Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Amazon, HAX and Kickstarter Partner for Startup C-Cube Challenge for Indian Startups


Amazon Launchpad, the one-year-old global startup initiative of US-based
Amazon.com Inc, has joined hands with hardware accelerator HAX and crowdfunding community Kickstarter to launch a startup challenge in India.

The winner of the Startup C-Cube challenge will get support from the three organisations in different phases of its growth, Amazon executives said at an event in Bangalore.

“This is an opportunity for Indian startups to get access to big consumer markets nationally and internationally,” Sateesh Srinivasan, director and global head of Amazon Launchpad, said at the event where Priyank Kharge, Karnataka’s minister for information technology, biotechnology and tourism, was the chief guest.

The winning startup will get help to grow from a concept to a customer-ready stage, besides assistance in launching the product in India, Europe and the US, depending on the scalability of the idea. Additionally, the winner will receive a set of benefits valued at $500,000, which includes capital infusion and free services, to support product development.

In the first phase, HAX will take the winning startup for a three-month acceleration programme in its work space in Shenzhen, China where the startup will get mentoring from a pool of over 50 international mentors. After the programme, the startups will undergo a six-week ‘go-to-market’ boot camp in San Francisco and receive an investment support of $375,000.

In the second phase, Kickstarter will help the startup set up a campaign on the crowdfunding platform. It will provide a campaign strategist to assist the startup on campaign messaging, promotion, public relations, marketing and fulfilment, along with access to its community of 13 million backers.

Finally, Amazon Launchpad will help the startup gain visibility with marketing exposure and account management and support the winner for launch in multiple markets, depending on the scalability of the idea.

“We expect this unique collaboration will dramatically increase the chances for more startup teams to do well,” said Alan Clayton, head of entrepreneur development at HAX.

Applicants to the challenge must have a software-enabled hardware product that can address existing needs for a large customer base. Also, the startup should at least have a “looks-like and works-like” prototype and, at the very latest, got pre-Series A funding.

A panel consisting of representatives from Amazon Launchpad, HAX and Kickstarter will select and announce the winner of the challenge on 31 January 2018. The last date for application is 15 January 2018.

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