Amazon Commits $230 Million to Invest in Generative AI Startups

Amazon Commits $230 Million to Invest in Generative AI Startups

Amazon has announced a $230 million commitment to support startups building generative AI applications. The investment, made through Amazon Web Services (AWS), will provide funding, resources, and mentorship to early-stage companies, with a focus on accelerating the development and adoption of generative AI technologies. The tech giant aims to position its cloud infrastructure, AWS, as the go-to choice for early-stage companies developing AI models.

A significant portion of this investment, approximately $80 million, will fund the second cohort of the AWS Generative AI Accelerator program. This year, the program has quadrupled in size and will support 80 startups globally with up to $1 million in AWS credits each. The selected startups will also gain access to industry experts and technology from Nvidia, the program's presenting partner.

The AWS credits will provide startups with access to AWS's compute, storage, and database technologies, as well as energy-efficient AI chips like AWS Trainium and AWS Inferentia2. These credits can also be used with Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed service for building and training AI models.

Matt Wood, vice president of Artificial Intelligence Products at AWS, emphasized the company's long-standing support for startups, stating, "With this new effort, we will help startups launch and scale world-class businesses, providing the building blocks they need to unleash new AI applications that will impact all facets of how the world learns, connects, and does business."

Startups participating in the accelerator program have already seen significant benefits. Leonardo.AI, a generative AI platform for creators, reduced inferencing costs by 60% and accelerated language model inference speeds by up to 35% using AWS infrastructure. Vevo Therapeutics, an AI-driven biotechnology startup, leveraged AWS's expertise and network to scale their drug discovery platform.

Applications for the AWS Generative AI Accelerator are open until July 19, with the program set to kick off on October 1. Selected startups will be announced on September 10 and invited to showcase their solutions at re:Invent 2024 in Las Vegas (Dec 3-5).

With this investment, AWS is aims to empower startups to launch and scale world-class AI businesses. This move comes as Amazon seeks to catch up with Google and Microsoft, and further secure its foothold as a key player in the highly competitive generative AI landscape.

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