Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), has committed more than $30m to early stage startups led by Black, Latino, LGBTQIA+, and women founders as part of its new AWS Impact Accelerator.
Over the three-year commitment, AWS will provide funding and guidance for a series of programs that will help these organizations build successful companies. Eligible startups can now apply to the first of these programs, the AWS Impact Accelerator for Black Founders
The AWS Impact Accelerator gives high-potential, pre-seed startups the tools and knowledge to reach key milestones such as raising funds or being accepted to a seed-stage accelerator program, while creating solutions in the cloud. On acceptance into the eight-week program, participants will create a wide-ranging, personalized training curriculum from dozens of available sessions delivered by AWS startup experts and guest speakers.
Each qualifying startup will receive the following benefits:
- Unrestricted cash grant of $125,000.
- Up to $100,000 in AWS service credits through AWS Activate. Startups that qualify for AWS Activate can use these credits for scalable, reliable, and secure AWS Cloud services such as compute, storage, database, analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning.
- Access to more than 80 exclusive offers, through AWS Activate, on products and services that help startups grow, from companies like Dropbox, New Relic, Notion, and Stripe.
- Access to a dedicated team of mentors and AWS technologists to guide startups during and after the program.
- Access to AWS IQ for startups to engage AWS-certified, third-party developers when building their cloud-based solutions.
- Engagements with Amazon teams and leaders to discuss potential collaborations and get relevant advice.
- Networking sessions with investors and pitch coaching from startup experts to help participants raise seed funding.
Startups will have the opportunity to learn from and connect with more than 20 collaborating organizations that are on board to support the AWS Impact Accelerator as mentors, guest speakers, and advisors. They include organizations that work with Black, Latino, LGBTQIA+, and women founders such as Black Women Talk Tech (BWTT), digitalundivided, and StartOut, as well as venture capital firms such as Backstage Capital and Lightship Capital. The program will also prepare startups for entry into seed-stage accelerators that work closely with AWS, such as Visible Hands.
Applications open today for the first AWS Impact Accelerator for Black Founders, with the program kicking off in June for U.S.-based startups. The first AWS Impact Accelerator for Women Founders will take place in the second half of the year for U.S.-based startups. The AWS Impact Accelerator for LGBTQIA+ Founders and AWS Impact Accelerator for Latino Founders will follow in 2023.
After a startup completes an AWS Impact Accelerator, they will continue to receive guidance and resources through a virtual community, alumni events, permanent access to the curriculum (including future content), and ongoing advisory support from mentors and AWS technical experts.