With its affordable cloud computing service, Amazon has done more for startups than any program meant to spur entrepreneurship and create jobs. And the company is not content with just making a product that enables others to scale fast and cheap.
It's also actively encouraging startups via the yearly "Start-up Challenge
" which aims to find the best companies using the Amazon cloud and reward them with cash and free Amazon services.
"[Amazon] announced the call for entries to the sixth AWS Global Start-Up Challenge, a contest to recognize innovative start-ups that are built on AWS’s cloud computing platform," the company said.
"This year, AWS will select four grand prize winners – one from each of the following categories: Big Data & High Performance Computing; Gaming; Consumer Applications; and Business Applications," it listed.
"Each grand prize winner will be awarded $50,000 [€38,700] in cash, $50,000 in AWS credits, AWS Support services at the Business-level tier for one year, and technical mentorship from AWS," it said.
Amazon is targeting companies that are relatively small, they must have generated less than $10 million, €7.74 million in revenue or funding. Obviously, they must also be using one of Amazon's cloud products, part of the Web Services suite.
The competition is looking for companies that are doing something new or interesting. These companies must also be built to be scalable, making use of the cloud's biggest selling point, and the judges will be looking at how well they use the Amazon cloud as well as how useful the product they're creating is.
Anyone interested has until November 9 to sign up for the competition. The semi-finalists will be picked by December and the finalists will be revealed in the first days of 2013. These winners will get to come to the AWS Global Start-Up Challenge finals in San Francisco.