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AWS commits $230 million to support early-stage generative AI startups; partners with Accel

Sumit Vishwakarma
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Amazon-owned Amazon Web Services (AWS) has committed $230 million to support generative AI startups, announcing the expansion of its global Generative AI Accelerator.

The initiative is designed to assist 80 founders and innovators, including 20 from Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ), in accelerating their growth through tailored technical and business programming.

Applications for the AWS Generative AI Accelerator are open from today until July 19. The program will run for 10 weeks starting on October 1.

What will participants receive?


Founders of the selected generative AI startups will benefit from sessions focused on developing skills related to machine learning, stack optimization, and go-to-market strategies.

Additionally, they may receive up to $1 million in AWS credits, which can be used for AWS compute, storage, databases, and the best price-performance ML accelerators AWS Trainium and AWS Inferentia2.

Participants will also receive business and technical mentorship and have opportunities to network with industry experts.

What is the AWS Generative AI Spotlight program?

AWS has also launched a new program, the AWS Generative AI Spotlight, in the APJ region. This four-week accelerator program is aimed at nurturing pre-seed and seed-stage startups building generative AI applications. 

The program will help selected startups accelerate their understanding and use of generative AI tools and services from AWS.

Participants will gain access to business and technical knowledge and expertise from industry experts, founders, investors, and peer support from a community of innovators.

Partnering with VC firm Accel

In India, AWS is collaborating with the venture capital firm Accel for the AWS Generative AI Spotlight program. Last year, AWS and Accel launched ML Elevate 2023, a six-week accelerator program that supported 35 generative AI startups in India. 

The AWS Generative AI Spotlight program in APJ will select up to 120 pre-seed and seed-stage startups across the region, including 40 from India.

Applications for this program are open from June 13 to June 30, and selected startups will be announced in July.

Leadership comments

"For 18 years, AWS has helped more startups build, launch, and scale than any other cloud provider – it’s no coincidence that 96% of all AI/ML unicorns run on AWS," said Matt Taylor, Head of Startups Solutions Architecture, APJ at AWS.

"These two complementary accelerator programs will help startups at various stages of growth in the APJ region to drive innovations on our generative AI stack. From the best price-performance AWS-designed ML chips, to training or fine-tuning foundational models, and building AI applications, we’re looking forward to enabling startups to transform customer experiences and the way we live, work, and play."

Amitabh Nagpal, Head of Startup Ecosystem, AWS India, added, "Generative AI offers businesses immense potential to accelerate innovation, revolutionize industries, and drive economic growth. Tailored to the lifecycle of early-stage generative AI startups, the two distinct, complementary programs - AWS global generative AI accelerator, and APJ Generative AI Spotlight, are designed to offer selected startups access to various resources such as AWS credits, tools, and expertise, to accelerate their journey. We invite eligible startups in India to apply for the programs, and look forward to empowering startups that are driving generative AI-led transformation in the country."