The Amazon Launchpad program, supports Aussie startups and entrepreneurs to bring innovative products online and reach Amazon customers. To acknowledge businesses that have demonstrated an especially forward-thinking approach during a time of extraordinary challenge and change, our Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants have returned for 2021.

This year, our finalists will have an opportunity to virtually pitch to Amazon Australia HQ and have the chance to win one of five grants, each worth more than $200,000. Each grant includes a $20,000 cash grant, marketing support and advertising packages, mentorship from Amazon experts, and industry networking opportunities - Apply here to enter

Small to medium sized businesses’ (SMBs) ability to demonstrate resilience and fortitude over the past year is nothing short of astounding. Every business in Australia had to completely rethink how it operated over that time, with many leveraging the power of e-commerce and digital tools to propel them forward.

While there is still much uncertainty as we head down the road to recovery, twelve months on from the first lockdown restrictions across Australia, green shoots are starting to appear.

New research commissioned by Amazon Australia, that surveyed more than 1,000 Australian SMBs revealed that 89 per cent of SMBs are feeling more resilient in running their businesses, 92 per cent feel optimistic about the growth of their business, and 78 per cent will use e-commerce and digital tools to allow them to work from anywhere.

A commitment to innovation will be key to this process, alongside small businesses’ propensity to embrace e-commerce. Both of these areas are key themes in the 2021 Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report. Full report here

The report explores the current sentiment of Australian small business owners, how they evolved their businesses over the past 12 months, and their future plans as the economic recovery gathers pace.

“"Australia is a nation of entrepreneurs and our SMBs are renowned for their innovation and originality. We look forward to reviewing all the entries for this year’s Innovation Grants and, most importantly, continuing to support local businesses through Amazon Launchpad.” ”
Chadd Ciccarelli, Head of Launchpad at Amazon Australia

2020 Amazon Launchpad grant winner and 2021 judge, Rosa-Clare Willis of DIY Pottery Kit brand, Crockd said, “Not only did Amazon Launchpad open our eyes to Amazon as a marketing and distribution channel, but the program provided the support we needed during 2020. The mentorship we’ve received has been incredible, and we’re seeing our business grow on Amazon.com.au.

“You’ve got to be in it to win it, and to any small business out there, whose wondering whether they should apply for a grant, I say, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!”

Andrew Ford and Rosa Clare Willis, Co-founders of Crockd and 2021 Innovation Grant Judges

Other key 2021 Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report findings:

· The e-commerce opportunity: more than a third (39%) of SMBs said their customers are more open to buying online now than 12 months ago, four in ten (41%) have seen an increase in online enquiries about their business over the past 12 months, and one in six (15%) of SMBs made a sale online for the first time ever in the past year.

· It’s all about innovation: to help navigate the uncertainty of the past twelve months, almost a third (30%) of SMBs said they invested in product or business innovation to reach new customers, and 82 per cent said they will lean into innovation to grow their business over the next 12 months.

· Top areas businesses are innovating in this year: growing their digital presence (42%), taking their business into new markets (39%) and revising product offering (33%).

· Digital tools empower businesses for growth: four-fifths (81%) of SMBs will use digital tools to network over the next 12 months and more than two thirds (69%) will use online channels to seek investment in their business.

· What Aussie SMBs need most in 2021: businesses have rated access to new customers (47 %%) and support with marketing, advertising and social media activity (34%) over financial support (31%). Additionally almost a third (30%) said they need help with future growth planning and innovation.

This year, the value of each Amazon Launchpad Innovation
Grant is more than $200,000. Each grant package includes:
• $20,000 cash grant
• Amazon Advertising display credits
• Amazon mentorship and bootcamp experience
• National advertising package with JCDecaux Nurture
• Amazon.com.au marketing placements
• Networking opportunities with industry experts

The Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants entry period is now open to 11.59pm AEST, 10 May on www.Amazon.com.au/Launchpad.

This year’s judges are Chadd Ciccarelli from Amazon Launchpad, last year’s grant recipients Rosa-Clare Willis and Andrew Ford from Crockd; Carolyn Creswell, founder of the country’s leading muesli brand Carman’s; and managing partner, Kylie Frazer, of tech investment group, Eleanor Ventures.

The five Amazon Launchpad grant recipients from across Australia will be publicly announced in June 2021.