The past year has witnessed much churn in the Indian startup ecosystem. Many big-name startups have struggled with mass lay-offs, withdrawal of international investment, and some plain old losses in their businesses.
Such news may have discouraged many from pursuing their start-up dreams. All that may change now. Earlier this week, the e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com Inc, through its global startup initiative Amazon Launchpad, announced a major start-up challenge in Bengaluru, partnering up with hardware accelerator HAX and community crowdfunding site Kickstarter.
Applications for the Startup C-Cube challenge will be accepted until January 15, 2018. Before registering for the challenge, this VCCircle report states that applicants must fulfil certain criteria—present a software-enabled hardware product that can serve a large customer base, a “looks-like and works-like” prototype and have already received pre-Series A funding. The competition will announce its winner on January 31.
“This is an opportunity for Indian startups to get access to big consumer markets nationally and internationally. There is a booming entrepreneurial culture in India, and through Amazon Launchpad, we hope to augment this in the Indian youth and contribute to the India story,” said Sateesh Kumar Srinivasan, Director and Global Head of Amazon Launchpad.
The winning start-up will have its product transition from conception to launch across markets in India, the United States and Europe, contingent on the scalability of their idea. Also, the winner will also receive $500,000 worth of funding for product development.
For the winner, this presents a unique opportunity to receive all the necessary technical support, training and mentorship from the three partner companies in expanding their product and brand.
For starters, the winning start-up will receive a three-month training programme in HAX’s workspace in Shenzhen, China, and take lessons from over 50 international mentors. Once the programme concludes the start-up will be subject to an intense and rigorous ‘go-to-market’ training camp in San Francisco, a mecca for startups, where it will also receive $375,000 in investment aid.
In the next stage, the start-up will have the opportunity to create a campaign on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform. With over 13 million backers, Kickstarter is in a unique position to provide the startup with the necessary exposure. The crowdfunding platform will also assist the startup on public relations and marketing strategies.
Amazon Launchpad will then take it from there and usher the startup’s product for launch across markets in US, EU and India, taking into account the scalability of the idea.