AWS Public Sector Blog

AWS Startup Ramp, now available in Japan, launches first cohort for entrepreneurs driving public sector innovation in the Asia-Pacific

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that the AWS Startup Ramp is now available in Japan to support entrepreneurs interested in delivering modern products and services in government, civic technology, smart cities, healthcare, agriculture, and space technology, as well as disaster prevention and resilience. AWS Startup Ramp launched last year in India and South East Asia and South Korea to provide members with training and resources to grow their businesses and develop solutions for the public sector. Now, early-stage startup teams across the Asia-Pacific region can apply to the first AWS Startup Ramp cohort before April 7, 2022 if they have locations in Japan, South Korea, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, or the Philippines.

Early-stage startups will drive the future of public sector digital transformation with a diverse landscape of digital applications that support communities across Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. Startups can face challenges in helping public sector customers due to complex procurement procedures and long sales cycles that include preparation of lengthy custom proposals and intensive security requirements with vertical specific certifications. AWS Startup Ramp provides founders and their teams with training and support, networking, and AWS credits to address these challenges and accelerate public sector innovation.

AWS Startup Ramp requirements and program benefits

Startups can qualify for AWS Startup Ramp from their earliest stages of development if they are under 10 years old, have under $10M in annual revenue, and intend to serve public sector customers, with focus areas including government, smart cities, healthcare, agriculture, and sustainability. Some of the program benefits include:

  • Content:AWS Startup Ramp members can participate in technical and business focused sessions on topics most helpful to their teams. These will include builder workshops to support startups in technical areas like public sector security, building for scale with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), and foundations in technical architecture, as well as business sessions on product messaging, customer development, and marketing. AWS Startup Ramp cohort members can also work with AWS experts on technical architecture reviews, AI/ML specialist sessions, and workshops on “Working Backwards,” Amazon’s product development processes.
  • Community: AWS Startup Ramp brings together a community of people and organizations supporting early-stage startups such as accelerators, incubators, investors, entrepreneurship centers, technical partners, consultants in marketing, brand, design, legal and those focused on accelerating startup success and developing customers in the public sector. AWS Startup Ramp is also hosting onboarding events including AWS Startup Ramp Cohorts for members to enable peer-to-peer learning across startup teams and foster community. In Japan AWS Startup Ramp is working with Innovation Dojo, a company bringing diverse tech talent and startups together with companies, governments, and universities.
  • Connections: AWS Startup Ramp provides go-to-market support and connections for members through collaborations with organizations such as Code for Japan, Urban Innovation JAPAN, as well as AWS’s global network of partners. AWS Startup Ramp members startups have the opportunity for marketing support and visibility at AWS Summits and other Startup Ramp hosted entrepreneurship events.
  • Credits: AWS Startup Ramp Members can secure financial support from the program with access to apply for over $100,000 in AWS Promotional Credits to enable product experimentation and innovation.

The first AWS Startup Ramp cohort will commence virtually later in 2022 with technical and business training sessions. Speakers will include AWS executives who are former founders and there will be opportunities for entrepreneurs and their teams to build relationships with other startup teams participating in the AWS Startup Ramp cohort to drive connections across the AWS Startup Ramp community.

How to apply to the first AWS Startup Ramp cohort 

Startup teams who are interested in participating in the first AWS Startup Ramp cohort with entrepreneurs across the Asia Pacific Region will need to complete the following steps before applications close on Thursday, April 7, 2022:

  1. Submit the Startup Ramp Application Request online.
  2. Complete the Startup Ramp Application.
  3. Indicate on the Startup Ramp Application that you are interested in being a part of the AWS Startup Ramp Cohort by marking the Cohort checkbox on the main application.

AWS resources for startups and entrepreneurs 

Startup Ramp builds on a history of AWS supporting early-stage startup teams. Since 2013, AWS Activate has provided tools and resources to startups, including over $2 billion in Activate credits over the past two years. Now, startup founders interested in working with both AWS Startup Ramp and AWS Activate to launch their businesses and accelerate growth can indicate on their AWS Activate Application that they are interested in working in the public sector if they are also interested in getting support from AWS account managers and experts aligned with customers in the public sector.

“The launch of AWS Startup Ramp in Japan is part of our ongoing commitment to drive economic development and help local startups innovate across space, smart cities, agriculture, healthcare, and digital government services. AWS Startup Ramp provides opportunities for the public sector to innovate with startups to quickly design, test, and deliver solutions to dynamic challenges. As the public sector in Japan increasingly looks to startups to accelerate the nation’s digital transformation, entrepreneurs leveraging cloud technology can address real-world citizen needs when they collaborate effectively with the public sector,” said Ushio Usami, Japan country leader for AWS worldwide public sector.

Japan GovTech community shares excitement about AWS Startup Ramp

Daichi Ishii, chief executive officer (CEO) of Graffer, an early AWS Startup Ramp member and government technology (GovTech) pioneer that provides cloud-based software-as-a-service to over 100 local government agencies across Japan, shared, The use of technology has changed dramatically in the last decade and now, most citizen services are provided via networks with smartphones as the first point of entry but most of the IT expenditures by governments in Japan are spent on legacy IT systems maintenance and operation. With cloud technology, and initiatives like Japan’s Government Cloud by Digital Agency, governments will be able to deliver services quicker to address citizen needs and achieve significant IT cost savings. AWS Startup Ramp will enable more businesses like us to better support the public sector by experimenting with the latest cloud technologies and accelerate innovation and deliver citizen-centric services at lower costs.”

Joshua Flannery, CEO of Innovation Dojo, shared, “Being a part of the AWS Startup Ramp strikes right at the core of our mission at Innovation Dojo Japan, making world-class services accessible to entrepreneurs while enabling opportunities for startups to work with governments. AWS Startup Ramp is dedicated to building resources and connections for the startup community and we couldn’t ask for a more meaningful initiative to work with.”

Kiyoaki Yamazaki, program director of Code for Japan, a leading organization focused on bringing citizens, businesses, and governments together to collaborate and develop citizen-centric solutions, shared “We’re looking forward to see AWS Startup Ramp accelerate the growth of civic-tech and GovTech startups.”

Takayuki Yoshinaga, representative director of Urban Innovation, Japan, a platform for startups to address local government challenges, said, “As more startups are connected with local governments with AWS Startup Ramp, they will be empowered to build solutions to critical issues agencies and municipalities are facing today.”

Apply to the AWS Startup Ramp today and learn more

AWS looks forward to supporting builders across startups and government teams in Japan and across the Asia Pacific Region to design new products and services for the public sector and deliver on their mission for customers. Request an application and apply to be an AWS Startup Ramp member today.

Follow #StartupRamp on Twitter to connect with the community. If you have any questions, please contact the AWS Startup Ramp team directly.

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AWS Startup Ramp Team

AWS Startup Ramp Team

Startup Ramp is an AWS program for early-stage startups building solutions in health, digital government, smart cities, agriculture, and space technology in the Asia Pacific Region, dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs as they build, launch, and grow companies. Startup Ramp provides technical design and architecture reviews, mentorship, promotional credits, support with go-to-market planning, and connections to help navigate the complex regulatory and security requirements in the public sector.

Kasumi Iwase

Kasumi Iwase

Kasumi Iwase is the AWS business development manager for public sector startups and the Japan AWS Startup Ramp lead at Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Renee Berry

Renee Berry

Renee Berry is the global lead of the AWS Startup Ramp program in the worldwide public sector VC & Startups team at Amazon Web Services (AWS).