Amazon Lures Startups With Cloud Services, Support And Training Bundle

On Thursday, Amazon launched a package designed to make it easy for even more startups to get on board with its cloud infrastructure-as-a-service and other offerings.

Called AWS Activate, the program bundles "AWS credits, training, developer support, a special startup community forum and special offers from third parties," Amazon said in a press release.

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AWS Activate formalizes a lot of things Amazon has already been doing in terms of providing basic infrastructure to startups, Kim Milosevich, a partner with venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, said in an interview.

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A16z has a market development team dedicated to working with platform partners like AWS, as well as Apple and Google and other Fortune 500 firms.

"With AWS, startups can get up and running and scale faster than what was possible before. As a result, you're seeing more of them getting off the ground faster," Milosevich told CRN. "We work with nearly 200 companies, and this program allows us to easily plug them into AWS."

AWS Activate comes in two flavors: There's a Self-Starter package that's open to all startups and a Portfolio package that's limited to "select accelerator, incubator, venture capital seed funds or entrepreneur organizations," Amazon said.

The Self-Starter option includes one year of access to the free tier of AWS, which startups can use to get their developers up to speed on the ins and outs of the platform. They also get one month of Developer-level support, which includes 24/7/365 access to a "one-on-one, fast-response support channel" and 12-hour response time from an AWS cloud support associate, Amazon said.

The more sophisticated Portfolio option includes credits for Amazon's EC2, S3, RDS, CloudFront, DynamoDB, EMR, Redshift and Glacier services, among others. They also get one year of Business-level support, including access to AWS Trusted Advisor, Amazon's cloud services monitoring tool, as well as phone, chat, email and screen sharing support with a one-hour response time and instructor-led training.

Both tiers come with access to the AWS Startup Forum, a private forum that lets startups tap into the "vast body of knowledge in the AWS startup community, including access to tips from experienced startup founders and advice from knowledgeable AWS solutions architects," Amazon said.

Both the Self-Starter and Portfolio tiers are free. By packaging up its services and support and training, Amazon is hoping that even more startups will move their businesses to the cloud.