SingTel Innov8 and Optus launch new seed program for Australian startups
June 21, 2012 by Terence LEE
SingTel Innov8, the venture capital arm of SingTel, has joined forces with Australian telco Optus to start an Australian Seed Program to take young digital startups to the next stage and help them expand into Asia.
This Optus-Innov8 Seed Program will provide Australian startups with seed funding, mentoring, networking and co-working spaces. It will invest up to A$250,000 per startup.
Optus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SingTel, is also partnering with Fishburners in Sydney and York Butter Factory in Melbourne to provide the co-working spaces, which will hold regular events to connect budding entrepreneurs with industry experts and potential investors.
The program seeks early stage startups 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.
Startups that want to sign up must be a registered company that is based in Australia. They must have established a team, developed solid business strategies, and be able to demonstrate a working prototype.
Entrepreneurs can be referred for the program from July via incubators or accelerators. They can also apply directly via ‘pitch events’ at Fishburners and York Butter Factory throughout the year. The first session will happen in late July. Details will be announced soon.
The scheme is designed to help keep talent on Australian shores and encourage locals to grow their businesses within the country, said Austin Bryan, vice president, digital communities and ecosystems, SingTel and Optus.
SingTel has been pushing to expand its services beyond the traditional telco front, and this program is part of that drive. It even has a Digital L!fe that is dedicated to online and mobile ventures.
Startups that receive assistance from the telco can potentially tap on its 445 million mobile customers in the region.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE