Global retailer Amazon has announced the launch of an Australian accelerator program, with the aim of helping local start-ups and entrepreneurs use its retail infrastructure to fast-track their growth.
Amazon Launchpad, as the program is known, will feature around 150 Australian and overseas businesses to scale up the sale of their uniquely Australian-flavoured products.
According to Amazon, the chosen businesses will receive marketing, merchandising and fulfilment support from Amazon’s own network and internal expertise, as well as customised product packaging.
“Australian inventors and entrepreneurs are responsible for some of the most innovative consumer products in the world, from the electric drill right through to Vegemite. We’re excited to work with the next generation of local entrepreneurs on bringing their innovative products to millions of customers,” Amazon’s Australian country manager, Rocco Braeuniger, said.
“We know that product creation is only one part of the equation in launching a product, and that marketing, logistics and finding an audience can be just as challenging.
“With Amazon Launchpad, we have a program that will help ease some of these challenges for start-ups and entrepreneurs alike, allowing them to focus on growing their businesses and freeing up time for future innovation.”
Ben Lazzaro, chief executive of the Australian Made Campaign, said he hoped the program will be a significant boost for Australian manufacturers.
“It has the potential to provide enormous opportunity for Australian manufacturers looking to leverage Amazon Australia’s growing e-commerce offering and expand their reach, while making genuine Aussie products more accessible to consumers,” Mr Lazzaro said.
Launchpad will also include profiles for each business, incorporating videos and photos, which will help founders “tell their story and connect with customers in a more personal way”.
Among the Australian businesses — many of which are already recognisable brands in their own right — to feature on the Launchpad include sugar-free beverages maker Nexba, ethical surfwear brand Salt Gypsy, men’s hair and skincare maker VITAMAN, and consumer goods incubator Beach House Group.
“We’ve had huge success in leveraging Amazon Launchpad in the US to grow customer purchases, in part due to the marketing support we receive from the Amazon Launchpad team. We are excited to ‘return home’ and bring our products to Aussies from skincare to stationery via the Australian Launchpad store,” said Beach House Group co-founder Lance Kalish.
“With the support of Launchpad, we also have more time to focus on our love of innovation and how we can bring the next big thing to market.”
Other brands featured on the Launchpad site include Razormate, Koala Eco, memobottle, Express Pods, Forest Super Foods, Little Urchin and Bee Wrappy.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.