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Amazon Commits $230 Million to Generative AI Startups

Amazon Commits $230 Million to Generative AI Startups

Sarah Hardacre July 02, 2024
July 02, 2024
Amazon has committed $230 million in Amazon Web Services credits to boost generative AI startups. Some of the money will fund the second round of its AWS Generative AI Accelerator, which is designed to guide startups in developing generative AI applications.

The first round kicked off in April 2023, with 10 startups selected to participate in the program. Amazon is partnering with Meta, Nvidia, and Mistral AI for the second-round cohort to expand the program to 80 early-stage startups.

The program is open globally to “pre-Series A startups beyond the ideation stage, with a fully developed MVP or launched product.” Applications can be submitted until July 19. Winners will be notified in August, and the official announcement will be made in September.

The selected companies will benefit from a 10-week program that kicks off in October and culminates in December with re:Invent 2024, an AWS event that will give winners a chance to showcase their products to potential investors.

During the 10 weeks, the companies will be able to attend various classes delivered by industry experts, network with each other and other industry leaders, and receive dedicated guidance from mentors in areas like business planning, technology, or going to market. They will also be invited to join another program for startups run by Nvidia.

Additionally, each of the 80 startups will be eligible for up to $1 million in AWS credits, which make it affordable for the companies to build, train, test, and launch their applications.

Jachin Bhasme, the co-founder of previous cohort member Leonardo.AI, said that working with AWS allowed his company to significantly improve performance and that “The business and technical mentorship we received and the connections we made played a crucial role in shaping our product and strategy.”

Large cloud hosting providers, like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, frequently offer credits to attract customers. Already the world’s largest public cloud provider, AWS stands to gain by cementing itself as a computing provider for the next generation of successful AI firms.

“It’s no coincidence that 96% of all AI/ML [machine learning] unicorns run on AWS,” said Amazon executive Matt Wood, using industry slang for privately owned startups valued at over $1 billion.

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