Welcome to AWS Activate
We’re thrilled to partner with you as an official AWS Activate Provider and help support your startups as they build and grow their businesses. On this page, you’ll find all the resources you need to start promoting Activate benefits and opportunities to your companies—including promotional materials, FAQs, information on program eligibility, and how the Activate application process works.
AWS Activate Benefits
Startups can build, grow, and scale on AWS with free AWS credits. AWS credits help cover the cost of eligible AWS services and charges incurred during or following the billing cycle in which the credits are deposited into the startup's account.
AWS Activate Credits cover AWS Services or Support. Once a startup is enrolled in either the AWS Developer or AWS Business Support plan, AWS Activate credits may be used to cover the costs associated with the AWS Support. Learn more about the AWS Support Plans.
Personalized Content & Offers
Startups can take advantage of discounts, free perks, recommended content, and tools through the AWS Activate Console, where they can also monitor their AWS credits and costs and get realtime updates on the health of their AWS environment.
To apply for AWS Activate Portfolio, startups affiliated with your organization must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Must be Series A or earlier. Startups can be unfunded or funded, up to and including pre-seed, angel, seed, debt finance, and series A only. Unfortunately, we are unable to grant credits to non-startups (e.g. SMBs, side projects, individual developers) or post-series A startups.
- Must be founded within the last 10 years. Startups that were founded more than 10 years ago are not eligible for Activate.
- Must have an active AWS account. If a startup does not yet have an AWS account, they can open one for free here.
- Must have an Organization ID (OrgID). Each of our Activate Providers receives a unique, case-sensitive OrgID. Startups affiliated with your organization must include your OrgID on their application. Your OrgID can be found on your Activate welcome email.
- Must have a functioning website. Startups must have a functioning website. "Coming soon" websites are not permissible.
- Must not have received $100,000 USD in AWS credits. The lifetime maximum amount of AWS credits from Activate is $100,000 USD. Startups that have already received the maximum amount are not eligible. Received includes credits issued but not spent.
How the AWS Activate Application Process Works
The Activate application process consists of five key steps, taking 7-10 business days on average to complete after submission. Below is a high-level overview of the process and where we require an Activate Provider’s involvement.
Provider shares Activate offer, OrgID, and application URL with startup.
✓ This step requires Provider action.
Startup submits Activate application using Provider’s OrgID.
Provider receives verification email from Activate and confirms startup’s identity.
✓ This step requires Provider action.
Activate team assesses whether application meets eligibility criteria, and the application gets approved or denied.
If approved, startup receives a welcome email from Activate, and cedits are applied to the startup's account.
Many of our most successful partners (in terms of offer redemptions) use a multi-channel promotional approach and promote the Activate program through onboarding materials, welcome emails, Slack, "startup toolkits," blogs, sales team conversations, perks portals, and more. We invite you to share your Activate Portfolio benefits with your startups as you see fit, leveraging your preferred channels and methods of communication. Here are a few materials that can help startups understand the program and apply for benefits:
Watch this short video to learn more about Activate.
AWS Activate Portfolio Marketing Emails & Word Descriptions
Promote Activate Portfolio to your startups using pre-approved content.
Applying for Activate is easy. Watch this video to learn how.
AWS Activate Portfolio Flyer
Leverage the Activate Portfolio flyer for marketing activities.
Get more from Activate to learn, grow, and move faster.
AWS Activate Logos & Guidelines
View and download the Activate logo and logo use guidelines.
Watch this short video to learn about the Activate Console.
AWS Activate PR Template
Follow this press release template to publish your inclusion in Activate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I find details on the AWS Activate Portfolio benefits I’ve been approved to offer my startups?
You will receive a personalized welcome email from the Activate team with details on the specific benefits your organization has been approved to offer, including the monetary value of credits and the case-sensitive OrgID your startups need to include on their Activate Portfolio application. This email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org and look like this. If you have any questions or did not receive this email, please reach out to your contact on the AWS Startups team.
I’m having trouble understanding your credits system. Can you explain how it works?
We are committed to making sure startups receive the right amount of credits, at the right time. Since introducing Activate eight years ago, we've learned that most startups benefit from larger credit rewards when they are further along in their journey, as early-stage startups that receive $25K or $100K in AWS credits from the start are often not positioned to utilize the full award before their credits expire. Therefore, the Activate team assigns Activate Providers with AWS credit amounts deemed most appropriate for the stage of startups they predominantly service. This structure maximizes the time startups have to access free AWS resources and ensures they’re able to incrementally receive access to more credits as they grow until the $100K lifetime maximum is reached. For example, if a startup redeems $100K in AWS credits but only utilizes $15K by the one-year expiration deadline, the startup is not eligible for additional Activate Portfolio offers. Here’s an example pathway that illustrates how a startup that starts with $1K in AWS credits can accelerate toward the full $100k lifetime maximum:
- Startup applies for $1K in AWS credits
- Startup utilizes the full $1K in credits and applies for an additional $5K in AWS credits using the OrgID from a different Activate Provider. If approved, the startup is “topped up” to $5K by receiving an additional $4K in new incremental credits. ·
- Startup utilizes the additional $4K and applies for $100K in AWS credits using the OrgID from a different Activate Provider. If approved, the startup is “topped up” to $100K by receiving an additional $95K in new incremental credits.
- The startup has reached the Activate credit lifetime maximum value of $100k in AWS credits.
How can startups get access to additional credits after they’ve redeemed an AWS Activate Portfolio offer?
Startups are able to apply for more than one Activate Portfolio offer as long as they do not have an existing Activate Portfolio application still in processing. To apply for Activate Portfolio again, startups must 1) be associated with an Activate Provider that is offering an AWS credit amount greater than what they have already received, 2) have not yet reached the $100K credit lifetime maximum, and 3) still meet the eligibility requirements of the program.
If startups are unsure of how many credits they have received in the past, they can check their credit history (including total amount of credits issued to date, pending credit expiration dates, and remaining balances of AWS credits) in the Activate Console.
I would like to offer my portfolio of startups a larger amount of AWS credits. Can I qualify for a larger offer?
Activate reviews the benefits assigned to our Activate Providers on a yearly basis. If startups associated with an Activate Provider are utilizing their full credit award in less than six months on average, this may indicate that the Activate Provider could be eligible for a larger amount of AWS credits. If you have strong conviction that your credit level should be re-considered, please reach out to your contact on the AWS Startups team. In the meantime, startups that have utilized their initial credit award through your Activate offer and have not yet reached the $100K credit lifetime maximum can access additional credits by applying through another Activate Provider offering a greater credit amount.
One of my startup’s credits are nearing expiry. It is possible to get an extension on the credit expiration date?
We are unable to offer credit extensions. It is for this reason we encourage startups to only redeem an Activate Portfolio offer they have confidence they’ll be able to feasibly utilize within the designated credit expiration window.
A startup from my portfolio applied with my OrgID, but received a different amount of AWS credits than what we offered. Why did this happen?
If the startup has previously received AWS credits from Activate and is applying for additional credits, they will receive the difference between the two AWS credit awards as long the new application is for a greater amount of AWS credits. For example, if a startup previously received $5K in AWS credits through one Activate Provider and subsequently applies for $25K in AWS credits through another Activate Provider, the startup will be “topped up” to $25K by receiving an additional $20K in incremental credits. Startups cannot apply for a new Activate Portfolio offer that is smaller than or equal to the benefits they have already received. In this case, applications will be declined.
Can startups that previously received AWS credits from another AWS Activate Provider apply for my AWS Activate Portfolio offer?
Yes, but only if the startup 1) has not yet received the lifetime maximum AWS credit value of $100,000 USD, 2) still meets the program’s eligibility criteria, and 3) is applying for an Activate Portfolio offer that is greater than the one previously received. If all three of these conditions are met, startups can apply for your Activate Portfolio offer by submitting an application with your organization’s OrgID.
How should I promote AWS Activate Portfolio to my startups?
We invite you to promote your Activate Portfolio benefits to your startups by leveraging your preferred channels and methods of communication. Many of our most successful partners (in terms of offer redemptions) use a multi-channel approach and promote the program through onboarding materials, welcome emails, Slack, inclusion in "startup toolkits," Airtable, blogs, sales team conversations, perks portals, and more. Visit the "marketing assets" section above to download marketing materials that can help your startups understand the program and apply for benefits, including one-pagers, videos, and suggested messaging templates.
How will startups find out if their application is approved?
It takes 7-10 business days on average for us to process an application after submission. Once approved, startups will receive a welcome email from email@example.com confirming that credits have been added to the AWS account they used to apply for Activate. The welcome email startups receive looks like this. Details about a startup’s AWS credits—including amount of credits issued, credit expiration date, and remaining balance of AWS credits—can be found in the Activate Console and the lowermost section of the credits page on the AWS Billing and Cost Management Console. If an application is declined, startups will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org outlining the reasons their application was not approved. This email will provide instructions on the next steps needed to re-apply.
I have more questions about AWS Activate. Who should I contact?