AMAZON LAUNCHPAD, HAX AND KICKSTARTER’S STARTUP C-CUBE CHALLENGE KICKS-OFF

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Mr. Priyank Kharge, IT, BT and Tourism Minister, Government of Karnataka interacting with Amazon Launchpad startups in Bengaluru.

AMAZON LAUNCHPAD, HAX AND KICKSTARTER’S STARTUP C-CUBE CHALLENGE KICKS-OFF

REWARD OF $500,000 ANNOUNCED FOR THE WINNING STARTUP
CHALLENGE LAUNCHED ON AMAZON LAUNCHPAD’S ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY AIMED AT HELPING INDIA’S PRODUCT START-UP COMMUNITY

Bengaluru : A first-of-its-kind global collaborative initiative between Amazon Launchpad, HAX (world’s biggest hardware accelerator) and Kickstarter (world’s largest crowd funding community) witnessed the official kick-off of Startup C-Cube, a multi-level challenge for Indian start-ups in Bengaluru today. The winning startup of the challenge will not only get support from the three organisations in its entire “concept-to-customer” journey but will also be provided resources for launch – both in India and in Europe/US, depending on the scalability of the idea. Additionally, the winning startup will receive a set of benefits valued at $500,000 to support its product journey. In partnership with HAX and Kickstarter, Amazon Launchpad aims to help the Indian startup community connect with like minds, showcase their ideas and help grow those ideas into real business opportunities.

The Startup C-Cube challenge was flagged off in the presence of Mr. Priyank Kharge, IT, BT and Tourism Minister, Government of Karnataka, who was the Chief Guest at the event. Speaking about the challenge, he said, “This competition is a great way to encourage entrepreneurship among the many aspiring start-ups in our country. It’s a great way to not only showcase innovative ideas but to also get mentored by three of the best partners in the start-up space. The government of Karnataka is also committed to provide the most favourable environment for investments and acceleration across all verticals to ensure we remain on top in technology and innovation. With their rich experience and deep understanding of consumers, Amazon Launchpad program can really make a difference in facilitating these talented start-ups take advantage of the growing digital economy and e-commerce.”

Commenting about Amazon Launchpad, Sateesh Srinivasan, Director and Global head of Amazon Launchpad said, “We have witnessed tremendous success with Amazon Launchpad on a global scale and are delighted to see the positive reception in India. 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.”

In the first phase of its Concept-to-Consumer journey, HAX will provide the winning startup 3 months’ work space in Shenzhen, China along with expert mentoring from a pool of over 50 international mentors; a 6week ‘go-to-market’ boot camp in San Francisco and investment support of $375,000. In the second phase, Kickstarter will provide a campaign strategist to give one-to-one advice on campaign messaging, promotion, PR, marketing, fulfilment and more, along with access to its community of 13 million backers.

Finally, Amazon Launchpad will help the winning startup gain visibility with marketing exposure and account management and support the winner for launch, both in India and in Europe/US, depending on the scalability of the idea.

“We’re thrilled to participate in this initiative to learn more about the Indian startup community, with our partners Hax and Amazon Launchpad. Indian backers have pledged nearly $5M to projects on Kickstarter in the last few years, and this ongoing dialogue between creators and backers is changing what new products get made, how they are produced, and who has the resources to make them. This has shown us there is a huge appetite for innovation in the region, and we hope this programme can help grow it further,” said Heather Corcoran, Technology Outreach Lead at Kickstarter

Alan Clayton, Head of Entrepreneur Development, HAX said, “The SOSV funded HAX program has graduated hundreds of hardware entrepreneurs around the world; many of whom have gone on to raise substantial funds on the Kickstarter platform, and successfully deliver their product to customers via Amazon’s Launchpad. We expect this unique collaboration will dramatically increase the chances for more startup teams to do well by doing good. Starting right here in India.”

All startups looking at participation in the competition are expected to adhere to the following criteria

• Must have a consumer physical product
• Product must positively impact/address existing needs for a large customer base
• Must be a software-enabled hardware product
• Flexible on the stage of startup but should at-least have a “looks-like and works-like” prototype and at the very latest be pre-series A

A panel consisting of representatives from Amazon Launchpad, HAX and Kickstarter will select the winner of the challenge, with the winner being announced on 31st January 2018. Interested startups can apply for the challenge latest by 15th January 2018 by completing the application information at https://hax.co/C-CUBE.

Amazon Launchpad is a unique global program that curates, showcases and delivers cutting-edge products from startups to millions of Amazon customers. The program makes it easy for startups to launch faster, get noticed by millions of Amazon customers and go international as well as offers customers cutting-edge items from today’s generation of Indian inventors and startups.

Interestingly, in just one year Amazon Launchpad in India has seen 5X growth in the number of applications and in the number of launched startups. Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have emerged as the top cities in terms of the number of approved startup applications and for the number of startups launched from. Moreover, there are 50+ local startups that are also selling globally via Amazon Launchpad marketplaces such as US, UK, Germany, France China and Japan.

Speaking on the occasion, Kaveesh Chawla, Director, Category Management, Amazon India said, “Amazon has always encouraged and supported innovation. We brought Amazon Launchpad to India a year ago and have received phenomenal response from startups and customers alike! The program allows us to offer unique and innovative selection to our customers in India. It gives early stage startups access to millions of Amazon customers across the country. Our sophisticated technology-backed fulfilment processes provides a delightful customer experience and repeat purchases. We continue to be invested in our commitment to enhance the startup eco-system in India.”

About Amazon Launchpad
Amazon Launchpad has tied up with various partners operating in the ecosystem, and offers startups a streamlined on-boarding experience, access to custom product pages with unique content, marketing support to aid product discovery, and access to Amazon’s global customer base & fulfilment network, all geared toward helping startups scale up their businesses and successfully launch their innovative products. With this unique program, Indian startups can overcome many of the challenges associated with launching new products.

About HAX
HAX Accelerator is a seed accelerator focused on hardware startups based in Shenzhen and San Francisco. HAX was founded in 2011 and has been recognized as the world’s most active early stage investor in hardware. HAX was the first accelerator in the world to focus on hardware startups, leveraging its unique access to Shenzhen’s ecosystem. The program selects startups for investment and offers on-site support and mentoring in exchange for equity though HAX Seed, Shenzhen and HAX Growth, San Francisco. They have accelerated 118 companies through their Accelerator program, 60 from their Growth program and invested in more. For more information, visit https://hax.co/

About Kickstarter
Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding community for creative projects — everything from films, games, and music to art, design and technology. Since its launch in 2009, 13.5 million people have pledged over $3.3 billion on Kickstarter, funding more than 131,000 creative projects. Kickstarter is a Public Benefit Corporation based in Brooklyn, New York, with a team of about 130 people. For more information, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/

About Amazon.in
The Amazon.in marketplace is operated by Amazon Seller Services Private Ltd, an affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). Amazon.in seeks to build the most customer-centric online destination for customers to find and discover virtually anything they want to buy online by giving them more of what they want – vast selection, low prices, fast and reliable delivery, and a trusted and convenient experience; and provide sellers with a world-class e-commerce marketplace. For more information, visit http://www.amazon.in/aboutus. Join Amazon Newsroom: Twitter | Facebook

About Amazon
Amazon.com is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.com. For more information, visit http://www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews

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