© Ewa Treitz

AWS — Amazon Meets Startups

AWS (Amazon Web Services) offers startups not only a cloud platform with more than 165 services, but also supports young companies with mentoring, bootcamps, events, meetups, coaching and financing. We spoke with Ewa Treitz from AWS about their collaboration with startups.

Munich Startup: A host of well-known startups such as Spotify, Pinterest and Airbnb now use the AWS Cloud. How does cloud computing benefit startups and what makes the AWS platform different from what the competition offers?

Ewa Treitz:
The biggest advantage cloud computing and AWS offer founders is that they no longer have to make large-scale capital investments, such as for data centers and server hardware. Instead, they can establish an elastic IT infrastructure that is always based on the latest hardware and software technology. The underlying on-demand pricing keeps costs low, because companies only pay for the services they need and for as long as they use them – without long-term obligations or complex licensing.  Another significant advantage of the AWS Cloud: With currently 22 infrastructure regions and 69 availability zones worldwide, startups can scale globally with just a few clicks and grow quickly as a result. AWS offers a total of 165 services, from compute and storage to databases, augmented reality/virtual reality platforms and tools for machine learning. In 2018 alone, AWS made 1,957 new significant features and services available in fields such as machine learning, the Internet of Things and serverless data processing. We have tens of thousands of active customers in Germany. In Munich, for example, we have an extremely active AWS community of about 4,000 members currently who meet up regularly to share information about the latest technological developments.

A pioneering spirit and drive to innovate

Munich Startup: How does AWS work with startups, and what offers do you have up your sleeve for young companies?

Ewa Treitz: What unites startups and AWS above all else is our pioneering spirit and drive to innovate, which is why we’re an important strategic partner for young companies in particular. From Airbnb to Zalando, leading global startups count on AWS. Regardless of whether it’s about support for solving a technical challenge, looking for the right developers or completing a fundraising round: We offer all of the necessary resources for young companies to grow. We collaborate with a large number of startup centers, venture capitalists and further companies worldwide to support startups in their establishment, launch and scaling. In Munich, for example, we cooperate with the Center for Digital Technology and Management as well as UnternehmerTUM and investors like Earlybird Ventures.

Munich Startup: How do you support startups in their establishment and scaling?

Ewa Treitz: Our AWS Activate Program offers startups the necessary resources to be able to quickly and fully use AWS — including promotional credit, training and support. Moreover, we also offer participating founders access to our technical experts and a multitude of AWS events and workshops. In July 2019, we hosted a hands-on machine learning workshop with NVIDIA in Munich that was attended by more than 70 current and aspiring founders. Between November 4th and 15th, we’re extending an invitation to our AWS Popup Loft in our new office on Odeonsplatz, where we want to specifically show startups the opportunities provided by AWS. I’m already really looking forward to it!

How you can apply to the AWS Activate Program

Munich Startup: How exactly can startups apply to the Program, and is a cross-industry application an option?

Ewa Treitz: Our startup partners pass on promotional credit from the AWS Active Program to their portfolio companies. That’s the best way for us to ensure that as many founders as possible are reached. It’s best for startups that are part of an investor network, incubators, etc. to ask their partners directly to find out if they’re already working with us. If the partners are not part of the Activate Program, the startups should feel free to contact us directly, either at one of our startup events or through our website: https://applyforawsactivatecredits.splashthat.com (application for the 1,000 US dollar package). The program is offered across all industries.

Munich Startup: What does AWS gain from providing support?

Ewa Treitz: We want to support the next generation of founders from the beginning, because we know that every startup has a chance to become the next unicorn. Participation in the program is free and doesn’t require any sort of quid pro quo from startups. Many of the startups we support in the beginning become some of our biggest customers – take Lyft as an example. So the investment is worthwhile for both sides. 

Munich Startup: Could you tell us about a few success stories with Munich-based startups?

Ewa Treitz: Most of the well-known Munich startups use AWS – but we unfortunately can not name all of them. We’re proud to be a strategic partner for companies like Flixbus, which keeps millions of people mobile worldwide, the SaaS CAD platform Simscale or the popular fitness app Freeletics.