Do I qualify for AWS Activate?

By Blue Matador on July 29, 2020

The Activate program from Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an easy way to get a little bit of help for your cloud-based startup. Depending on the stage of your startup and some other criteria, you could get up to $100,000 in sweet, sweet AWS credits.

So how do you know if you qualify for AWS Activate? Here’s the deal.

AWS Activate Founders package requirements AWS Activate Portfolio package requirements
  • Company website
  • Applicant LinkedIn profile
  • AWS account
  • No previous AWS Activate benefits
  • No outside funding (besides crowdsourcing or friend/family investments)
  • Company website
  • AWS account
  • Org ID from an AWS Activate Provider


How to qualify for the AWS Activate Founders packageHow to qualify for the AWS Activate Founders package

The Founders package is the less-generous of the two packages AWS offers for the Activate program, offering up to $1,000 in free AWS credits and $350 in AWS Developer Support Credits. Still, it’s not hard to apply for, so you might as well go for it. 


First, you have to have a startup, and its existence must be verifiable. That means you have to have a company website or other company online presence. 

The applicant must also have a valid LinkedIn profile that shows affiliation with the startup they’re submitting an application for.

Obviously, you must also have an AWS account, but these are easy enough to create that you can just sign up for one right before you apply for the Founders package. 


To qualify for the Founders program, you must not have received outside funding from any institution, whether from investors, incubators, or venture capital firms. (Crowdsourced funding or investments from family or friends don’t count!) In other words, your startup must be self-funded, aka “bootstrapped,” to qualify for the Founders program. 

Finally, your startup will be disqualified if it has received AWS Activate funding in the past. No double-dipping here.


There is no guarantee that you’ll be accepted once you’ve applied; however, this is the full list of application requirements set out by AWS. There is speculation out there about just how they determine who to choose, but as it’s just speculation, we won’t repeat that here. We also don’t know what the rate of acceptance is. Still, as we said, it’s easy enough, so it’s probably worth a shot. Once you’ve applied for the AWS Activate Founders package, you should have your results in about 7 to 10 business days.

If you decide to apply, let us know how it goes!

How to qualify for the AWS Activate Portfolio packageHow to qualify for the AWS Activate Portfolio package

This is where you can score the real benefits. If you qualify for the Portfolio package, you’re eligible for up to $100,000 in free AWS credits, plus free business, tech, and configuration support.

This package operates a little differently in that you won’t be working directly with AWS. Instead, you’ll go through an AWS Activate Provider, any outside investment firm associated with the program. Your provider will also determine what level of benefits you’ll receive.

Here’s what you need to qualify for the Portfolio package.


Like the Founders package, you must have a company website to participate. You must also have an existing AWS account.

Unlike the Founders package, you must have outside funding to qualify, and that investor must be designated as an AWS Activate Provider. You can check whether your investors are AWS Activate Providers here. You must include an Org ID from your AWS Activate Provider to submit your Activate application.


Again, there is no guarantee here that you will be accepted into the program. To add another layer of uncertainty, the amount of free AWS credit you receive is entirely up to the discretion of your AWS Activate Provider. You can, however, apply multiple times if you have associations with more than one provider, and you’ll receive the highest offer between them.


It’s easy enough to qualify for the AWS Activate program. As long as your business qualifies for the criteria listed above, you should definitely apply. The downside is that it’s kind of a crapshoot—there’s no way to know how much you’ll receive in AWS credit or that you’ll even be accepted.

But hey, free AWS credits. In the startup world, we say take what you can get, and, fortunately, the stipulations to apply are pretty loose. Go for it—and let us know how it goes.

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