Fishburners x Optus Scholarship Program 2023 empowers early stage founders
Earlier this year the Fishburners x Optus Scholarship Program 2023 was launched with the aim of supporting the growth of early stage founders and fostering innovation within the startup ecosystem. This inaugural collaborative initiative between Fishburners, Australia's largest startup community, and Optus, a leading telecommunications provider, was set to provide selected founders with a comprehensive package of resources, mentorship, and opportunities.
The scholarship program, spanning 12 months, offers an array of benefits to the chosen founder. Access to Fishburners' thriving community, state-of-the-art facilities, and extensive resources will be provided, enabling them to connect with fellow entrepreneurs and industry experts. Additionally, the recipient will receive mentorship from Optus, gaining valuable insights and guidance from subject matter experts. An exciting opportunity awaits the winner at the Optus 5G Innovation Hub, where they can test their product and explore its capabilities.
This year, a record-breaking 69 founders applied for the scholarship, reflecting the immense interest and talent within the startup community. Notably, there was a considerable presence of sustainability tech and health tech startups among the applicants, showcasing a strong commitment to addressing global challenges and creating positive societal impact.
Cos Luccitti, the founder of Pelos Group, emerged as the winner of the Fishburners x Optus Scholarship Program 2023. Pelos Group has developed an Australian-first wireless power technology aimed at revolutionising the renewable energy infrastructure. This deep tech venture has the potential to modernise power generation, storage, and distribution, thereby addressing a critical global challenge. Fishburners recognised the unique nature of Pelos Group's solution and the value it brings to the deep tech space.
As the recipient of the scholarship, Cos Luccitti received a one-year Dedicated Membership at Fishburners, valued at over $7,000. This comprehensive package includes a dedicated desk, access to startup ecosystem events, the Founders Hub platform with over 100 mentors and exclusive content, as well as perks and discounts to key services and products. Additionally, Luccitti will benefit from six mentoring sessions facilitated by Optus subject matter experts and gain the opportunity to test the product and explore capabilities at the Optus 5G Innovation Hub. Cos Luccitti initially applied to the program for three key reasons:
1. "Being a proud and active member of the Fishburners community will give the Pelos Group (and our technology) visibility that’s so hard to garner as a deep-tech early stage venture in Australia.
2. It will also be an opportunity to share learnings and establish supportive connections with other like-minded people and companies who are pushing boundaries.
3. As a four-time start-up founder, I’d also like to give back and help first-time founders on their journey.”
Early stage founders face numerous obstacles on their entrepreneurial journey, and the Fishburners x Optus Scholarship Program is designed to alleviate these challenges. Building a strong and resourceful community is crucial, especially for founders who are new to the ecosystem or working in industries with limited visibility. The scholarship provides a valuable network of like-minded individuals, offering support, resources, and mentorship that can make or break an early stage founder's success. Access to content, ecosystem events, and startup tools' perks and discounts further empower founders to overcome obstacles and accelerate their startup journey.
Supporting founders at an early stage is pivotal for a thriving innovation ecosystem. By reducing barriers and creating opportunities, we can foster a diverse range of solutions and entrepreneurs. It is crucial to open doors constantly and provide ongoing support, ensuring that talented individuals can innovate and shape a better future for all.
The Fishburners x Optus Scholarship Program 2023 represents a significant commitment to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit and driving innovation in Australia. As the recipient, Cos Luccitti and Pelos Group are poised to make substantial contributions to the renewable energy infrastructure sector, showcasing the transformative potential of startups in solving global challenges.
As the macroeconomic environment shifts, key collaborations and innovative programs such as these are vital to driving innovation and supporting the early-stage entrepreneurial community.