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Amazon Continues To Court Start-Ups With New Launchpad Program

Seattle — Amazon continues its pursuit of start-ups, with its newest platform designed to pave a ready-made road to selling for the e-tailer.

Start-ups on the verge of shipping products can apply for Amazon Launchpad to gain access to tailored product pages, marketing tools, customer service, and, perhaps most importantly, access to Amazon’s fulfillment network in 10 international markets, including its Vine consumer reviews.

Although manufacturers funded via crowdfunding and venture capitalists are among the most heavily courted — Amazon has partnered with Andreessen Horowitz, Betaworks and Indiegogo, among others — the e-tailer notes on its website that those using other methods are also welcome to apply, as are existing vendors. There’s no fee to participate; products are sold wholesale to Amazon.

While Amazon states on its site that products should be ready to ship within 90 days, it appears willing to bend the rules a bit: The Eero Home Wi-Fi System is expected to ship Dec. 1. 

This is not the first time the e-tailer has sought out start-ups. Its Exclusives program, announced earlier this year, has a limited number of products that are offered only through Amazon. Launchpad participants, however, will be able to sell products through other retailers as well.