Amazon Web Services LLC (“AWS”), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced the launch of its fourth annual “Start-Up Challenge” across 22 countries including, for the first time ever, Asia Pacific1. The Start-Up Challenge is a contest that encourages start-up companies to leverage the AWS cloud platform to quickly and cost-effectively innovate and build the infrastructure for their businesses.
Regional semi-finalists will receive US$2,500 in AWS service credits. Global finalists will receive US$10,000 in AWS service credits and a trip to Palo Alto, CA., U.S.A for the final judging and awards ceremony. The global grand prize winner will be awarded US$50,000 cash, US$50,000 in AWS service credits, premium support services and technical mentorship from Amazon Web Services for one year, as well as a possible investment offer from Amazon. All qualified contestants will receive US$25 in AWS service credits to kick-start the process of building their businesses on AWS.
Contestants will be evaluated on the originality and creativity, the likelihood of long-term success and scalability, how well they address a need in the marketplace, and the degree to which the business implements and integrates the pay-as-you-go technology platform and services offered by AWS. Entries must be received no later than at midnight U.S. Pacific Time on Oct. 31, 2010. Regional semi-finalists from Asia Pacific and global finalists will be announced in November. The grand finals will be held in December in Palo Alto, CA., U.S.A. for judging as well as the prize award ceremony. The final events will be streamed live to allow the greater community to tune in for the winner announcements.
Traditionally, start-ups and entrepreneurs have been constrained by the availability of resources and infrastructure to develop their products and services. Since launching publicly more than four years ago, AWS has enabled hundreds of thousands of companies of all sizes to free up their precious engineering resources to focus on work that truly differentiate their business, rather than worrying about the infrastructure. Companies incur no up-front expenses or long-term commitments, turn capital expense into variable operating expense, and pay only for what they use. This has helped level the playing field for start-up companies to leverage the AWS suite of infrastructure web services to build their businesses and compete in the global marketplace.
Many businesses and developers across Asia Pacific are already using AWS. For example, Singapore-based start-up company iTwin, creator of the iTwin consumer device which provides plug-and-play remote file access, built its entire back-end infrastructure on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company evaluated multiple cloud service providers and chose AWS due to its highly reliable infrastructure, comprehensive suite of cloud-based services, its global reach and the availability of its data centers in the Asia Pacific region. “Our resources are limited as a start-up and AWS has enabled us to significantly reduce our upfront capital expenditure. Moreover, AWS is simple to configure, deploy and scale. Our engineers have been able to conduct multiple experiments in a short period of time, accelerating the global roll-out of iTwin?s product in a time frame that was unimaginable a few years ago,” said Lux Anantharaman, co-founder and CEO, iTwin. “As a start-up, I feel empowered to be able to compete worldwide with the globally scalable infrastructure resources provided by AWS.”
Australia-based 99designs.com is the largest marketplace for crowd-sourced graphic design and runs entirely on AWS; 99designs utilizes Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) for a cluster of application servers, database servers, proxy servers and Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) to store massive amounts of data. As a new design is uploaded to 99designs.com every seven seconds, the company requires infrastructure that is highly scalable and reliable. AWS has eliminated their infrastructure concern and allowed them to focus on their core business.
India-Based Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., the largest aggregator, developer, publisher and distributor of Bollywood and South-Asian entertainment content in the world, runs about 80 percent of its websites and applications on AWS. The pace of AWS innovation, pay-as-you-go pricing model and the overall flexibility has helped Hungama create a very flexible infrastructure to meet its business dynamics of rolling out products and services speedily to the market.
“We are excited to extend the AWS annual „Start-Up Challenge? for the first time to Asia Pacific, which is especially timely with the launch of the first AWS Asia Pacific Region earlier this year. We look forward to helping unleash the talent and innovation of many start-ups and developers in Asia Pacific by providing them with easy access to the pay-as-you-go AWS cloud infrastructure,” said Adam Selipsky, vice president, Amazon Web Services.
Eligible AWS Start-Up Challenge contestants must be privately held companies or individuals legally based in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada (excluding the Province of Québec), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom or United States. Eligible contestants must have generated no more than US$10 million in annual revenue and no more than US$10 million in outside funding. Start-ups submitted for the contest must use the cloud computing solutions offered by AWS, such as Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2) or Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). For a complete description of the qualifying criteria, contest rules and prize awards, please visit: http://aws.amazon.com/startupchallenge.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon's developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle and Kindle DX are the revolutionary portable readers that wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and personal documents to a crisp, high-resolution electronic ink display that looks and reads like real paper. Kindle and Kindle DX utilize the same 3G wireless technology as advanced cell phones, so users never need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Kindle is the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon.