Free Money In The Land Down Under: Entrepreneurial Program Begins

There is no such thing as free money.

But this might come close. A group of Australian angels and startup execs hope to jump-start entrepreneurialism in the land down under. So they’re kicking off StartMate, a Sydney-based mentorship program with a twist – $25,000 of capital to get started.

The three-month program began accepting applications two weeks ago. And while no numbers are being released, the “response has been great from the applications received so far (and the) conversations started,” says Niki Scevak, the founder of the online search service Homethinking and a member of the StartMate mentorship team.

The program’s aim is to inspire more Aussies to start companies, as well as to capitalize on a growing class of Australian entrepreneurs now turning into angel investors.

StartMate says it is looking for seed ideas in Web or mobile environments with transactional models at their heart. Social games and mobile apps are ok. So are direct-response advertising plans.

Applicants need to be technical in nature, interested in building lean businesses and located near Sydney (sorry Perth).

Five winning startups will be selected for the three months of mentorship, as well as a trip to Silicon Valley.

With that, let me say good luck, bonne chance and let the games begin.