Today, tech innovators around Australia can now apply for funds, resources and support all year round from Optus‐Innov8 Seed, an early‐stage investment collaboration between Optus and SingTel Innov8. This change from a bi‐yearly application model, along with showcase events for startups launching in December 2013, will provide more chances for entrepreneurs to get a leg up that could shoot them into startup stardom.
Already we have seen a number of success stories emerging out of Optus-Innov8 with the recently launched Omny by 121cast and Venuemob who have closed rounds of funding and experienced significant levels of traction in the last 12 months.
“Through feedback from the startup community, we’re evolving the Optus‐Innov8 Seed model to offer support to startups when they need it.” says Peter Huynh, Director, Optus‐Innov8 Seed. “Early‐stage entrepreneurs have immediate needs for funding and support. Now we’re open all year long, startups now have the freedom to approach us when the timing is right for them.”
Optus have been a key supporter of the Australian startup space over the last 2 years at a grass roots level, it is obvious the company sees many of those doing new and innovative things today as their corporate customers of the future. They want to play a key role in helping to bring the startup eco-system closer. Optus-Innov8 have said that “Forming networks and relationships is crucial to hitting the big time, so Optus‐Innov8 Seed is launching a series of showcase events to help startups meet key industry players. Bringing early‐stage startups together with corporates, investors and fellow innovators in a casual setting will look to spark some useful connections that could lead to partnerships, investments and future opportunities”.
Huynh says, “In working with early‐stage startups over the last 18 months, we’ve really come to understand their priorities. The Optus‐Innov8 Seed showcase events aim to get key industry players together to connect and hopefully form fruitful business relationships. The reality is that for startups, customers and partners are just as important as funding.”
“There are already some fantastic incubators, accelerators and co‐working spaces in Australia. We think the best way Optus can contribute is to provide opportunities for the community to come together.”