AWS Impact Accelerator Taps Amazon’s Muscle And Tech Expertise

There are numerous impact accelerators available. However, this one, the AWS Impact Accelerator, run by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and launched last year, has a distinct competitive advantage: a blend of the power of Amazon and its technical know-how. “We know about a lot of things, but what we know is the technology,” Denise Quashie, the head of the global startup marketing department and an ex-founder of a tech startup herself.

Members of the AWS Impact Accelerator’s Women’s Cohort

The accelerator program began in April and included a 30 million, three-year commitment to early-stage businesses run by a Black female, Latino, and LGBTQIA+ founders. Each cohort, comprising 25 startups in the early stages, runs for eight weeks. Companies must have built their product and be in prime condition for launch. Startups can receive up to $125,000 cash and $100 in credit to use AWS services.

AWS Impact Accelerator Taps Amazon’s Muscle And Tech Expertise
AWS Impact Accelerator Taps Amazon’s Muscle And Tech Expertise

The current drop in VC funding According to Howard Wright, vice president and head of the global startup department at AWS, Amazon’s cloud platform division makes the need for accelerators like these extremely urgent. “Historically underrepresented founders get penalized disproportionately,” Howard explains. Howard.

The first cohort of participants, the AWS Impact Accelerator for Black Founders, kicked in April. This was followed by an additional cohort, the Women’s Cohort, which began in October and was recently concluded. The Latino cohort will begin at the beginning of next year.

In a similar event last October, Amazon announced Amazon Catalytic Capital, which aims to invest $150 million into VC accelerators, funds incubators, venture studios, and accelerators that invest in entrepreneurs from minority backgrounds.

Separate Tracks

AWS Technology expertise and expertise are highlighted in distinct tracks for CTOs and CEOs. One prerequisite to be a part of in the accelerator program is that companies do not just have an IT CTO or lead but one who can participate in the acceleration program. This person will then be placed with an AWS tech expert who will assist with the startup’s back-end design, architecture, minimal viable products (MVP), and other tech elements. The majority of mentors are founders or VCs who have had previous experience in growing businesses, or who were CTOs in the past. Mentors meet each week.

CEOs are paired with a member of the AWS business development team for startups. Most of them are former founders and investors. They are focused on market fit for the product, go-to-market strategies to launch a product or expand into a new market, and fund-raising. Accelerator startups meet for 15 to 30 minutes with their mentors on the program’s platform. They also collaborate with Amazon employees that aren’t associated with AWS but work engaged in fields such as Voice technology and Whole Foods. The program mostly depends on partners, including Hubspot, for discussions on diverse topics, allowing AWS to concentrate on technical issues such as Cloud and Infrastructure adoption.

A Mix of In-Person and Virtual

The initial week takes place in person within AWS’ Seattle headquarters, where CTOs and CEOs determine the areas on which they must focus. The rest of the process is done online, with weekly meetings. The final week is in person to work on a pitch and concludes with a presentation to investors, most of whom the founders will likely need help to meet.

Quashie and her team members created the accelerator program on the notion that the main issues faced by entrepreneurs who were not represented in the founding community were fund-raising strategies, go-to-market strategies, and the use of technology. According to Quashie, since the program’s launch, she’s discovered that hypothesis to be accurate.

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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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