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Amazon bets on startups to remain ahead of curve

Jason Feldman, director, global innovations at Amazon, says they want to help startups make unique products that can then be sold on Amazon’s store in India and abroad.

business Updated: Dec 06, 2016 14:49 IST
Sunny Sen
Amazon

Jason Feldman, director, global innovations at Amazon, says they want to help startups make unique products that can then be sold on Amazon’s store in India and abroad.

Seeking to encourage innovation and remain ahead of the curve, Amazon launched startup accelerator programme Launchpad on Monday.

Jason Feldman, director, global innovations at Amazon, says they want to help startups make unique products that can then be sold on Amazon’s store in India and abroad.

Of the 25 products from India that are sold on Amazon are reusable diapers, solar lamp, traditional tea and sweets, a smart watch that tells the children’s whereabouts.

While these products help build Amazon’s selection – one of the three pillars of growth, the other two being low price and fast delivery – they help startups access a marketplace with billions of buyers worldwide.

“The retail market is so fragmented that getting exposure for a startup is difficult,” Feldman said. “We are also removing the barriers that prevent these startups from going global.”

But selling is just one part of Launchpad. As the name suggests, it also helps startups connect with venture capital firms, crowdfunding services, accelerators and incubators. Amazon has partnered with a 100 of them.

In India, Amazon has roped in Startup India, NASSCOM 10K and Indian Angel Network (IAN) and others to help identify and enrol startups.

It is also starting a mentorship programme to educate startups on products, funding and resources. “India will be a test market for this,” said Feldman.

This is also an opportunity for Indian startups to get the attention of large global investors such as Andreesen Horowitz and Y Combinator.

“It’s yet another way Amazon fosters an ecosystem of invention and creativity,” Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz said during the launch of the programme in the US last year.