AWS today launched the Startup Loft Accelerator, a virtual 10-week, no-cost accelerator program for startups in EMEA.
Participants will receive personalized training and access to experienced advisors, subject matter experts, investors and some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built their businesses on AWS. They will also be able to join a large community of entrepreneurs to share knowledge, experience and advice. They will be able to join the AWS Activate program, which includes up to $25K in Activate credits to spend on AWS services, a free one-year subscription to AWS Business Support up to $5K, access to pre-built infrastructure models and exclusive members-only offers.
Applications open in November 2021 for all startups in the EU, UK and Israel looking to build and scale their product on AWS. The first cohort of 25 startups will begin in early 2022, and the program will expand to other EMEA countries in the coming months. Interested startups can apply to participate in the first cohort here.
AWS business and technical experts will work closely with the startups. This includes AWS solution architects who will help startups accelerate the design and development of a minimum viable product. Investors including Entrée Capital and founders Bernadette Nixon, CEO of Algolia, Cristina Fonseca, co-founder of Portuguese unicorn Talkdesk and AI startup Cleverly, and Dr. Shay David, co-founder and CEO of UK-based startup Retrain.ai and co-founder of Kaltura, will work with the startups. These experts will help refine business plans and provide guidance on topics such as finance, marketing and human resources. AWS accelerator partners will also provide dedicated content as part of the AWS Startup Loft accelerator.
“We are focused on investing in great teams that are building businesses in important and interesting markets. We are excited to support this new AWS accelerator to give hungry, ambitious and talented entrepreneurs the opportunity they need,” said Eran Bielski, General Partner at Entrée Capital.
The AWS Startup Loft accelerator takes no equity in participating startups, has a flexible weekly commitment, supports startups from both a technical and business perspective, and because the program is virtual, founders don’t have to worry about relocation costs.
AWS has enabled some of the world’s most admired startups, from UK meal delivery company JustEat, which went from a small operation in a Danish basement to an IPO on the London Stock Exchange with a £1.5bn valuation, to German digital bank N26 and Spanish taxi transport company Cabify.
“Our new AWS Startup Loft accelerator gives entrepreneurs exactly what they’ve told us is most important when building a business: access to the tools, expertise and resources they need to bring their ideas to life,” said Kellen O’Connor, director, EMEA Startups at AWS.
Justt and PayEm are two startups that have already benefited from AWS’ investment in similar accelerator programs. Both startups have experienced rapid growth following their participation in the AWS Builder Space accelerator in Israel.
“The infrastructure, support and training we received from AWS was fundamental to the success of our startup,” said Roenen Ben Ami co-founder at Justt. “It gave us the confidence we needed to quickly launch our business.”
Justt fights illegitimate chargebacks on behalf of merchants, and since launching their startup in early 2019, have been able to attract an international customer base across Europe and the US.
“With an increasingly competitive startup market, you need to be able to define and differentiate your business quickly. This can be soul searching. In addition to their expertise, AWS has provided an invaluable level of support. They simply ‘got’ what we needed and when we needed it,” said Itamar Jobani, co-founder of PayEm.
PayEm is an AWS-based expense management platform that has secured $27 million in seed and Series A funding from Glilot Capital Partners.
Translated from AWS lance le Startup Loft Accelerator