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.
Through the programme, startups and emerging brands will gain access to guidance from venture capital firms, industry veterans and Amazon leaders through expert knowledge sharing sessions, networking events and 1:1 mentorship sessions, a statement said.
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.
"Startups and emerging brands enrolled in the Amazon Launchpad programme can access guidance from these mentors through various ways. This includes one-to-one mentorship with chosen mentors over a three-month period, ongoing networking opportunities with a wider pool of industry experts, or knowledge sharing sessions between these experts and other Launchpad brands," the statement said.
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.
"The Amazon Mentor Connect programme is not limited to startups and emerging brand owners enrolled in the Amazon Launchpad programme, but 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 that is key to disruptive innovation and accelerating India's progress towards an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Most of these startups are led by first-time entrepreneurs who have the passion to drive a change, but don't have the experience to deal with the breadth of challenges they face along the way," Amazon India Director (MSME and Selling Partner Experience) Pranav Bhasin said.
With the Amazon Mentor Connect programme, the aim is to create a support system to help startups unlock their potential by providing them with the right kind of mentoring that can help them scale their business, avoid blind spots, learn from the experience of existing leaders, open new doors and help them unlock infinite possibilities for a Digital India, he added.
"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.