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Amazon awards €100,000 Startup of the Year grant to natural laundry detergent company

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Amazon Launchpad, the one-stop shop for unique and unexpected finds from emerging brands, has announced Ops Clean, creator of an eco-friendly laundry detergent alternative, as the 2023 European Startup of the Year.

To celebrate the Innovation Awards, Amazon is featuring a curated collection on the Amazon Launchpad storefront, packed with forward-thinking products designed by the France-based overall winner, as well as other European winners and finalists.

Startup of the Year

Ops Clean, whose sachet effectively cleans all types of laundry using on average 12 times less CO2 emissions, has been awarded a €100,000 grant, a featured placement on Amazon Launchpad, and one year of free account management and support to sell on Amazon. This natural product, made in France and delivered in recyclable and compostable packaging, effectively cleans all type of laundry with just one ingredient.

The free-to-enter Amazon Launchpad Innovation Awards saw hundreds of applications across Europe. A panel of expert judges selected the €100,000 grand prize winner and also awarded five runners-up a €10,000 grant, and one-year of free access to Amazon Launchpad, from a shortlist of 20.

Jean-Baptiste Duranton, co-founder of Ops Clean said: “Winning Amazon Launchpad’s ‘European Startup of the Year’ will transform and shape the future of our business as we look to scale up and offer more customers across Europe a sustainable washing alternative. We’re passionate about ecological innovation; this recognition and support from Amazon allows us to keep developing products that respect our planet and its inhabitants.”

Marc Biessy, co-founder of Ops Clean added: “The grant allows us to continue improving our product and do more research to demonstrate its effectiveness, while still retaining ownership of our company. We are especially thankful to Amazon for believing in us, in our idea of a truly eco-friendlier product that can help the laundry detergent market to become greener. With this award, Amazon shows that they not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk for a more sustainable world. Thank you for that.”

Xavier Flamand, VP of Amazon Launchpad, said: “Ops Clean is a well-deserved winner of our Startup of the Year 2023 – a zero waste detergent sachet that reduces water usage by around 30% per wash, translating to an average annual saving of 3,000 litres.

“At Amazon we are passionate about supporting and championing startups and SMEs who challenge the status quo to bring innovative products to the market. This year’s winners are truly pioneering in their fields who have brought new thinking to delight our customers with their creations. Since its launch, Amazon Launchpad has supported over 2,700 emerging brands, and we continue to be overwhelmed by the ingenuity and creative thinking brought to the table by these companies, who are truly shaping the future with Amazon’s continued support.”

The competition

In addition to the Startup of the Year, Amazon has revealed five other winners, chosen from hundreds of applications from 29 different European countries. They are: Milky Planet from the UK, Talking Hands from Germany, Bricknic from the Netherlands, Infinite Athletic from Spain, and Firemill from Sweden. Each winner receives a €10,000 grant to invest into their growing business, as well as one-year free access to Amazon Launchpad.

Winning products were judged by a panel consisting of four industry experts, including: Andy Fishburn, Managing Director of Virgin StartUp; John Vincent, Co-founder of LEON; Simona Barbieri, Founder & Creative Director of Hubdot; and Alessandro Giudici, Director of the Executive MBA at Bayes Business School. The emerging brands and products were judged based on their aesthetic, design, uniqueness, and differentiation, as well as social, ecological, and economic sustainability aspects.

“The Amazon Launchpad Innovation Awards continue to attract amazing innovative brands each year, with game-changing products that really stand out on the market,” Andy Fishburn, Managing Director of Virgin StartUp and judging panel member said.

Andy added: “We were so impressed by the simplicity and eco-friendly credentials of the Ops Clean product, it really stood out as a product that offers improvements to a task, like laundry, for both the customer and the planet. Congratulations to Ops Clean and all the winners this year, the judging panel look forward to seeing where the support from Amazon Launchpad will take your businesses.”

Michael Kalu, co-founder of Milky Plant and UK winners said: “Winning the UK competition for the Amazon Launchpad Innovation competition was so unexpected and so great. This is our first innovation award this year for Milky Plant and it really opens up opportunities for us to grow the business.  This kind of recognition and support from Amazon is a big deal; it means we’re doing something right in this space and it’s a big stamp of approval.

“We plan to use the fund and access to Launchpad to support our Amazon listing and boost it further, as well as working on a second version of the machine and a commercial version for coffee shops, cafes and restaurants.”

Amazon Launchpad was introduced in 2015 and is now available across Europe in France, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands as well as in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, India, and Australia. Since launch, Amazon Launchpad has worked with over 200 leading venture capital firms, startup accelerators and crowd-funding platforms to help emerging brands launch industry-changing products.

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