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Christmas is coming early for startups across Australia, and it’s sticking around thanks to Optus-Innov8 Seed


Christmas comes just once a year. That is, unless you happen to be an innovative startup .

Now, startup funding can happen all year long with a little help from Optus-Innov8 Seed, which previously adopted a bi-yearly investment schedule.
Optus-Innov8 Seed is an early‐stage investment collaboration between Optus and SingTel Innov8.

With the roll out of the new program comes the change from a bi‐yearly application model, along with showcase events for startups launching in December 2013, which will provide more chances for entrepreneurs to get a leg up that could be the boost needed to launch them into startup stardom.

Open for business all year round

Now that the application process is open throughout the year, innovators from all around the country can apply for funding when they’re ready.

Peter Huynh, Director, Optus‐Innov8 Seed said, “Through feedback from the startup community, we’re evolving the Optus‐Innov8 Seed model to offer support to startups when they need it.”

“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.”

Bringing the startup ecosystem closer

You know by now 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 is intended to spark some useful connections that lead to partnerships, investments and future opportunities for the lucky startups.

Huynh added, “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.”

The showcase events will commence in December (just in time for the Christmas, no less) this year, with each focusing on specific investment themes.

121cast and VenueMob move forward with Optus‐Innov8 Seed

Two startups already going places are 121cast and VenueMob, both with the support of Optus-Innov8 Seed.

  • 121cast recently launched Omny, reinventing radio by delivering a personalised audio feed for listening on the go.
  • VenueMob, a startup that gives party people the power to find, compare and book functions, has expanded to include hundreds of venue partners in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Huynh said, “121cast and VenueMob are both examples of great local startups that have gone to the next level and we’re proud to be with them on the journey. When they’re ready to expand overseas, we’ll be able to help them through our relationship with the SingTel Group and our startup support initiatives throughout Asia.”

Okay Tiny Tim, are you a startup in need this holiday season?

If you need funding, Optus-Innov8 Seed may be the Santa Clause you want to see this holiday season, and beyond.

But the giving doesn’t stop there. The program also connects startups with networks, co-working spaces, and mentors to help them realise their goals. And that sounds like the kind of gift that will keep on giving.

More information and application details can be found at the spanking new Optus-Innov8 Seed website.