Amazon Launchpad

Here are the 5 startups backed by $400,000 in grants from Amazon Launchpad

- September 15, 2020 3 MIN READ
Rikki Gilbey, founder of WAW Handplanes. Photo: supplied

A compostable and biodegradable pallet wrap, a bodysurfing handplane made from plastic collected from the Great Barrier Reef and natural baby wipes with Manuka honey are among the five ideas by Australian entrepreneurs that have won grants, worth more than $80,000 each, from Amazon Launchpad. 

The startups are Great Wrap, Crockd, Ethicool Books, WAW Handplanes and Nikis Natural Wipes. They each receive $20,00 in cash, access to Amazon’s startup and entrepreneur experts and networking opportunities, advertising credits to promote their products on Amazon.com.au and AWS credits.

Chadd Ciccarelli, Head of Launchpad, Amazon Australia said they wanted to champion entrepreneurs and help them accelerate their companies with the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants.

The Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report released earlier this year found that while 28% of SMBs used lockdown to innovate, almost a third said a lack of available funding was the biggest barrier to innovate or grow their business.

More than 500 entrepreneurs applied for the grants. Carl Hartmann, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits Co. was one of the judges choosing the five recipients.

“It was inspiring to see so many great ideas and products come out of Australia,” he said

“It was a challenge to select only five recipients, however these five startups show huge potential in offering innovative products and I hope that the support from Amazon Launchpad can be the boost their business needs in these truly unique times.”

The five recipients of the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants are: 

  • Great Wrap (Melbourne, VIC): After developing the world’s first certified compostable and biodegradable pallet wrap, the business quickly worked with their manufacturer to bring in a home compostable cling wrap as lifestyle changed in lockdown. They have also been working on a new version of the product that will be 100% plant based and partially made from food waste.
  • Crockd (Burleigh Heads, QLD): They created the world’s first DIY pottery kit designed to stimulate the effects of art therapy at home and help millennials “get out of their head and into their hands”. The idea is that people are able to talk more openly about their mental health among friends, family and workmates.
  • Ethicool Books (Park Orchards, VIC): The publish children’s books about the world’s big issues to inspire kids to create positive change. Each book includes an action page that discusses the issue and encourages them to explore what they can do to make a difference.
  • WAW Handplanes (Marrickville, NSW): They created the WAW Badfish Bodysurfing handplane, the first-ever Australian commercially made product to be manufactured from ocean plastic waste, collected from the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Niki’s Natural Wipes (Burwood East, VIC): They created the world’s first baby wipes that are 100% natural and utilise Manuka honey essence and coconut oil to promote skin health for children.

Jordy and Julia Kay, co-founders of Great Wrap said the grant pushes them to keep working even harder.  

“It’s exciting to see our compostable cling wrap that started as just an idea benefit so many Australians and the environment, and with the help of the grant we’ll be able to expand our manufacturing in Australia and fast track developing more exciting products to take plastic out of landfill,” they said. 

Rikki Gilbey, founder of WAW Handplanes, said they will use the grant to expand their supply chain.

“We will be cleaning more beaches, processing more ocean plastics, and manufacturing more handplanes to meet our growing demand,” he said.

“Down the line, we hope to use the momentum of this grant to also create new product lines utilising our ocean plastics supply chain. The grant is going to help us create cleaner Australian beaches and get more Australians bodysurfing.”

Teigan Margetts, co-founder of Ethicool , said 2020 had been both the best and worst year to launch an e-commerce startup.

“The past few months have seen a surge in online sales, but at the same time, shipping and logistics have been really challenging,” she said.

“We’re in the process of expanding into the USA and the Launchpad grant will help us accelerate our plans to do that.”

The brands on Amazon Launchpad here. Entrepreneurs, startups and SMBs businesses can apply for the Amazon Launchpad program here.