Optus partners with One10 and Foundation for Young Australians to run social enterprise program

- March 18, 2016 2 MIN READ

Social impact accelerator One10 has partnered with Optus to support the Future Makers program, an innovation challenge looking to fund social enterprises solving the issues facing vulnerable or disadvantaged youth, young people aged between 4 and 26 who face significant challenges to reach their full potential.

The program is calling for applications that focus on the issues of either employment, education, wellbeing, cyber education, or safety, with the projects entered needing to leverage technology in some way.

Shortlisted applicants will take part in an accelerator program delivered by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), where they will be given access to mentoring and networking opportunities, before pitching to a panel of judges for one of six funding grants of $50,000.

Geoff Gourley, founder of One10, said his team helped put together the application process and judging criteria, helping clarify what the program should be looking for in terms of the enterprises it wants to fund. Gourley will also sit on the demo day judging panel.

“They will go into an accelerator or incubator program, if you like, mainly led by FYA, then One10 will come in and deliver very specific parts of that, particularly around capital raising, validating the idea, the technology, and the impact, and also setting forward the pathway for those enterprises that do get the grants,” Gourley said.

“We will look at what the next steps should be, how they will deploy that money, what will they use it for, how they will scale and start to develop that business and go to market.”

With Gourley having launched One10 late last year after developing a passion for social enterprise through his green energy business NuGreens Solutions, he welcomed the entrance of Optus and other corporates in the space and the opportunities their funding provides.

As more look to get involved, One10 is developing a program to help corporates better manage their grants and “make sure that their money is having a good impact.”

“The program will help them in innovation, in grant management, and in hackathons. Our framework really helps corporates who want to have a purpose but don’t know the best way to go about it because it’s not their core business,” he said.

Earlier this month One10 revealed the first startup that will be taking part in its accelerator program. One10 also invested an undisclosed amount in the startup, Health Delivered, explaining that the accelerator is not working through the traditional model of giving participants a set amount of seed funding in exchange for a set amount of equity. Instead, One10 is working with each startup to reach a figure. A number of participants are set to be announced after Easter.

Learn more about the Future Makers program here.

Image: Geoff Gourley.