Amazon is celebrating Innovation Month in August by showcasing the U.S. winners of the 2021 Innovation Awards, and customers can now vote to help determine which one is awarded $100,000 in prizes.

Amazon Launchpad helps entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses build their brands, overcome barriers, and deliver innovative products to customers around the world. This year alone, Amazon Launchpad has devoted $1.3 million in grants and services supporting small and medium-sized businesses with programs in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and India.

Amazon Launchpad is part of Amazon's support for 1.9 million third-party sellers, who account for about 60% of sales in Amazon's online store.

Amazon Launchpad awarding $240,000 in small business grants in 2021
Amazon Launchpad, a program that provides expertise and support for entrepreneurs, is choosing two small brands in its program each month to receive a $10,000 Innovation Grant to invest in their businesses-on or off Amazon.
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Since the U.S. grant program launched in December 2020, 16 small businesses have won grants through Amazon Launchpad's Innovation Awards. The grant program will continue through the year, awarding $10,000 to two brands each month, totaling $260,000 in grants to 26 brands.

This month, to celebrate innovation, Amazon customers can vote for their favorite brand so far-and one will be named Innovator of the Year and be awarded up to an additional $100,000 in grants and prizes. The winners include an array of unique products, such as mineral sunscreen made from plants, a holographic learning cube, and a lightweight travel car seat.

Customers can vote onlinefor which brand they think is the most innovative until August 20. Voting also enters customers into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a prize bundle consisting of products from the 16 winners, valued at up to $500. Customers do not have to purchase any products to be entered into the sweepstakes.

'This program is all about supporting small, innovative brands, and it's been great to dig in even deeper with the Innovation Grant winners,' said Nick Love, director of Amazon Launchpad in the U.S. 'We've been inspired by what they've been able to do with the initial grant money, so we're excited to take it a step further for Innovator of the Year and to give all of the brands additional exposure and share their stories and products with customers.'

Among this year's grant winners in the U.S. is My Family Builders, which has created an open-ended educational wooden toy that encourages young children to embrace family diversity through play.

Ezequiel Karpf, Founder of My Family Builders.

'At My Family Builders, diversity and inclusion drive product development. We get hundreds of emails from people who want to see their families represented in our toys,' said Ezequiel Karpf, founder of My Family Builders. 'The Amazon Innovation Grant will make it possible to purchase technology to help us create new product lines like storybooks and card games-and showcase the many families around the world who have asked to be included.'

Since its inception in 2015, Amazon Launchpad has helped 6,200 startups globally offering more than 55,000 unique and innovative products to customers. Amazon Launchpad supports new brands, entrepreneurs, and startups in overcoming the challenges associated with launching new products. The program provides marketing tools, advice from Amazon experts, and other benefits to help businesses increase the visibility of their products so they can focus on innovation and expansion.

Similar grants programs have been established in Australia, Europe, and India.

Australia's Innovation Award includes funding in addition to mentorship and marketing support. One of the 2021 grant winners in Australia is Baresop, which created a planet-friendly and powdered hand wash formula from a vision of 'waterless' toiletries. The startup's aim is to reduce waste and create products that are good for the planet and better for your skin.

Prisca Ongonga-Daehn, CEO of Baresop.

'To have a service like Amazon Launchpad Australia behind you, supporting you, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become part of a community that will propel us to a level we never even thought possible,' said Prisca Ongonga-Daehn, CEO of Baresop.

In Europe, five finalists each won a grant worth more than $11,800 (10,000 euros), free access to Amazon Launchpad for one year, and marketing placements. One brand, WeWALK, won the Startup of the Year award, receiving more than $106,800 (90,000 euros) as a grant.

Kürşat Ceylan, Co-Founder of WeWALK.

Headquartered in London, WeWALK has a robust research, development, and production team spread across London and Istanbul. WeWALK created a smart handle that can be attached to any cane to help users feel safer and better navigate the world around them.

'Our ultimate vision is a platform that unites our community, improves societal integration through mobility, and allows everyone, regardless of their ability, to walk together,' said Kürşat Ceylan, co-founder of WeWALK. 'We're now well on the way to making WeWALK a global movement, and this support from Amazon Launchpad is vital in helping us set solid foundations and reach users across more countries.'

In India, two Amazon Launchpad brands won more than $57,800 (4 million rupees) in rewards and benefits at Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge. More than 600 startups were given the chance to showcase their ideas to industry experts, Amazon leaders, venture capitalists, and some of the best minds in the startup communities.

One of the winners, Arcatron, is building the next generation of devices to enhance the lives of people with limited mobility and elderly care needs.

The Arcatron leadership team.

Amazon Launchpad looks forward to following all of these brands' journeys and continuing to help small and medium-sized businesses succeed.

'As the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants are all about celebrating innovation in small businesses, it's been amazing to see so many strong businesses apply to take part in this year's program,' said Chadd Ciccarelli, head of Amazon Launchpad in Australia. 'It is a timely reminder that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, despite such a challenging year.'

View the Innovation Month terms and conditions.

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Amazon.com Inc. published this content on 03 August 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 03 August 2021 13:22:13 UTC.