Dynamic Business Logo
Home Button
Bookmark Button

Credit: Boxadmin Australia

Four Aussie SMBs win Amazon grants

Four innovative startups from across Australia have been awarded grants valued at more than $90,000 each as part of Amazon Australia’s Launchpad Innovation Grants initiative for 2023.

The winning startups are BSKT Wholefoods, AntiBeauty, Zena Sport, and GiveWrap. 

  • BSKT Wholefoods was founded by former Gold Coast Titans players Ryan James, Greg Bird, and Selasi Berdie and aims to become the leading Indigenous-owned and operated health food business in Australia, with plans to expand with a new social impact division called BSKT Native. 
  • AntiBeauty offers a range of quality skincare products that challenge traditional beauty standards, while Zena Sport pioneers protection garments for women’s participation in sports, such as the Zena impact vest that reduces the risk of breast and rib injury. 
  • GiveWrap offers high-quality, 100% recyclable, Australian-designed gift wrap, with $1 donated to one of its four charity partners with every product sold.

The Amazon Launchpad program in Australia 

The Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grant program offers a comprehensive package to each winner, including a cash grant of $20,000, a chance to apply for AWS Activate Credits worth up to $10,000, support from third-party experts such as Export Accelerator, Podean, and Airwallex, out-of-home support by JCDecaux, a two-day ‘Selling on Amazon’ bootcamp experience (with flights and accommodation provided for those outside Sydney), featured seller placement on the Launchpad homepage during key deal events, and marketing, PR, and merchandising opportunities throughout 2023.

The Grants program, in particular, offers winners a chance to attend a ‘Selling on Amazon’ bootcamp and more. 

This year’s initiative received hundreds of applications, and ten finalists were selected to pitch their entries in person to a panel of judges, including experts from various industries. During the pitch, finalists had five minutes to showcase their innovative products and explain their business scaling plans. Judges evaluated the pitches based on how well the businesses understood their customers’ needs and how effectively they pitched their products. This was the first time that the finalists in the Australian program travelled to Amazon’s Sydney HQ to pitch their ideas in person.

According to Benjamyn Gardner, founder of AntiBeauty, winning the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grant is a dream come true, especially considering his past struggles with homelessness.  “As a solopreneur bootstrapping my business from the ground up with no external financial support, this grant will be a game-changer for my future growth plans. The cash prize and access to expert support and resources will allow me to invest in my business, scale my operations, and find more clients to help.” 

Donna Johnson, founder of Zena Sport, expressed excitement at winning the grant and commended Amazon’s support of Australian startups. Johnson sees the grant as an opportunity to scale Zena Sport and develop more female-specific products while increasing brand awareness.

For Ryan James, founder of BSKT Wholefoods, winning the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grant is an incredible honour that will provide his business with the support it needs to continue growing and innovating. With Amazon Australia’s help, James hopes to reach even more customers and showcase his business’s unique products and services while promoting Indigenous-owned and operated health food businesses in Australia.

There are over 14,000 Australian businesses that sell their products in Amazon stores, with a significant proportion being small and medium-sized enterprises. Over the last year, these Australian sellers on Amazon have generated an average of $50,000 in sales on the platform.

The Amazon-related business activities of Australian businesses selling on Amazon globally have created over 20,000 jobs in Australia. Moreover, these sellers from Australia have sold nearly 27 million units in Amazon stores during the 12 months ending in June 2022, representing a more than 15% growth compared to the previous year.

Keep up to date with our stories on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.

What do you think?

    Be the first to comment

Add a new comment

Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

View all posts