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AWS pours $230M into GenAI startups to accelerate innovation

Amazon Web Services
Image credit: DepositPhotos/ChinaImages

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a significant commitment of $230 million to propel the development and commercialization of generative AI applications. This initiative targets early-stage startups working on harnessing the power of generative AI to tackle complex challenges across diverse industries. 

The funding program encompasses two key pillars:

AWS Credits

Startups will receive access to AWS credits, granting them the resources required to leverage the power of AWS’s cloud computing infrastructure, including storage, databases, and specialised AI chips like AWS Trainium and AWS Inferentia2. These credits can also be used on Amazon SageMaker, a service designed to streamline the building and training of machine learning models. Additionally, startups will have access to Amazon Bedrock, a platform facilitating the development and deployment of secure generative AI applications.

AWS Generative AI Accelerator

A core component of the initiative is the second cohort of the AWS Generative AI Accelerator program. This intensive 10-week program will select 80 promising early-stage startups utilising generative AI to address real-world issues. Participants will benefit from:

  • Mentorship: The program will connect startups with both business and technical mentors tailored to their specific industry and needs.
  • Financial Support: Each selected startup will receive up to $1 million in AWS credits to support the development, training, testing, and launch of their generative AI solutions.
  • Industry Expertise: Startups will gain access to industry experts, technology resources, and technical sessions from program partner NVIDIA. This includes an invitation to join the NVIDIA Inception program, fostering growth for cutting-edge startups.

Networking and Showcase

The program culminates with an opportunity for all 80 participating startups to showcase their solutions to potential investors, customers, partners, and AWS leaders at the re:Invent 2024 conference in Las Vegas.

Building on early success

The first cohort of the AWS Generative AI Accelerator program yielded positive results. Participating startups like Leonardo.AI, a provider of generative AI tools for creators, highlighted significant cost reductions in AI inference and accelerated model performance. Additionally, Vevo Therapeutics, a company developing AI models for drug discovery, emphasised the program’s role in connecting them with the AWS ecosystem and facilitating access to crucial infrastructure and expertise.

How to apply 

Applications for the AWS Generative AI Accelerator open today and will be accepted until July 19. Startups can apply here. Interested startups who want to learn more about it can check it out here

AWS will announce selected startups for the second cohort on September 10, and the program will kick off on October 1 with in-person sessions at Amazon’s Seattle campus. All 80 participating startups will be invited to attend and showcase their solutions to potential investors, customers, partners, and AWS leaders in December at re:Invent 2024 in Las Vegas.

Key takeaway

AWS’s commitment to generative AI reflects the expanding role this technology is expected to play across various sectors. From drug discovery and content creation to financial services and climate change mitigation, generative AI holds immense potential to solve complex problems and drive innovation. By empowering startups with the resources and expertise needed to thrive in this field, AWS is poised to accelerate the development and adoption of generative AI solutions, shaping the future of this transformative technology. 

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