Amazon launches Start-up Challenge

Cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services has launched its annual Start-up Challenge, inviting start-ups to compete for prizes worth up to $100,000.


Amazon Web Services is a collection of remote computing services that together make up a cloud computing platform, offered over the internet by retailing giant


AWS has called for entries to its fifth annual AWS Start-up Challenge, aimed at start-ups built on the AWS cloud computing platform.


“This year, we will select 15 regional semi-finalists [from around the world] who will each receive $2,500 in AWS credits,” a spokesperson says.


“From these, we will select a minimum of six finalists to be awarded a package of $10,000 in AWS credits and a trip to Palo Alto, California, to attend the final round of judging.”


“Then, after a day of meetings with our judges, we will announce one grand prize winner at a public event for start-ups and investors. The winner will receive a package that includes $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in AWS credits.”


The winner will also receive AWS support services and technical mentorship, in addition to a possible investment offer from Amazon.


Entrants must use the cloud computing solutions offered by AWS, such as Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute or Amazon Simple Storage Service.


Eligible contestants must have generated no more than $10 million in annual revenue and no more than $10 million in outside funding.


Entries will be judged on their implementation of AWS solutions, originality and creativity, likelihood of long-term success and scalability, and how well the business addresses a need in the marketplace.


At the final event in November, finalists will present their businesses to a panel of AWS executives, venture capitalists and industry leaders.


Last year, Australian start-up Kaggle was announced as a semi-finalist of the Start-up Challenge. Kaggle was founded just over a year ago by Anthony Goldbloom and Jeremy Howard.


It provides statistical and analytical outsourcing, describing itself as the leading platform for data modelling and prediction competitions.


AWS vice president Adam Selipsky says the AWS community is seeing “hotbeds of innovation” emerging throughout the world.


“AWS has levelled the playing field as smaller companies gain the resources to compete in ways that were very expensive and often cost-prohibitive in the past,” he says.


“AWS allows customers to pay only for the resources they use with no up-front investment, enabling entrepreneurs to put their ideas to work as quickly as their businesses scale.”


Entries close on October 2.


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