Amazon India has announced its partnership with Startup India, under which the global e-commerce giant aims to offer Indian startups mentorship, resources and a grant of USD 50,000 to reach out to wider retail markets outside India. This partnership, under the umbrella of the Amazon Global Selling Propel (AGSP), aims to offer startups dealing in consumer products with the opportunity to expand their market size and reach out to consumers in other nations. The AGSP programme is specifically designed for early-stage startups, and aims to turn homegrown businesses into global brands.
The mentorship board under the AGSP programme will include leading Amazon executives from India and international markets, senior leaders of Startup India and Invest India, and venture capital partners, who will all offer one-on-one guidance and mentorship to early stage consumer product startups of India. Amazon has not specified if this programme will largely be limited to startups in the technology space only, or would be expanded to other categories too. Sequoia Capital India and Fireside Ventures, two of Amazon’s venture capital partner firms, will also entertain funding pitches from potential startups, and have the chance to win a total grant of USD 50,000 (approx. Rs 36.5 lakh). This grant will be equity free, meaning that the funding bodies will not hold a percentage of the startup’s shares, as is the norm in funding rounds.
Talking about the goal that this programme will help Amazon achieve, Amit Agarwal, global SVP and country head of Amazon India said, “Our partnership with Startup India to launch this accelerator programme will provide emerging brands an opportunity to bring their business propositions to life, and help create globally popular brands from India. With Amazon Global Selling, we will continue to make exports simple and accessible to businesses of all sizes, and fulfil our commitment of enabling $10 billion in e-commerce exports from India by 2025.”
Entries for potential startups are now open, and will continue until Sunday, February 7. To qualify, startups will need to be between post-seed and pre-Series A funding rounds, and a panel selected by Amazon will evaluate each entrant based on business idea, scalability, numbers achieved so far in home (or launched) markets, viability of the startup’s business plan and the credentials of the startup’s founders, among other aspects. A total of 10 startups will be selected in the programme, and three winning startups will take home the USD 50,000 grant.