For Solethreads, a Delhi-based D2C startup that’s making inroads in the open footwear category, winning the Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2021 in the Most Promising Consumer Startup award category provided the tools and technology they needed to build and refine their offerings. “The Challenge encouraged us to refine our thoughts and brand-focused ideas, and helped us build key networks along the way. This has helped us drive impact at scale,” shares Sumant Kakaria, Founder and CEO, Solethreads.
Barosi, a D2C food brand producing local, wholesome food products, won the Most Sustainability Focused Startup award last year at the Challenge. “For a small startup like Barosi, the award and support from Amazon has been very special and reinforced our faith in what we’re building,” shares Durlabh Kumar Rawat, Founder, Barosi. “The Amazon team helped us prepare our deck and guided us through every step. The contest rounds were exciting, and we got to see how our peers are scaling through Amazon. The jury feedback on our business model has been extremely valuable for us in our journey. We would definitely recommend this platform to young startups in India,” he adds.
Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge is a platform for high-potential startups to accelerate their growth and create long-term impact at scale. It is a key highlight of Amazon Smbhav – a two-day mega summit that will bring together policy makers, eminent industry leaders, solution providers, startups and Amazon leadership to deliberate on areas most relevant for India’s growth.
At Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022, startups will pitch their businesses to the leaders of the Indian startup ecosystem for an opportunity to get cash prizes, support for market linkages, global exposure, exciting rewards and more. The winners will be announced at the Amazon Smbhav Mega Summit scheduled for May 18 and 19, 2022.
Startups stand to win cash prizes, rewards and more
Open to all Indian startups, Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 presents an opportunity for the winning startup to bag a cash prize of INR 40 lakh and be crowned the ‘Amazon Smbhav ‘22 Startup of the Year’. The first and second runners-up will win cash prizes of INR 15 lakh and INR 10 lakh respectively. The winners will be chosen through a combination of customer votes and a cross discipline jury panel.
Apart from these overall winners, three special mention awards will be given under separate categories – for the Most Sustainability Focused Startup, Most Promising Woman-Led Startup, and the Most Promising Consumer Product Startup.
The top 25 startups will get access to mentoring, funding opportunities, support for market linkages, global exposure, and other rewards. The top 250 startups can access networking opportunities, rewards from Amazon and partner organisations, and mentoring sessions designed to equip them for the pitch days. All applicants of Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 can access AWS credits, Developer Support credits, Freshworks credits and Amazon Global Selling support as applicable.
Boosting entrepreneurship in India
In its second edition, Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge is bringing together government bodies, enterprises and ecosystem enablers to support and accelerate startup growth. The competition is being held in collaboration with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), National Innovation Foundation (NIF), and NIF Incubation and Entrepreneurship Council (NIFientreC) from the public sector, along with industry leaders like Freshworks and Fireside Ventures. The objective is to reach founders across India and nurture grassroot innovations from the deepest pockets of the country.
Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Science & Technology and Earth Sciences shares, “I am pleased to deepen our partnership with Amazon on this mission of creating opportunities. Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 would look forward to scouting eligible entities in large numbers and I am confident that this kind of a purposeful partnership will bring digitization in MSMEs, enabling them to contribute to India’s economic growth. In line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat, I am proud to announce my Ministry’s partnership with Amazon on this Challenge to empower talented entrepreneurs across Tier 2/ Tier 3 cities and rural areas to reach their fullest potential. India might still be the 3rd largest start-up ecosystem in the world but ours is the ecosystem where the grassroot innovators have equal opportunities.”
Kanwaljit Singh, Founder and Managing Partner, Fireside Ventures says, “Indian startups are making waves across the world with cutting-edge innovation. There is immense potential for Indian brands to strengthen their foothold at the global stage and drive the next phase of India’s growth story,”
Celebrating India’s entrepreneurs and innovators
Amazon Smbhav began in 2020 bringing together keynote addresses, panel discussions, and workshops featuring industry leaders, policymakers, and Amazon leadership on areas that are most relevant for India’s growth. At the inaugural edition of Amazon Smbhav, Amazon pledged to digitise 10 million MSMEs, generate $10 billion in cumulative exports from India and create 2 million jobs in India by 2025. The company has already digitized 2.5 million MSMEs, enabled exports worth $3 billion and created over a million direct and indirect jobs in India.
At the 2021 Summit, Amazon made a series of announcements including the launch of a $250 million Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund to invest in startups, building solutions to empower SMBs to launch, manage, and grow their business online, automate and digitize their operations, and expand their business globally by exporting to customers worldwide. The edition also saw the launch of the Spotlight North East program and Amazon’s commitment to onboard 1 million local neighbourhood stores on Amazon.in by 2025.
With a theme of ‘Pragati’, Amazon Smbhav 2022 aims to contribute to the journey of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The second edition of the Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge furthers that commitment.
“Throughout India, startups are setting new benchmarks in problem solving and delivering products and solutions for customers not just in India, but across the world. At Amazon, we support and celebrate builders, entrepreneurs and innovators, and the Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 is part of our continued commitment to enable startups and emerging brands across India realise their full potential and contribute to India’s economic progress,” says Manish Tiwary, Country Manager, India Consumer Business, Amazon India .
It’s time to get going and explore possibilities at Amazon Smbhav.