SingTel Optus, the Australian subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), has teamed up with SingTel Innov8, to launch a startup seed funding programme, dubbed the Optus Innov8 Seed Program, for Australian startups. In its first year, the programme will invest up to A$250,000 per startup in a total of eight startups in the pre-Series A round. Shortlisted startups will also get co-working spaces to share ideas and host events to network with industry experts and potential investors, said a press release. The selection process will begin in July.
To be eligible for the Optus Innov8 Seed Program, startups must be incorporated as Australian companies, have an established team, developed solid business strategies, be able to demonstrate a working prototype and meet the programme’s key digital focus areas. Leveraging SingTel’s 445 million mobile subscriber base, the programme will also help startups expand in the Asia-Pacific region. The programme will also look to bring co-investors on board.
“There is tremendous talent in the Australian market and we expect to invest in up to eight Australian startups in the first year,” Edgar Hardless, CEO, SingTel Innov8, said in the press release issued on Wednesday. Startups can be referred by incubators and accelerators. Pitch events will be held from late July.
The program is supported by incubators such as Pollenizer, Pushstart and AngelCube. The programme is looking to fund startups in the areas of mobility and convergence, with a focus on industry verticals including health, education and media. The programme is the latest initiative from SingTel Group Digital Life to promote innovation and support the group’s expansion into new areas in the digital space.
Image Courtesy: Optus Innov8 Seed Program