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Amazon Launchpad offers virtual shelf for crowdfunded gear

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Amazon Launchpad

Amazon has announced a new platform for crowdfunded start-ups that aims to bridge the gap between building a project and actually distributing it to customers.

The new Amazon Launchpad initiative partners with 25 crowdfunding sites in order to help younger companies who've experienced success during the donations and manufacturing phases to actually sell their new products.

Over 200 products funded through the likes of Indiegogo are already being offered through the dedicated Launchpad store, although Amazon is not officially working with Kickstarter at this stage.

Some of well-publicised products already featured within the Launchpad store include the Sphero robot, the Eero home Wi-Fi system, the Lumo Lift posture coach, the Petzi Wi-Fi camera and treat dispenser and the Kano computer kit.

Amazon will manage inventory and distribute to customers, while also giving partner startups access to the Amazon Prime 2-day free delivery platform.

Jake Levine, the founder and CEO of Electric Objects, which sells screens displaying multiple pieces of art via the cloud called the initiative 'unprecedented.'

He said (via TechCrunch): “Before Launchpad I thought we would have to go directly to consumers and begin talking to retailers, but we leapfrogged that phase. The fact that I can go from zero to Amazon Prime is unprecedented.”

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Amazon Launchpad will also work with companies on marketing while helping them expand distribution to wherever the e-commerce giant ships.

Amazon VP Jim Adkins said: “Amazon Launchpad gives customers access to a dedicated storefront featuring a variety of innovative new products from emerging brands. For startups, we handle inventory management, order fulfillment, customer service, and more, allowing them to focus their efforts on the innovation that results in more cool products.”

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