Optus has created a new program that aims to drive the potential for social change through technology.
Named the Future Makers program, it aims to support entrepreneurs, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations with innovative technological ideas that could help address challenges faced by vulnerable young Australians.
After an application process, the telco will deliver an accelerator program for 12 shortlisted candidates whereby the applicants can access industry mentors and networking opportunities to aid them in developing their ideas and creating a pitch before presenting to a panel.
Six winners will be selected to receive up to $50,000 each in funding to use within six months to drive progress behind the idea in shaping the future for disadvantaged youth.
Ideas will address either employability, education, cyber education and safety, or well-being through the use of technology.
Optus associate director of corporate social responsibility, Helen Maisano, said, “Investing in digital innovation and building a better future for Australia’s vulnerable youth is a key focus for Optus. As the technological landscape continues to shift and evolve, it is essential we provide support to those working hard to make a real difference in the area.”
“Optus Future Makers program is a significant step towards enabling Australia’s innovative minds to make a positive social impact through the use of technology solutions. We’re mainly looking for game-changers with ideas and systems that are almost ready to go,” she added.