Amazon announces Propel Startup Accelerator 2022 winners, offers rewards worth $1M

Over 1,000 entries were received for Propel Season 2 launched earlier in the year to help startups and emerging businesses in the consumer products space create global brands from India.
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Amazon India on Wednesday announced the winners of the Amazon Global Selling Propel Startup Accelerator (Propel Accelerator) Season 2.

SoleThreads (winner), EcoRight (first runner-up), and Go Desi (second runner-up) were named the winners of the programme. They cumulatively won $100,000 in equity-free grants from Amazon and $300,000 in AWS Activate credits. Other shortlisted startups cumulatively got $600,000 in AWS Activate credits.

The Propel Accelerator offers support to emerging Indian businesses and startups in the consumer products space to launch in international markets and create global brands from India through Amazon’s Global Selling programme. The second season of Propel Accelerator was launched in February 2022 in partnership with Accel, DSG Consumer Partners, Fireside Ventures and Sequoia Capital India. 

First runner-up: EcoRight

More than 1,000 startups and emerging brands from across India applied for the accelerator, out of which the top 15 were selected as finalists, including Almo, Avishkaar, Belora, EcoRight, Eske, Go Desi, Greencure, Hathmic, IVEI, Masterchow, Minimalist, Shumee, Sleepy Owl Coffee, Solethreads, and The Artment.

The 15 finalists presented their business propositions to a distinguished jury that included Prayag Mohanty, Principal from Fireside Ventures; Abhishek Mohan, Principal from Sequoia Capital India; Radhika Ananth, VP, Accel; Hariharan Premkumar, Head—India Business, DSG Consumer Partners; and Preetham N, Principal, Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund and Corporate Development. The panel evaluated the entries on a variety of parameters, including business idea, scalability and strength of the business plan/model, business metrics in launched markets, founding team credentials, and more. 

Second runner-up: Go Desi

“I would like to commend Amazon for this programme that is at the intersection of three important government priorities—startups, technology adoption, and boosting exports. I am sure programmes like Propel Accelerator will help us tap the vast potential of emerging businesses and MSMEs to make an indelible mark in the global market,” said Deepak Bagla, MD and CEO, Invest India while announcing the winners of Propel Accelerator season 2.

Amit Agarwal, SVP India and Emerging Markets, Amazon added,

“The true success of the Propel Accelerator reflects in the growing number of startups and D2C brands adopting it to launch in global markets. This programme is a key part of our pledge to enable $20 billion in cumulative exports by 2025 and contribute to the government’s vision of making it local, global.”

As part of the accelerator, Amazon had constituted a mentorship board consisting of Amazon leaders from India and across the world, VC partners, and others who engaged with the finalists through focused workshops, one-on-one mentorship on the global demand patterns, and insights on building successful exports businesses through ecommerce. Amazon also hosted open virtual mentorship sessions focused on peer learning by inviting veteran entrepreneurs and members of its mentorship board for startups, to network and learn from their existing ecosystem. 

The winner of Amazon Global Selling Propel Season 2—Vikram Iyer, Co-founder of Solethreads, said,

“In the last couple of months, we have got so many opportunities to interact with industry stalwarts, VCs and peers and we have learnt a great deal from them specifically about nuances of building a global business, serving global customers with varying preferences, benefits of going directly to customers worldwide and more. We are super excited to be named winners of Propel Accelerator Season 2 and we believe this is just a start for us.”     

Launched in January 2021, Amazon Global Selling Propel Accelerator is designed to help early-stage startups in the consumer products space expand globally and become international brands. As a part of the programme, a cohort of select startups receive 1:1 mentorship from industry leaders, a platform to interact with investors and receive handholding support in going global. Slurrp Farm, Sirona and Wellbeing Nutrition were the winners of the programme’s inaugural season in 2021.

(The story was updated with new images.)

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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