Optus and Singapore’s SingTel Innov8 have launched an Australian Seed Program that will offer up to $250,000 in funding to support early stage digital start-ups in taking their business to the next level.
The Optus Innov8 Seed Program gives Australian start-ups access to seed funding, mentoring, networking and dedicated co-working spaces to support their business growth and progression to Series A funding. Backed the SingTel Group’s corporate venture capital fund, the program will provide up to A$250,000 in funding per start-up investment and aims to provide a potential platform for budding entrepreneurs to take their ideas to the Asian market.
The program will support early stage start-ups with innovative or disruptive digital solutions, either in proof of concept or advanced development stage, in the areas of mobility and convergence, with a focus on health, education and media.
Fishburners in Sydney and York Butter Factory in Melbourne will provide the selected start-ups with dedicated co-working spaces to share ideas and host regular events to connect start-ups with industry experts and potential investors.
Austin R. Bryan, Vice President, Digital Communities and Ecosystems, SingTel and Optus, says the Seed Program has been launched to further accelerate digital innovation in Australia, help keep talent on our shores and make it easier for start-ups to source local funding and support in the early development stages.
“As Australia moves into a digital economy, we believe we can add the most value to this community by providing access to funding and partnering with leading start-up co-working spaces and incubators to build a support network and co-investment opportunities,” Bryan explains. “We’ll continue to evolve the program based on feedback and hope it will give local talent an incentive to grow their business within Australia, and serve as a stepping stone to venture capital funding.”
To be eligible for the program, start-ups must be a registered company and based in Australia and have established a team, developed solid business strategies, be able to demonstrate a working prototype and meet the program’s key digital focus areas. Start-ups can be referred for the program from July via incubators or accelerators, or apply directly via ‘pitch events’ to be held at Fishburners and York Butter Factory through-out the year. The first of these pitch events will be held in late-July, with details to be announced shortly.
For more info visit the program’s website.
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