Amazon has announced a commitment of over $30 million for early stage startups led by Black, Latino, LGBTQIA+, and women founders as part of its new AWS Impact Accelerator.
Over the three-year commitment, AWS will provide funding and guidance for a series of programs that will help these organizations build successful companies. Each qualifying startup receives up to $225,000 in cash and credits, extensive training, mentoring and technical guidance, as well as introductions to Amazon leaders and teams, networking opportunities with potential investors, and ongoing advisory support. Eligible startups can now apply to the first of these programs, the AWS Impact Accelerator for Black Founders.
When we launched in 2006, AWS changed the game for startups by giving them access to the same technology as the world’s largest enterprises, Today, we continue to level the playing field so that founders can pursue their ideas and grow successful businesses regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or race. AWS is committed to helping underrepresented founders succeed and build powerful cloud solutions that capture the attention of investors and customers. The possibilities for these startups are endless, and I can’t wait to see what they create.– Adam Selipsky, CEO, Amazon Web Services
Startups will have the opportunity to learn from and connect with more than 20 collaborating organizations that are on board to support the AWS Impact Accelerator as mentors, guest speakers, and advisors. They include organizations that work with Black, Latino, LGBTQIA+, and women founders such as Black Women Talk Tech (BWTT), digitalundivided, and StartOut, as well as venture capital firms such as Backstage Capital and Lightship Capital. The program will also prepare startups for entry into seed-stage accelerators that work closely with AWS, such as Visible Hands.
Innovation plays such an important role in unlocking opportunities for women and people of color, and we need to make sure more of them are able to go from early-stage founder to success story, These AWS programs fill a genuine need along that journey and will provide a crucial lift for disruptors who are driving economic growth through entrepreneurship and invention.– Yasmin Cruz Ferrine, General Partner and Co-founder of Visible Hands