Amazon start-up challenge kicks off, huge prizes on offer

Nominations are now open for the fifth annual Amazon Web Services (AWS) Start-Up Challenge, with 15 regional prizes and one global grand prize up for grabs by innovative start-up businesses.

The contest recognises innovative start-ups built on AWS’ cloud computing platform, which enables them to cost-effectively and quickly innovate and build the infrastructure required to run their businesses.

Amazon has expanded the challenge worldwide, and will choose 15 regional semi-finalists from the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

From the regional semi-finalists, global finalists will be chosen and awarded a package of $10,000 in AWS credits and a trip to attend the final round of judging and awards ceremony.

The global winner will be awarded $50,000 in cash, $50,000 in AWS credits, AWS premium support services and technical mentorship for one year, as well as a possible investment offer from Amazon.

AWS Start-Up Challenge entries will be judged 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 2 October 2011. Regional semi-finalists and global finalists will be announced in November.

At the final AWS event in November, finalists will present their businesses to a panel of AWS executives, venture capitalists and an audience of technology industry leaders.

“Within the AWS community, we’re seeing hotbeds of innovation emerge throughout the world. AWS has levelled the playing field as smaller companies gain the resources to compete in ways that were very expensive and often cost prohibitive in the past,” Amazon Web Services Vice President Adam Selipsky said.

“AWS allows customers to pay only for the resources they use with no up-front investment, enabling entrepreneurs to put their ideas to work as quickly as their businesses scale.”
All eligible contestants will receive $25 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

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