This is an exciting announcement. Did I say EXCITING!!!?
Amazon Web Services is launching--right now--the Amazon Web Services Start-Up Challenge, a contest for entrepreneurs and software developers that will award the winner a first-place prize of $50,000 in cash, $50,000 in Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits, mentoring sessions from an AWS technical expert, and an investment offer from Amazon.com. Four second-place winners will receive $5,000 in AWS credits and all qualified contestants receive up to $25 in service credits during the contest to start building their new business. Contestants will be evaluated on the originality and promise of their venture, and the degree to which the business leverages the pay-as-you-go technology solutions offered by Amazon Web Services. Developers and entrepreneurs can learn more about AWS, the Start-Up Challenge, and start building the winning idea today at aws.amazon.com/startupchallenge. Entries are due no later than 11:59 P.M. (PT) on October 28, 2007.
As most readers of this blog already know, AWS delivers access to in-the-cloud services based on Amazon's own back-end technology infrastructure. Developers and entrepreneurs already use AWS to build web-scale applications with zero up-front investment and low, pay-as-you-go pricing. That's a long way of saying that everyone is already a winner; with or without the contest!
Contestants must submit the online application form by October 28, 2007. Five finalists will be notified in early November and announced shortly thereafter. Each finalist will be profiled in an online video viewable on the AWS website where registered Amazon Web Services developers can let the judges know who their favorite contestant is by voting. The finalists will also present their business ideas to a panel of Amazon executives at Amazon headquarters in Seattle and meet with various Amazon technical teams. An awards dinner attended by venture capitalist firm representatives and Amazon leadership will be held in early December and the winner will be announced publicly the following day. The finalists will also have an opportunity before the awards dinner on December 6 to present their ideas to the venture capitalist firms.
Eligible Start-Up Challenge contestants need to be individuals who are legal residents of the U.S. or privately-held companies based in the U.S. that have not generated more than $10 million in annual revenue. Business ideas submitted for the contest must use fee-based solutions offered by AWS, such as Amazon S3 and EC2 (see contest details for list of eligible services). A complete description of the prizes and contest rules can be found at aws.amazon.com/startupchallenge.
Don't know about you, but I'd describe myself as a capitalist. And as a capitalist this is an incredible business bootstrap opportunity. So what are you waiting for? Sleep is optional...