Telstra has launched its startup accelerator program, Muru-D, in Singapore in a bid to attract the region's best digital talent.
Applications will open in May for ten technology startups from across Southeast Asia to be recruited for the inaugural six-month accelerator program, which begins in August 2015.
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The successful startups will receive SGD$40,000 in seed capital, space in Muru-D Singapore's central business district office and introductions to mentors, coaches and investors.
Muru-D co-founder, Annie Parker, said Singapore was the ideal location for its second startup accelerator following the successful launch of its first accelerator in Sydney in October 2013.
"With its fast-developing startup ecosystem, pro-business policies and access to local capital, Singapore offers entrepreneurs a tremendous launch pad into Southeast Asia, which has a burgeoning population of more than 600 million people and GDP in excess of SGD$2.4 trillion," she said.
"The program will help accelerate technology innovation throughout Southeast Asia and we look forward to, not only attracting the best digital talent but, critically, creating the right conditions for their long-term success." The first nine Australian-based startups have already attracted more than $3 million in follow-on funding.
Muru-D is one of a number of growth businesses under Telstra Software Group -- led by Charlotte Yarkoni, who is the other co-Founder of Muru-D.
The Singapore accelerator program is the latest avenue for the Telstra Software Group to grow its global footprint, following recent acquisitions and partnerships across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States, including Silicon Valley-based video delivery platform, Ooyala.
Parker said Muru-D was "paying it forward" to the rapidly expanding Southeast Asian startup community.
"As industry leaders, we must be visionary to cultivate exceptional talent and nimble to adapt in a rapidly changing marketplace," she said.
"This program provides us access to some of the world's most exciting new startups, ideas and approaches to doing business, and we will do everything to help them on their way."
Head of Infocomm Investments, Dr Alex Lin, said Muru-D's entry into Singapore's close-knit community of entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators and corporate partners was a positive addition to the country's growing pool of scalable technology companies.
Infocomm Investments is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.
"We strongly believe the accelerator model is the best way to help high impact tech startups mature in the shortest possible time," Lin said.
"It is strategic that Telstra is investing valuable corporate resources to support Muru-D's expansion, leveraging business and innovation opportunities throughout Singapore, as the country continues on its journey to become a truly Smart Nation.
Muru-D Singapore will be headed by Joseph Ziegler, entrepreneur-in-Residence, and Jamie Camidge, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances.
Ziegler has more than 20 years' experience in building and exiting startups, while Camidge is an experienced corporate strategy executive at Telstra.
The ten successful applicants from across Southeast Asia will be announced on August 2015, following a pan-Asian roadshow.