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AWS Activate is a free program that provides approved startups with resources for working with Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS Activate requires a special registration that allows startup customers with a valid AWS account to apply for either a self-starter package or a portfolio package.
The self-starter package includes one month of AWS support at the developer level. It also includes AWS web-based training, virtual office hours with an AWS Solutions Architect and credit for eight self-paced training labs. Activate members are given access to an online forum where they can share ideas and technical tips and have access to special offers from Amazon partners who provide ancillary services for cloud analytics, cloud orchestration and other cloud services management concerns.
If a startup is a member of one of the accelerators, seed funds, or startup organizations that Amazon already works with, they may apply for the more exclusive AWS Activate Portfolio Package. According to Amazon, additional benefits under a Portfolio package vary by region.
Proponents of AWS Activate have commended Amazon for helping new businesses to successfully deal with the complexity of Amazon's cloud offerings. Critics of the program have pointed out that Amazon is simply seeding their own customer base by providing introductory services for free.
This video explains more about AWS Activate.
See also: Microsoft Ventures