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The funds are targeted at companies with underrepresented founders. Photo: Pixabay.

Amazon Web Services, Inc. earmarks $30 million for diverse businesses

In addition to the money, the beneficiary businesses will also receive commercial and technical orientation, as well as access to a network of collaborators.

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Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. for more than 15 years, announced the creation of a new fund for more than $30 million for startups led by Black, Latino, LGBTQIA+, and women founders, as part of its new AWS Impact Accelerator.

This commitment from the technology firm, initially for three years, will provide these entrepreneurs with financing and guidance through a series of programs that will help these organizations build successful businesses.

“Each qualifying startup receives up to $225,000 in cash and credits, extensive training, mentoring and technical guidance, as well as introductions to Amazon leaders and teams, networking opportunities with potential investors, and ongoing advisory support. Eligible startups can now apply to the first of these programs, the AWS Impact Accelerator for Black Founders,” it is pointed out from AWS.

Benefits of the AWS Impact Accelerator

This AWS tool provides startups with the resources and guidance to help them achieve their top goals, such as raising funds or being admitted to an early-stage accelerator program.

The eight-week program allows accepted participants to build a wide-ranging, personalized training portfolio based on insights from a variety of AWS startup experts and relevant guest speakers.

Adam Selipsky, CEO of Amazon Web Services, said:

When we launched in 2006, AWS changed the game for startups by giving them access to the same technology as the world’s largest enterprises. 

From AWS, they also highlight how these resources and opportunities are reaching all types of founders, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin or race.

“AWS is committed to helping underrepresented founders succeed and build powerful cloud solutions that capture the attention of investors and customers. The possibilities for these startups are endless, and I can’t wait to see what they create,” underlined Selipsky. 

Each qualified startup will benefit from the following resources:

  • Unrestricted cash grant of $125,000.
  • Up to $100,000 in AWS Service Credits through AWS Activate, a program that has helped hundreds of thousands of early-stage startups grow their businesses in the cloud.
  • Access to more than 80 exclusive offers, through AWS Activate, on products and services that help startups grow.
  • Access to a team of AWS mentors and technologists to guide startups through 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.
  • Investor networking sessions and pitch coaching from startup experts to help participants raise seed funds.

“Startups will also learn how to use Amazon processes such as two-way door decision making and working backwards to drive day-to-day decisions and build nimble, innovative teams,” they highlighted.

Open Registration

Enrollment is now open for the first-ever AWS Impact Accelerator for Black founders, with the program starting in June for US-based companies.

Likewise, the impact accelerator aimed at female founders will take place during the second half of the year.

On the other hand, accelerators for Latino owners and LGBTQIA + will be carried out from 2023.

“Innovation plays such an important role in unlocking opportunities for women and people of color, and we need to make sure more of them are able to go from early-stage founder to success story. These AWS programs fill a genuine need along that journey and will provide a crucial lift for disruptors who are driving economic growth through entrepreneurship and invention,” said Yasmin Cruz Ferrine, General Partner and Co-founder of Visible Hands, an early stage accelerator working alongside AWS.

For more information about AWS click here.

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