Amazon India launches mentor programme for startups

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New Delhi: Amazon India on Sunday announced the launch of its ‘Mentor Connect’ programme, which is aimed at accelerating the growth of startups and emerging brand owners enrolled under its Amazon Launchpad initiative.

Mentors from educational institutions and VC firms like Fireside Ventures, DSG Consumer Partners, Elevation Capital, Tomorrow Capital have already signed up for the programme to contribute to the Indian startup growth story, it added.

This offers entrepreneurs a platform to engage, learn and showcase their startups to the industry’s leading subject matter experts to help tackle strategic and functional challenges, it added. “This will also be extended to the winners of the Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship challenge in the upcoming Amazon Smbhav summit,” the statement said.

The winners will be the first cohort of startups to receive the benefits associated with the Amazon Mentor Connect programme, it added. Amazon Launchpad currently showcases over 2 lakh products offered by more than 800 emerging brands across 30 different product categories. Popular sectors catered to by these brands include health and personal care, beauty and grooming, grocery and home products. The second edition of ‘Amazon Smbhav’ will be hosted from April 15-18, 2021.

“India has a large startup ecosystem and most of these startups are led by first time entrepreneurs. They don’t have the experience to deal with challenges they face,” Amazon India director (MSME and Selling Partner Experience) Pranav Bhasin said.

“We are looking to understand grassroots level challenges, understand trends and identify ways of solving these problems for emerging brands. Not only that, VCs like ourselves are always on the lookout for opportunities to meet new and upcoming brands,” Prayag Mohanty, senior vice-president at Fireside Ventures, said.