AWS Activate Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q. What is AWS Activate?
AWS Activate is a free program that provides eligible startups with a host of benefits, including AWS credits, and AWS Support credits to help startups quickly get started on AWS and grow their business. AWS Activate consists of two program tiers – Activate Founders and Activate Portfolio. You can learn about the programs here.

Q. Who can apply for AWS Activate?
AWS Activate is open to self-funded and funded startups up to and including Series A excluding startups building on AWS China Regions. Self-funded startups not associated with an AWS Activate Provider may apply for AWS Activate Founders. Self-funded and funded startups (Pre-Seed, Angel, Seed, Debt Financing and Series A) affiliated with an AWS Activate Provider may apply for AWS Activate Portfolio. AWS startup customers on AWS China Regions should apply for the AWS Activate China program here.

Q. What are the benefits of AWS Activate Founders?
AWS Activate Founders provides $1,000 USD in AWS credits, valid for two years, and $350 USD in AWS Developer Support credits valid for one year.

Q. What are the benefits of AWS Activate Portfolio?
AWS Activate Portfolio provides up to $100,000 USD in AWS credits, up to $10,000 USD in AWS Business Support credits, 80 credits for Qwiklabs and access to exclusive member-only offers. The exact details of your benefits will be detailed in your AWS Activate welcome email.

Q. How do I apply for AWS Activate?
Applying for AWS Activate takes just a few minutes. The process for applying for AWS Activate Founders and AWS Activate Portfolio is the same, but you must be associated with and have your AWS Activate Provider’s Org ID in order to apply for AWS Activate Portfolio. If you do not have their Org ID, please reach out to your AWS Activate Provider directly. To apply, follow these three key steps: 1) Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for Activate Founders or Activate Portfolio which can be found on the AWS Activate overview webpage. 2) Log in to AWS. If you do not have an AWS account, you can create one for free here. 3) Now you are ready to apply for Activate by clicking here. 4) Complete the application form in full and submit.

Q. What is an Organization ID (Org ID)?
An Org ID is a case sensitive, unique identifier that has four or five characters. Each AWS Activate Provider has a unique Org ID. The Org ID is not a promotional code.

Q. How long does it take to process applications?
It usually takes seven to ten business days for your application to be processed. Unfortunately, we are unable to expedite application processing.

Q. I have received AWS credits from AWS EdStart or other AWS credit program. Does this make me ineligible for AWS Activate?
No. AWS Activate credit awards are not impacted by previous AWS credits granted through programs other than AWS Activate such as AWS EdStart.

Q. How many times can I apply for AWS Activate Founders?
If you have previously received AWS Activate Founders benefits, you are ineligible to apply again. You can only receive AWS Activate Founders benefits once.

Q. I was approved for AWS Activate Founders and I am now associated with an Activate Provider. Can I apply for AWS Activate Portfolio?
Yes. You are eligible to apply for AWS Activate Portfolio if you now meet the application criteria set out here.

Q. I am associated with a venture capital firm, accelerator, incubator, or other startup-enabling organization. Am I eligible for Founders?
No. AWS Activate Founders is for unfunded startups that are not affiliated with an AWS Activate Provider. You may be eligible to apply for AWS Activate Portfolio if you meet the application criteria found here. Please ask your startup-enabling organization (venture capital firm, accelerator, incubator etc.) for more information.

Q. I’m associated with more than one AWS Activate Provider. Can I apply for AWS Activate Portfolio more than once?
Yes. You can apply for AWS Activate Portfolio more than once as long as each application is 1) for a greater amount of AWS credits than your previous approved application and 2) you haven’t received the maximum lifetime value of $100,000 in AWS credits not including AWS Support plan credits.

Q. How many times can I benefit from a specific AWS Activate Provider’s offer?
You can only benefit from an AWS Activate Provider's specific offer once. If your Activate Provider has two offers, you may apply for the second offer as long as it’s for a greater amount of AWS credits than your previous approved application and you haven’t received the maximum lifetime value of $100,000 in AWS credits not including AWS Support plan credits.

Q. My startup has received credits previously from AWS Activate Portfolio, am I eligible to apply again?
If you are associated with an AWS Activate Provider and you have not received the lifetime maximum AWS credit value of $100,000 USD, you may be eligible to apply for AWS Activate Portfolio again. Please ask your startup-enabling organization or your AWS account manager for more information.

Q. How do I access and use the Qwiklabs credits?
To begin, go to the Qwiklabs AWS Activate login page. Enter your email address (the email address you used to apply to AWS Activate) and a password of your choice. This will set up a Qwiklabs account pre-loaded with 80 credits. Use this email address and password to access the self-paced labs.

AWS Credits

Q. What can I use AWS credits for?
AWS is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 175 fully featured services from data centers globally. You can use your AWS credits for AWS services from infrastructure technologies like compute, storage, and databases–to emerging technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, data lakes and analytics, and Internet of Things. For a comprehensive list of eligible services, please review the lowermost section of the credits page here after receiving your AWS Activate welcome email. 

Q. What’s not covered by AWS credits?
AWS credits cannot be applied to any fees or charges for Amazon Mechanical Turk, Ineligible AWS Support, AWS Marketplace, Amazon Route 53 domain name registration or transfer, any Services for mining for cryptocurrency, or any upfront fee for any Services such as Savings Plans and Reserved Instances (collectively, “Ineligible Services”).

Q. How do I use my AWS credits?
Your AWS credits are automatically applied to your AWS account upon receipt of your welcome email. AWS credits are applied only to offset eligible AWS Services fees and charges incurred during or following the billing cycle in which you receive the credits.

Q. How are my AWS credits applied to Reserved Instances or Saving Plans?
AWS credits are applied to Reserved Instances and Saving Plans the same way as other AWS Services. Upfront fees for Reserved Instances and Savings Plans are not covered by AWS credits.

Q. Where can I find details about my AWS credits including credit usage?
You can find details about your AWS credits including the exact credit amount, their expiration date, remaining balance of your AWS credits, and the applicable AWS services on the lowermost section of the credits page on the AWS Billing and Cost Management console.

Q. How are my AWS credits applied against my bill? Can I use them to cover historical AWS bills?
AWS credits are applied only to offset eligible AWS Services fees and charges incurred during or following the billing cycle in which you receive the credits. AWS credits cannot be used to offset or cover historical AWS bills.

Q. Why did I receive a different amount of AWS credits than what I applied for?
If your startup has previously received AWS credits, and you are applying for additional credits which is a larger amount than what you have received thus far, you will receive the difference between the two AWS credit awards bringing you to the larger AWS credit award. If you are applying for a smaller amount of AWS credits than what you have already been received, or if you have already reached the maximum lifetime value of AWS credits of $100,000 USD, your application will be declined.

Q. How long are AWS credits valid?
AWS credit awards are valid for one or two years from the date of issue. To view your AWS credits expiration date, go to the Credits page of the AWS Billing and Cost Management console.

Q. My AWS credits were used by mistake. Can I get more credits?
The AWS Activate team are unable to apply more AWS credits to your account.

Q. Can I transfer or sell my AWS credits?
No. You may not sell, license, rent, or transfer AWS credits. If you violate this policy, your AWS credits will be revoked. For more information, please refer to the AWS Activate Terms & Conditions.

Q. Can I share my AWS credits with associated accounts? How are AWS credits shared among parent and child accounts?
If you have enabled credit sharing in the Billing and Cost Management console, your AWS credits may be used by the parent account as well as any associated child accounts. If you wish to activate or deactivate credit sharing across your accounts, please follow the instructions here. Please note: Credit sharing goes into effect the month after it was requested (the beginning of the next billing cycle).

Q. I have seen AWS Activate advertising up to $100,000 USD in AWS credits, but my AWS Activate Provider is only advertising $5,000 USD in AWS credits. How do I become eligible for the $100,000 USD in AWS credits?
Each AWS Activate Provider offers a different and in some cases multiple AWS credit awards. In order to receive a larger amount of AWS credits, you must be associated with an AWS Activate provider that offers larger AWS credit awards.

Q. I have received multiple AWS Activate Portfolio offers that vary in credit amounts from the same AWS Activate Provider e.g. $5,000 USD, $25,000 USD, and $100,000 USD. If I accept one, will that make me ineligible for the others?
You can apply for AWS Activate Portfolio more than once as long as each application is 1) for a greater amount of AWS credits than your previous approved application and 2) you haven’t received the maximum lifetime value of $100,000 in AWS credits not including AWS Support credits. For example, if you apply for and receive $100,000 USD in AWS credits, you are ineligible for additional AWS Activate credit awards. If you apply for and receive $5,000 USD in AWS credits, you can apply for $25,000 USD in AWS credits as long as you are still affiliated with the Activate Provider at time of application. If approved you will receive $20,000 USD in AWS credits bringing you up to $25,000 USD in AWS credits.

AWS Support Credits

Q. I received AWS Developer Support credits as part of my AWS Activate Founders benefits. Do I need to do anything to activate them?
Yes. First ensure you have a valid credit card associated with your AWS account. Next, choose “Select a Support Plan” on the AWS Developer Support page. This will enroll you into the AWS Developer Support plan. Once you have enrolled, your AWS Support plan credits are ready to be used. If you already have an AWS Developer Support plan, your AWS Support credits will be applied against your existing AWS Developer Support plan, starting on the date you receive your welcome email. If you experience any difficulties, please contact us.

Q. I received AWS Business Support credits as part of my AWS Activate Portfolio benefits. Do I need to subscribe to the AWS Business Support plan to use them? How do I activate them?
If you have a valid credit card associated with your AWS account, you will be automatically enrolled into AWS Business Support on the day you receive your Welcome to Activate email. If you don’t have a valid credit card associated with your account, please add one on the AWS Billing and Cost Management console and then contact us. Your AWS Support plan credits are applied to eligible AWS Support fees incurred during or following the billing cycle in which you receive the credits.

Q. I received AWS Business Support credits. What happens if I already have an AWS Developer Support plan?
If you would like to use your AWS Business Support credits, please stop your AWS Developer Support plan by downgrading to AWS Basic Support. Then contact us to enroll you into the AWS Business Support plan.

Q. How do I open a support case using my AWS Support credits?
Upon approval of your AWS Activate benefits, your AWS Support credits are automatically added to your account. You must first be enrolled into an AWS Support plan. Once enrolled your AWS Support credits are immediately ready for use. To open a support case, sign into the AWS Support Center. If your AWS Support credits have expired or been consumed, you will be unable to open a support case for free. For more information on AWS Support, click here.

Q. How does billing for AWS Support plans work?
AWS Support is billed once a month and is equal to a percentage of your total AWS Service charges for the corresponding month. Your AWS Support credits will offset your bill, until your AWS credits expire or have been consumed (whichever comes first). To learn more, click here.

Q. Can I use my AWS Support credits to cover AWS Business, Enterprise, or Reseller support plans or AWS Service bills?
No. AWS Support credits only cover the corresponding AWS Support plan the credits were issued under.

Q. What happens if my AWS Support credits run out or expire, but my AWS Support plan is still active?
If you consume all of your AWS Support credits, you will be charged for the cost of your AWS Support plan that is not covered by your AWS Support credits. If you do not wish to continue with your AWS Support plan, please stop the plan and downgrade to AWS Basic Support. For questions about downgrading your AWS Support plan or other questions related to billing and support plans, contact AWS Support. If your AWS Support plan credits expire before you have consumed them, you will be automatically downgraded to AWS Basic Support, and you can no longer use the remaining AWS Support credits.

Q. How do I know when my AWS Support credits are expiring?
Please refer to your billing and credit usage on the AWS Billing and Cost Management console to determine when your AWS Support credits expire. Your AWS Support credits can also be exhausted before they expire. If you exhaust your AWS Support credits and you don’t wish to continue with your AWS Support Plan, you must downgrade to AWS Basic Support to avoid incurring a fee.

Q. Can I extend my AWS Support plan credits?
No. AWS Support plan credits can't be extended.

AWS Activate Provider

Q. What is an AWS Activate Provider?
An AWS Activate Provider is a venture capital firm, angel investor, accelerator, incubator, or other startup-enabling organization that has partnered with AWS Activate to provide Activate benefits to their affiliated startups.

Q. I'm associated with a startup-enabling organization that’s not currently working with AWS Activate. Can they apply to become an AWS Activate Provider?
Yes. Please refer the startup-enabling organization to the AWS Activate Provider webpage where they can learn more and apply. After we receive their application, a member of our startup business development team will contact them within seven to ten business days. If they don’t hear from us after ten business days, they may contact us.

Q. I am a current AWS Activate Provider. Can I use the AWS Activate logo on my website?

As an Activate Provider, you need to comply with our Activate logo guidelines and receive permission from AWS in order to feature the AWS Activate logo on your website or marketing collateral. View the AWS Activate Logo Guidelines here and email us explaining how and where you would like to feature the logo. A member of AWS Activate will get back to you within five business days.

AWS Activate Console

Q. What is the Activate console?
The Activate console is a free AWS service that provides personalized and recommended business and technical content and resources to help startups build, grow, and scale on AWS. Please click here to log in.

Q. Who can access the Activate Console? Do I need to do anything to get access?
The Activate Console is currently only open to Activate Portfolio members both past and present. To access the Activate Console, log into the AWS Console, and select "Activate for Startups" under Customer Enablement on the service menu. You can also navigate to the Activate console by visiting the AWS Activate website and clicking on “Log into the Activate Console.” Prior to logging in, confirm that your account has the Activate Console IAM permission (activate:*) attached. This will enable you to view the Activate Console home page. To learn how to attach a policy to an IAM user, see Working with Policies.

Q. Is the Activate console available globally?
Yes, the Activate console is available globally except mainland China.

Q. What languages are supported?
The Activate console is available in all AWS supported languages.

Q. What type of resources can I expect to find in the Activate Console?
There are various business and technical resources curated specifically for the startup experience, including:

  • A cost and credit window to view, track and monitor your AWS credit awards including expiry dates
  • Personalized recommendation feed that recommends relevant AWS services, getting started guides, training resources, startup programs, customer acquisition opportunities, and more.
  • Exclusive offers and discounts to manage and grow your business.
  • A Tech Hub that shows real-time updates on the health of your AWS environment, new and relevant AWS services, and 1-1 technical support options
 
Q. How can I make the Activate Console more personalized to my needs?
Please update your Activate startup profile page with information that will help us better understand your startup’s needs. This will ensure we’re surfacing content most relevant to you.
 
Q. My credits have expired, but I was previously an active AWS Activate Portfolio member, can I access the console?
Yes. All previous Activate Portfolio members can access the console. Please click here to log in. If you have any difficulties, please contact us.
 
Q. Do I need an AWS account to view the Activate console?
Yes, the Activate console is located within the AWS service console. Please use the AWS account associated with Activate which you used to redeem credits. If you have an account but it isn’t active, contact AWS Support.
 
Q. Can I invite other startups I know to the Activate console?
The Activate console is currently only open to Activate Portfolio members. We welcome startup referrals to apply for AWS Activate Portfolio who are associated with an Activate Provider.
 
Q. I am an Activate Provider, can I use the Activate console?
The Activate console is currently open to Activate Portfolio members. If you would like a demo, please contact your AWS representative.
 
Q. Can my team members also access the Activate console?
Yes. In order for other users to have access to the Activate Console, they will need to 1) Create an IAM user or use an existing IAM user account associated with your AWS account. For more information, see Creating an IAM User in the IAM user guide. 2) Grant the IAM user access to AWS Activate with the Activate Console IAM permission (activate:*) attached. To learn how to attach a policy to an IAM user, see Working with Policies
 
Q. I am part of Activate Founders, can I get access?
The Activate console is currently only available to Activate Portfolio members. Please be on the lookout for future announcements regarding the Activate console.
 
Q. Are there specific IAM user roles I need to enable to access all resources on the Activate Console?
Yes. Access to the Activate Console is limited to accounts with the Activate console IAM permission (activate:*) attached. Additional permissions are required to utilize all resources within the Activate Console (Trusted Advisor, Cost Explorer, etc). You will need to grant the IAM user these additional policy permissions to view the other benefits within the Activate Console: Cost data (ce:GetCostAndUsage), Trusted Advisor checks (support:*) and Personal Health Dashboard notifications (health:*). To learn how to attach a policy to an IAM user, see Working with Policies.
 
Q. Are Activate Console events logged to AWS CloudTrail?
Yes. The Activate Console logs the following actions to AWS CloudTrail as events - CreateForm, GetAccountContanct, GetContentInfo, GetCosts, GetCredits, GetMemberInfo, Get Program and PutMemberInfo.
 
Activate Console events originate from the following endpoint: activate.amazonaws.com. For more information about how to view events in AWS CloudTrail, see Viewing events with CloudTrail event history and the Creating a trail for your AWS Account in the AWS CloudTrail user guide.

Troubleshooting

Q. I have questions about AWS Activate. Who should I contact?
We are here to help and answer any questions you might have. Visit our contact us webpage and submit your question along with your contact details.

Q. I have questions about my AWS billing and account. Where can I find answers?
For billing or account inquiries, please click here to sign in and submit your billing or account request.

Q. I have problems accessing the self-paced labs. Where can I get help?
If you have trouble signing in, or if you experience any other technical difficulties with the self-paced labs, contact the Qwiklabs team (support@qwiklab.com) for immediate technical support.

Q. I applied for AWS credits through AWS Activate, and they were approved. However, they aren't showing up in my account. What could be causing this?
Your AWS credits can be found in the credits section of your billing and cost management dashboard. If you do not see your AWS credits listed there, please contact us.

Q. Why wasn’t my application approved?
There are many reasons why your application may not have been approved. The most common reason is that your application didn’t meet the program’s application criteria. This includes, but is not limited to 1) reached AWS Activate lifetime credit award; 2) applied using a different email address to the one used to set up your AWS account; 3) no public profile or website; 4) duplicate application, and specific to Activate Portfolio 5) ORG ID no longer valid; and 6) funding round exceeds Series A. Please refer to your application status notification email for more information and if you still have questions, contact us.

Q. My application was not approved because AWS Activate was unable to confirm my association with an AWS Activate Provider. What should I do?
Ask your AWS Activate Provider to contact us to confirm your association.