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April 24, 2022 | Tom Ballard

AWS launches first accelerator for underrepresented entrepreneurs, pledges $30 million over three years

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced plans to invest $30 million over the next three years in early stage start-ups founded by underrepresented entrepreneurs, and recruitment is already underway for the first program.

Titled the “AWS Impact Accelerator: Black Founders,” it combines the power of Amazon and AWS technology to help “Black founders accelerate their cloud-based business for serious scaling.” It is an eight-week program, and those selected with receive $125,000 as a cash grant and $100,000 in AWS Activate credits, all for zero equity in return.

According to the website, the inaugural program “is designed for U.S.-based Black founders who are the CEO and/or CTO of an innovative tech or tech-enabled start-up. We’re talking pre-seed start-ups with a solution already built and underway. The program is industry and vertical agnostic, and we welcome both technical and non-technical founders who are leveraging cloud technologies or plan to. If you’ve got game-changing ambitions, we encourage you to apply.”

Applications are being accepted through May 13. Those selected will be notified the week of May 23, and the accelerator runs June 6 through July 29. The first week is expected to be in-person at the Amazon Headquarters in Seattle with weeks two through seven operating virtually. The final week will occur in-person at the AWS Startup Loft in either San Francisco or New York City.

Click here to read the news release announcing the accelerator.

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