FSB statistics tell us that this time last year there were 5.4 million private sector businesses in the UK, and that over 99% of them were SMEs. As a Hertfordshire IT Support Company we also encounter our fair share of start-up companies who are looking to establish an IT support framework and support services that can evolve and grow with them and meet their changing needs. The Hertfordshire area is certainly a cluster area for start-ups, and the growth of start-up companies both here and around the UK in recent years has been fuelled by factors such as people struggling to find jobs, government backed Start-Up Loans, and an increase in alternative funding options. If you are a start-up you may therefore be pleased to hear that you could benefit from the introduction of the new ‘Amazon Launchpad’ to the UK
What Is Amazon’s ‘Launchpad’?
Amazon Launchpad is an extension of a scheme that has been running in the US since July and is a collaborative effort between Amazon and 25 venture capital firms, start-up accelerators, and crowd-funding platforms.
Launchpad as we know it in the UK is a new online platform that gives participating start-ups access to business resources and tools that can help them to develop their brand and consumer reach. Launchpad has a dedicated online storefront that can showcase your start-up and your innovations, plus it displays innovative new products from emerging brands. The kinds of resources and tools that Amazon says participating start-ups can utilise include a marketing package, a streamlined onboarding experience, product pages that you can customise, and access to Amazon's substantial global fulfilment network.
You Can Apply Online
Unless you are one of the first wave of invitation only start-ups to benefit from Launchpad, it’s going to be as case of apply online and hope that you meet the criteria.
The first wave is the start-ups funded by crowd funding platforms, venture capital firms and other start-up accelerators who are a part of the Amazon network, and who meet certain eligibility requirements.
If you would like to apply for your start-up to take part in the Amazon Launchpad scheme, Amazon says that these applications will be evaluated on a case by case basis. You can apply here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/launchpad/signup
What Amazon Launchpad Could Do For Your Business
1. Give You the Space to Focus on Innovation
Launchpad aims to give start-ups more time to focus on the innovation that can bring vital competitive advantage by handling time consuming, costly and complicated things for the start-up business such as the inventory management, order fulfilment, and customer service.
2. Improve Your Brand Development
The customised product pages with imagery and videos + Q&As featured on Launchpad are a way for start-ups to develop their brand more quickly and reach a wider audience.
3. Give You Visibility and Reach
Launchpad can offer start-ups greater reach and visibility through vehicles like merchandised placements, personalized recommendations, and a customer reviews program.
4. Enable Cost Effective Global Expansion
For many start-ups global expansion seems a long way off, but because Amazon is already established in 10 main marketplaces around the world it is hoped that Launchpad can offer a fast, cost effective route into these.