LAUNCHPAD: Amazon launches further packages to lure startups

Amazon's Web Services division has revealed its latest wheeze to sign up more startups.

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 11 Oct 2013
The world’s tech giants love to know what plucky startups are up to; they might want to buy them, they might want to invest, they might just want to be friends, either way, they’re interested. Amazon has compounded its interest through Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) latest package, AWS Activate – which will provide training, developer support and a community forum for startups.

Amazon’s AWS division offers cloud services (having pretty much invented them), such as hosting for apps, and has become something of a go-to place for startups looking for somewhere to host the fruits of their labour (Spotify and Pinterest are both customers). Launched today, AWS Activate hopes to lure more new tech businesses through the gates by offering package deals to smooth the process of setting up and provide a support network for companies.

AWS Activate comes in two packages – a ‘Self-Starter’ package, which any startup can apply for and a ‘Portfolio’ package, specifically aimed at startups in select accelerator and incubator programmes. They include free access to certain parts of the platform (new joiners get a year of free-access to application launching services) or credits towards them, developer support and web-based training.

It’s not an altruistic move by any means. It’s a good way to keep abreast of what young companies are coming up with. A canny move not unlike Google's various startup 'hubs'. It’s also a great way to increase customer numbers, just like banks offers students attractive packages to join, getting these companies in early might mean they use Amazon’s cloud services for life.

UK-based startups Hailo and Shazam are already using the service to host their ranges of apps and other services. This latest offer from Amazon is likely to stir more interest among the UK’s tech community, encroaching further into the territory of hosting companies such as Rackspace and startup support programs like Microsoft’s BizSpark.

Amazon seems to enjoy grinding Microsoft’s gears at the moment. This latest move to challenge BizSpark’s support of the startups community follows its efforts at the beginning of last month to poach its staff. Keyboards at dawn...

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