AWS Activate is a program that provides startups with free AWS credits. There are specific requirements startups must meet in order to qualify, and not all startups that qualify end up receiving the free AWS credits. Still, for any startup planning on running their app in AWS, it’s probably worth a try.
AWS Activate has two packages: the Founders package and the Portfolio package.
The Founders package is intended for self-funded, bootstrapped startups, and it provides up to $1,000 in free AWS credit, plus AWS support credit.
The Portfolio package is for startups that have received outside funding. The Portfolio package includes up to $100,000 in free AWS credit and more robust support than that of the Founders package. One caveat is that your provider will determine how much AWS credit you get, not the Activate program itself.
It’s also a bit trickier to get—your venture capital firm, incubator, etc., etc., must be listed as an AWS Activate Provider, and they must provide you with an Org ID. Once you have that, though, applying to the program itself is simple.
Where to apply for the AWS Activate program
You can apply for either the Founders package or the Portfolio package from this page. Remember that if you’re applying for the Portfolio package, you’ll need an Org ID first.
What you’ll need to apply for AWS Activate
These steps apply to either package except where noted.
Step 1: Verify your account
For either package, the first thing you’ll need is AWS credentials, from either an IAM user or a root user account. If you don’t have one yet, create one now—it’s free.
If you’re applying for the Portfolio package, the next thing you’ll need is your Org ID.
Step 2: Complete startup profile
Next, you’ll be asked to give Amazon some basic information about your startup. Basically, they want to be sure your company is legit and actually exists. For example, you’re required to provide a company website or, if you’re applying for the Founders package, some kind of public profile.
Step 3: Complete team profile
This step is similar in that AWS wants to vet the applicant and the startup team. If you’re applying for the Founders package, a LinkedIn profile for the applicant will suffice.
Step 4 (if applicable): Review credit option
This one only applies if you’re going for the Portfolio package and only under certain circumstances. You are allowed to apply under more than one Org ID and may receive more than one offer for credit; however, you must choose between them—they’re not stackable.
All in all, applying for the AWS Activate program is pretty straightforward. You should now have everything you need to apply smoothly. If you do decide to apply, let us know how it goes. Good luck!
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