Amazon Plans to Mentor Wearables and Electronics Start-Ups

Remember when Amazon was the spunky new website (on the World Wide Web) where you could order a book and have it at your door in about a week?

Now the tech juggernaut sells everything from laundry detergent to used cars—delivering overnight and (perhaps soon) via remote-operated drone.

But Jeff Bezos’ empire has its eyes trained on more than 24-hour turnarounds. Re/code reports that the company is quietly building infrastructure to nurture up-and-coming device and electronics companies. 

A few job postings from Amazon have revealed that it’s looking for staff to flesh out an “end-to-end platform for start-ups” that will “service inventors and entrepreneurs.”

Developers of robotics and wearables are two categories the tech giant is reportedly looking to mentor. This would effectively close the gap between makers and distribution—by offering guidance and funding for products that ultimately sell (exclusively?) on Amazon.

Amazon pulled a similar move when it took book publishers out of the loop by printing and distributing books directly from the hands of authors, offering greater profits for writers and an unparalleled distribution channel.

A source told Re/code that Amazon is “trying to figure out how to engage with start-ups in new product categories in a more thoughtful way.”

The new endeavor might also double as the ne plus ultra of crowd funding. Why go to Kickstarter or Indiegogo for funding when Amazon is offering a package that acts as a hothouse for new businesses, distribution included?

Makers of smart jewelry could benefit enormously from such a program. And Amazon is clearly taking a keen interest in the category: For the first time ever, it’s covering the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) directly on its site

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JCK Senior Editor

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