The Optus-Innov8's seed program has made its inaugural investments in the Australian start-up scene, with the first sets of funding going to 121cast and Venuemob, both of which launched this year.

The program is designed to support local early-stage start-ups in taking their business to the next level by providing funding, mentoring, networking and dedicated co-working spaces.

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121cast is the Melbourne-based start-up behind SoundGecko, a service that converts text into spoken words.

Venuemob is an information and booking service for a hand-picked selection of bars, restaurants, reception centres, and function rooms in Melbourne.

"The first round of the Optus-Innov8 Seed Program received a number of impressive entries that showcased remarkable ideas and concepts," SingTel Group Digital L!fe digital communities and ecosystems vice-president, Austin Bryan, said.

"This really validates our view that the start-up community in Australia is bursting with talent and we are proud to offer them the opportunity to take their concepts to the next level."

The companies were recognised for ingenuity and standing out in the pitch round which featured entries from all over Australia.

121cast raised a total of $250,000, led by SingTel Innov8 and co-invested by Adventure Capital, while Venuemob raised a total of $450,000, also led by SingTel Innov8.

The Seed Program will re-open its application process in January 2013. Information can be found on the Optus-Innov8 Seed Program website.

Follow Nermin Bajric on Twitter: @nermin_au