Apr 4, 2023 - Economy

AWS debuts accelerator for generative AI startups

illustration of a screen of binary code with parts of it glowing in green to form a thought bubble

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Amazon Web Services is debuting a new 10-week accelerator program focused on generative AI startups that includes AWS credits and other Amazon resources.

Why it matters: The current AI boom is a boon to cloud computing providers, as their services are essential for the development and operation of this buzzy tech.

Details: As part of the program, participating startups will get up to $300,000 in AWS credits, technical and business mentorship, and access to networking within Amazon's business.

  • They'll spend the first and last week in person in California, with the last one culminating in a day of presentations to investors.

What they're saying: "[W]e think we're in a seminal moment in the generative AI journey," Howard Wright, AWS global head of startups, tells Axios.

Between the lines: As with its other startup accelerator programs, AWS aims to hook a new generation of companies on its cloud services.

  • The company boasts that high-profile tech businesses like Airbnb and Uber have become its customers over the years.
  • "It’s good and paramount to our business to stay close to those that are disruptive," adds Wright.

The intrigue: Amazon wouldn't say much about the costs of computing power for generative AI and large language models, but it's known to be a large expense for AI companies.

  • The company tells Axios that continuing to lower those costs — including for startups — remains a top priority, pointing out that "frugality" is one of Amazon's core principles.

The bottom line: Expect big cloud tech providers to play a major role in the current AI boom, both with user-facing apps and behind the scenes, as they power the next tech revolution's infrastructure.

Go deeper: Stretching the AI startup boom

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