*AWS to award regional prizes and global winner chosen from start-ups with innovative businesses built in the cloud*
SEATTLE, Aug 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) –Amazon Web Services LLC (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced the call for entries to the fourth annual AWS Start-Up Challenge, a contest to recognize innovative start-ups that are built on the AWS cloud computing platform. For the first time, AWS will choose regional award winners in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. Regional semi-finalists will receive $2,500US in AWS service credits. Global finalists will receive $10,000US in AWS service credits and a trip to Palo Alto, CA., USA for the final judging and awards ceremony. The global grand prize winner will be awarded $50,000US cash, $50,000US in AWS service credits, premium support services and technical mentorship from Amazon Web Services for one year, as well as a possible investment offer from Amazon. All qualified contestants will receive $25US in AWS service credits to kick-start the process of building their businesses on AWS. To learn more about the AWS Start-Up Challenge, visit https://aws.amazon.com/startupchallenge.
The AWS cloud platform enables start-ups to cost-effectively and quickly innovate and build the infrastructure for their businesses. AWS Start-Up Challenge contestants will be evaluated on their implementation of AWS solutions; originality and creativity of the business; likelihood of long-term success and scalability; and how well the business addresses a need in the marketplace. Entries must be received no later than midnight US Pacific Time on October 31st, 2010. Regional semi-finalists and global finalists will be announced in November. In December, finalists will fly to Palo Alto, CA., USA to present their businesses to a panel of AWS executives, venture capitalists and an audience of technology industry leaders. The final AWS Start-Up Challenge event, including presentations from all finalists and awards ceremony, will be streamed live worldwide.
“Traditionally, start-ups and entrepreneurs have been constrained by the availability of resources and infrastructure to develop their products and services. Since launching more than four years ago, AWS has enabled hundreds of thousands of companies in more than 190 countries to free up their precious engineering resources to focus on work that truly differentiates their businesses,” said Adam Selipsky, Vice President of Amazon Web Services. “With AWS, developers and companies of all sizes can tap into critical resources such as storage, compute, database and CDN functionality with no up-front investment or long-term commitments. This has helped level the playing field for many start-ups competing in the global marketplace.”
“The AWS Start-Up Challenge literally saved our business,” said Chris Gay, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MileMeter, an innovative start-up that sells car insurance by-the-mile, and finalist of the 2007 AWS Start-Up Challenge. “After sending out a notice to all of my shareholders that MileMeter was shutting down, I got a call from Amazon Web Services informing me that out of 900 promising start-ups, we were one of the finalists for the first AWS Start-Up Challenge. Since that time, AWS has enabled our business to grow, thrive and continue to focus on what’s truly important for our customers, helping them save money on car insurance.”
“Winning the AWS Start-Up Challenge was a watershed for GoodData,” said Roman Stanek, CEO and Founder of GoodData. “It helped validate the cloud as a technically feasible and economically disruptive way to deliver Business Intelligence; and exposed us to the rich and diverse community of AWS start-ups and developers. We were born in the cloud – similar to a lot of other cloud companies, we couldn’t have built our business without AWS.”
“The AWS Start-Up Challenge was a springboard for Yieldex,” said John Barr, COO and VP of Yieldex, a company that helps online publishers forecast and optimize advertising inventory and the winner of the 2008 AWS Start-Up Challenge. “After the contest, we raised $8.5 million and launched our first large publisher in January of 2009. Since that time our customers have grown from early adopters to top tier web properties such as Fox News, Orbitz and Martha Stewart. The AWS Start-Up Challenge was a key ingredient to getting us where we are today.”
Eligible AWS Start-Up Challenge contestants must be privately held companies or individuals legally based in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada (excluding the Province of Québec), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom or United States. Eligible contestants must have generated no more than $10 million in annual revenue and no more than $10 million in outside funding. Start-ups submitted for the contest must use the cloud computing solutions offered by AWS, such as Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2) or Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). A complete description of the prizes and contest rules can be found at https://aws.amazon.com/startupchallenge.