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Amazon LaunchPad Seeking More British Inventors

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British entrepreneurs can gain a huge impetus for their start-up businesses from a new tie-up between Amazon LaunchPad and money raising platforms Crowdcube and Crowdfunder.

The two have linked as the new Amazon venture to showcase startups opens to British companies.

The store features a range of new technology from innovative UK technology and design companies.

Already available in the US, Amazon LaunchPad backs entrepreneurs seeking a shop window, help with distribution and marketing by offering them a special placement on the Amazon online store and mentoring from business experts.

Invitation only

The other side of the coin is aid from the two crowdfunding platforms to look at alternative finance for LaunchPad businesses.

Among the first products selected for Launchpad are the Kano children’s computer kit, the Wileyfox 4G Smartphone and Smarter’s wifi-enabled iKettle.

Amazon will invite other entrepreneurs to join the special program over the coming weeks.

“Entrepreneurs are invited to pitch their ideas to us, but participation is by invitation only,” said an Amazon spokesman.

“Joining LaunchPad can expose a business to millions of new potential customers who can find the cutting edge items from today’s new inventors that we are helping to nurture.”

How crowdfunded firms perform

Meanwhile, new research has looked at whether crowdfunding really is a good investment.

The survey looked at 431 equity crowdfunding pitches from 367 companies since 2011.

The return on taking an equity stake in one of these pitches is mixed:

  • 29 (8%) of the companies have already gone out of business
  • 41 (9.5%) companies were flagged as likely to be in trouble because they did not answer the phone, had not filed returns with Companies House or had inactive web sites
  • Only one firm has secured a successful exit for investors
  • 58 companies (16%) had gone on to raise more money at a higher valuation
  • 302 companies (70%) are trading but do not seem to be increasing their valuation for investors

The report by industry website AltFi and law firm Nabarro suggests that some of the companies need more time to show a significant return and that the figures are not too bad, considering official figures show 55% of start ups fail in the first five years in the UK.

British entrepreneurs can gain a huge impetus for their start-up businesses from a new tie-up between Amazon LaunchPad and money raising platforms Crowdcube and Crowdfunder
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