly what we’re looking for to make this the first in a long line of hack events across the country,” said Hellocomputer group executive creative director, Mark Tomlinson.

“As with previous hackathons, Break.Make.Create will take shape with two straight days of building, breaking, modeling, sketching and creating the ultimate hack with music as its backbone.”

“The Hellocomputer Hackathon was launched to celebrate a ‘do anything’ attitude, one that would see the teams combining simple technology and inspired creativity to produce ground-breaking results,” said Simon Spreckley, executive creative director.

“That’s the way we have approached every brief at Hellocomputer from the outset, and we wanted to foster this philosophy on an industry level.

“With Break.Make.Create, we’re taking the concept to the broader industry and to the public, and we can’t wait to see what creative forces that unleashes!”

If you’re keen to participate, go to and enter or join a team. For those wanting to participate, but not in Cape Town, there will be a satellite hack complete with video Skype-in for judging in Johannesburg at 47 Juta Street Braamfontein. More information is on