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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Amazon announce winners of its India-first start-up accelerator


Amazon and Invest India have announced Slurrp Farm, Sirona Hygiene, and Wellbeing Nutrition as three winners of the Amazon Global Selling Propel Startup Accelerator. The three start-ups were awarded a combined total of $50,000 from Amazon as an equity-free grant.

Talking about the vision behind this accelerator program, Abhijit Kamra-Director, Global Trade, Amazon India told BusinessLine, “Prime Minister Modi had put out a stated objective of accelerating exports from India. So, we were thinking on those lines that there is an opportunity to help start-ups think about creating global products from day one. Along with helping them succeed at creating large companies, employ more people, and realize the destiny of being global brands while being based in India. And with that thought, late last year we decided to create an India-first accelerator program called Propel.”

He added that the goal of Propel start-up accelerator has been to bring together all the ecosystem partners that play a meaningful role in building successful companies. These include e-commerce operators like Amazon, logistics partners, government entities like Invest India, and VCs like Sequoia and Fireside.

The accelerator program received 500 applications, out of which 10 finalists were selected to present their business proposition to a jury panel including Kanwaljit Singh, Founder and Managing Partner from Fireside Ventures; Sakshi Chopra, Managing Director from Sequoia India; Abhijeet Muzumdar, Head of Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund and Corporate Development at Amazon; and Aastha Grover, Head, Startup India Hub, Invest India.

The panel evaluated the entries on a variety of parameters including business idea, scalability and strength of the business plan/model, business metrics in launched markets and founding team credentials, and more. Some of the other participants in the program included brands like D’Moksha Homes, Soulflower, Rage Coffee, W2 Why Wait, Azani Active, Femora, and True Elements.

As part of the start-up accelerator, Amazon had constituted a mentorship board consisting of Amazon leaders from India and across the world, VCs and senior leaders from Invest India, who engaged with the brands to provide them tailored resources, 1:1 mentorship on the global demand patterns and insights on building successful exports businesses through e-commerce. Amazon also hosted open virtual mentorship sessions focused on peer learning by inviting veteran entrepreneurs and members from its mentorship board for start-ups, to network and learn from their existing ecosystem.

“The Indian start-up ecosystem has transformed India into a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. Digitisation has propelled the democratisation of access and opportunity for Indian businesses. Through this accelerator program, we will tap the vast potential of emerging businesses and MSMEs to make an indelible mark in global markets,” said Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India.



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