Amazon Australia has launched a new initiative to recognise innovation by local startups, entrepreneurs and SMBs, by awarding five grant packages.
Each grant 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 SMBs; and insights from angel investors in the Venture Capital community.
Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants responds to new Amazon research which found that 92% of Australian SMBs are optimistic about the ability to grow and innovate over the next 12 months.
The research reveals that Australian SMBs have been innovating in times of uncertainty – with 28% of SMBs noting isolation helped them innovate for the future, refresh their business plan (35%) or focus on creativity (38%).
During this time, approximately one quarter of SMBs also said they were able to innovate by exploring new revenue streams or launching online. Further, around 1 in 6 said they innovated by creating new products or transforming their products whilst 1 in 5 planned for or built a new business or product strategy to move forward.
Amazon Australia head of Launchpad, Chadd Ciccarelli said, “More than a quarter of SMBs (29%) said that the lack of available funding is the biggest barrier to innovating or growing the business for the remainder of 2020 and more than half (55%) 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. In the first year since launch, we’ve worked closely with many startups, entrepreneurs and small business owners to launch cutting-edge products on Amazon Launchpad as part of Amazon.com.au.
“Over the past few months, 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.”
To help select the Amazon Launchpad Grant Recipients, Amazon Launchpad has recruited two SMB experts; Carl Hartmann, Serial Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of non-alcoholic company Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirts and Renae Smith of healthy baking goods brand, Bake Mixes.