The second season of the Optus Innov8 Seed Program, which kicks off later this month, attracted 92 applications, up from around 70 applications for the first season.
There were 44 applications from NSW, 23 from Victoria, nine from South Australia, seven from Queensland, four from WA, and one each from Canberra and Hobart.
There were also a few applications from Australian start-ups based overseas. But with only 10 spots available, competition was fierce.
Each of the 92 applications was reviewed by at least three different people, and the applications that made it through to the shortlist were reviewed by no less than seven people.
The following start-ups will attend a pitch day on February 26:
- Pocketbook aims to make personal finance “ridiculously simple”.
- Shiftr offers simple, mobile-based shift-changing for casual employees.
- Kinderloop connects parents to childcare professionals at preschools using mobile devices.
- Moore’s Cloud designs connected, intelligent, easy-to-use Internet of Things devices and apps.
- Ollo Mobile has made an advanced, wearable, mobile phone, which connects seniors or children to their family in seconds.
- Good Call (formerly known as Sales Team) is a marketplace of trusted, professional outbound salespeople from around the globe.
- RecruitLoop gives employers a smarter way to hire by automating and outsourcing any part of the recruitment process, on-demand.
- Stackla is a social media aggregation and curation software-as-a-service tool for businesses.
- Storyberg helps app developers measure the impact of every feature release.
- OrionVM is a developer of cloud technology that powers public, private and hybrid clouds.
It’s worth noting Shiftr, Kinderloop and Storyberg are also participating in the 2013 Startmate program.
Late last year, tech start-ups Venuemob and 121cast pocketed a total of $700,000 as a result of their participation in the Optus Innov8 Seed Program.
Bosco Tan, who co-founded Pocketbook with Alvin Singh, told StartupSmart there are several reasons why Pocketbook applied for the program.
“They’re looking for a company that’s based in Australia and looking to expand locally before going overseas. And the money is good,” Tan says.
“The other one is it feels like the right corporate innovation model to work with – it has a slightly lighter touch.
“The mentoring that we think we’re going to get from people that have done it [was also attractive].”
Tan believes Pocketbook was chosen for the program partly because of its traction.
“We’re able to build up a fairly loyal base… That’s helped us,” he says.
Singh points out Pocketbook is also solving a universal problem.
“It’s a big market we’re going after and there’s not that many people going after this market,” he says.