Amazon Commits $230M in AWS Credits for GenAI Startups

Amazon has earmarked $230 million to invest in generative AI startups worldwide, providing funding in the form of “AWS credits, mentorship, and education to further their use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.” The initiative will cast a global net, focusing on early-stage companies. About $80 million of that allocation will fund the second cohort of the AWS Generative AI Accelerator, which provides up to $1 million in credits “to each of the top 80 early-stage startups that are using generative AI to solve complex challenges.” Applications for the AWS Accelerator are open through July 19.

“To sweeten the pot, Amazon is pledging that startups in this year’s Generative AI Accelerator cohort will gain access to experts and tech from Nvidia, the program’s presenting partner,” writes TechCrunch, noting that participants will also “be invited to join the Nvidia Inception program, which provides companies opportunities to connect with potential investors and additional consulting resources.”

The 10-week AWS Accelerator program matches participants with business and technical mentors based on industry verticals. Startups can each use their up to $1 million in AWS credits “to help them build, train, test, and launch their generative AI solutions,” Amazon explains in a press release that includes a link to information about how to apply to this and other GenAI programs.

The outreach “aims to position AWS as an attractive cloud infrastructure choice for startups developing generative AI models to power their products, apps and services,” TechCrunch reports, explaining the credits “can’t be transferred to other cloud service providers like Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.”

“Amazon says it already offers $1 billion in cloud credits every year to startups, with this new commitment focusing on supporting generative AI startups,” reports Reuters, quoting AWS AI Products VP Matt Woods saying the program helps startups learn “to iterate very quickly and pivot very quickly as necessary. Then ultimately, when they hit on that home run, they’ll be able to double down and get to the scale with security, responsibility and consistency.”

“Startups can use AWS credits to access AWS compute, storage, and database technologies, as well as AWS Trainium and AWS Inferentia2, energy-efficient AI chips that offer high performance at the lowest cost,” Amazon explains in its announcement. The credits can also be used on Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed service that helps companies build and train their own FMs.”

Luma AI was among the first chohort of the AWS Accelerator and used the SageMaker HyperPod to train its Dream Machine text-to-video generator, unveiled last week.

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