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Discover brilliant new inventions from under-the-radar businesses with Amazon Launchpad

Amazon Launchpad is a one-stop shop for innovative products from small businesses

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Over the past 20 years, consumers have developed a strong loyalty to Amazon for its convenience and fast shipping. Prime shoppers have come to depend on the massive online e-tailer for everything from streaming devices to pillows to Dutch ovens—and every little thing in between.

Since many customers prefer to shop their favorite, big-name brands off Amazon, it’s easy to overlook newer products with less brand recognition. But that's something Amazon is working to change with its Amazon Launchpad storefront. For those unaware, Amazon Launchpad is a special hub that showcases innovative products, allowing shoppers to explore emerging brands and discover useful goods produced by small businesses. Through the program, startups can garner more visibility on Amazon to support their business, helping them achieve a much-needed spotlight in the ever-growing sector of e-commerce.

The virtual storefront has already earned the stamp of approval from one celebrity business-owner: Venus Williams. In an interview with E! News, Williams explains that the program "provides expertise and support for small brands, entrepreneurs, and startups to help them overcome many of the challenges associated with launching new products." She went on to elaborate on her unique motivation for teaming up with Amazon, adding "As a business owner myself, I'm a big fan of Amazon Launchpad's mission to provide expertise and support for small brands, entrepreneurs, and startups."

How did Amazon Launchpad begin?

Amazon Launchpad first came about back in 2015, when the retailer began working with crowd-funding platforms, venture capitalists, and startup accelerators to identify promising, new startup businesses. Amazon set off on a mission to provide these small businesses with more brand exposure while also helping shoppers discover new, innovative products that meet unique customer needs. To date, over 6,000 startups have been featured on Amazon Launchpad.

Although it originally began as invitation-only service, nowadays Amazon Launchpad accepts applications from Amazon sellers with unique and innovative products that meet specific requirements set by the retailer. If accepted into the Amazon Launchpad program, sellers must pay a 5% premium for increased product visibility via preferred placements on Amazon Launchpad's storefront homepage and during holiday and Prime Day sales, as well as through banner ads, email campaigns, lightning deals, and Amazon's deals of the day. Amazon Launchpad also offers tools to help businesses further grow, including educational content and advice from Amazon experts. With these helpful resources, the program is able to help up-and-coming brands get their companies off the ground.

How do brands join Amazon Launchpad?

According to Amazon, the program encourages small brands, entrepreneurs, and startups with unique, innovative products to apply. In addition to having less than $5 million in gross sales, eligible products should have at least a 3.5-star rating or above and have been listed on Amazon for less than 4 years. Once joined, the Amazon Launchpad contract lasts for one year, after which point the brand can return to regular Amazon seller status.

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What does Amazon Launchpad sell?

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Credit: Amazon

Amazon Launchpad's mission is to help small companies with revolutionary products gain momentum.

Since all sorts of new businesses with innovative products can qualify, Amazon Launchpad features a vast array of unique, cutting-edge goods for customers to shop from. On the homepage, you'll find brilliant inventions in categories such as toys, kitchen and cooking, electronics, beauty and health and more, with new items being added every day.

In addition, buyers can discover the faces behind the brands by visiting the "Meet the Launchers" page, and shop by categories such as women-owned, social good, Black-owned, sustainability, Latinx-owned and family-owned.

Popular products that were once featured on Amazon Launchpad include the viral card game Exploding Kittens as well as everyone's favorite drain hair catcher, the Tubshroom.

What are the Innovation awards?

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Credit: Amazon

Amazon will crown one winning brand the "Innovator of the Year"—and you get to choose.

Along with the array of services that Amazon Launchpad members receive, sellers can also benefit from additional brand awareness through the program's Innovation Awards. The competition offers the chance for brands to win up to $100,000 in funding, in addition to their products being showcased to Amazon customers.

Amazon began awarding innovation grants of up to $10,000 in December 2020, and during the month of August 2021, aka "Innovation Month," shoppers voted for their favorite brand out of the finalists to receive $100,000 in prizes and be crowned "Innovator of the Year."

Any one of the thousands of innovative products on Amazon Launchpad could become the next big thing—but only one of these promising new brands will earn the coveted title.

Shop Amazon Launchpad

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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