For most startups with a new product to bring to the marketplace, getting their product onto Amazon would be a huge victory. And now that process of making a product available to huge audience on the most popular online marketplace is a little easier. On the heels of its highly publicized (if debatably successful) Prime Day, Amazon more quietly unveiled its Launchpad service to help assist startups get their products and their brands out to a larger, more diverse audience.
According to the program page on Amazon’s website, the initial products seem to be coming almost exclusively from Amazon’s venture capital firm, startup accelerator and crowdfunding platform partners. But the Q&A section on the page notes that they encourage any startup to apply and will consider all applications on a case-by-case basis. The mega-retailer is working with reputable VC and accelerator firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator in addition to over a dozen other partners.
Best of all, there is no base fee for joining. Companies join as an Amazon vendor, where the retailer buys your product wholesale and then sells it to the customer at retail price. But the company also offers a few extra perks like large, detailed graphics pages under each product the startup sells telling the customer more about the company’s brand and mission—what makes it unique. They also enroll a startup’s products in their vine program to get them reviewed more often. Additionally, products that are eligible for export can be available in the retailer’s international markets. An entrepreneur couldn’t ask for more.
The program may not be feasible for a startup operating out of a basement. But, if your business has gained a bit of momentum and is looking for the next step forward, Amazon’s Launchpad has the potential to give a young company massive exposure.
- On August 4, 2015