To support small business and startup innovation, Amazon Australia has created the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants. Five grant packages will be awarded, valued at more than $80,000 each. The grants are open to small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs.
Chadd Ciccarelli, Head of Launchpad, Amazon Australia said more than a quarter of SMBs (29 per cent) identified a lack of available funding is the biggest barrier to innovating or growing the business for the remainder of 2020.
“More than half (55 per cent) lacked guidance or mentorship during this time. We hope that the new Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants will catapult a new wave of small businesses who have evolved during this time to continue creating and transforming products,” he said.
“In the first year since launch, we’ve worked closely with many start-ups, entrepreneurs and small business owners to launch cutting-edge products on Amazon Launchpad as part of Amazon.com.au.
“Over the past few months in particular, we’ve seen Australian SMBs lean even further into innovation to grow their businesses and we’re looking forward to seeing how the grants will enable these creative minds to further this innovation for the future.”
Each Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants package is worth more than $80,000 and includes a $20,000 cash grant, Amazon and AWS marketing support, and exclusive access to mentors such as Amazon leadership and entrepreneur experts from Australia and HQ in Seattle; time with successful e-commerce savvy Australian small businesses; and insights from angel investors in the venture capital community.
Amazon Launchpad has recruited Carl Hartmann, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of non-alcoholic company Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits; and Renae Smith of healthy baking goods brand, Bake Mixes to help judge the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grant recipients.
Hartmann said he knows now how exciting yet tough the startup journey is, especially this year with the economic impacts of the last few months.
“I’m honoured to work with Amazon Launchpad and award the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants to help small to medium businesses across Australia grow,” he said.
“I know the grant packages will go a long way in funding continued innovation as we’re on the road to recovery.”
Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants are open now and close on Monday, August 24, at 11.59pm. Applications can be found at Amazon.com.au/launchpad.
The five Amazon Launchpad grant recipients will be announced in September 2020.