AWS Startups Blog

Michelle Kung

Author: Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung currently works in startup content at AWS and was previously the head of content at Index Ventures. Prior to joining the corporate world, Michelle was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the founding Business Editor at the Huffington Post, a correspondent for The Boston Globe, a columnist for Publisher’s Weekly and a writer at Entertainment Weekly.

Rent the Runway Puts Your Closet in the Cloud

How Rent the Runway is Moving Your Closet to the Cloud

While most people know Rent the Runway as the country’s leading lender of LBDs and workwear, the nine-year old startup also happens to be the country’s largest dry-cleaning business. As Rent The Runway CTO Josh Builder notes, the company turns around, on average, 50,000 to 55,000 items on a daily basis—over 65,000 during peak seasons and holidays—and 100% of that inventory comes back to them.

As veritable stylists and dry-cleaning experts, Rent the Runway must keep track of not only the latest fashion trends, but also a wide variety of inventory and chemical mixes to keep their clothes in red-carpet shape. To do this, RTR is shifting many of their operations to the cloud. Watch to see how they pulled it off.

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Figma Design Product

Figma CEO Dylan Field on how cloud computing is affecting the future of design

Initially released on February 19, 1990, Adobe’s Photoshop has long been the doyen of design. However, after nearly 30 years, Photoshop’s licensing model is being challenged by several startups looking to democratize the design industry and make it easier for all people, and not just professionals, to create. One such startup is San Francisco-based Figma. Founded in 2012 by Dylan Field and Evan Wallace, the open design platform—which just raised a $25 million Series B—features a cloud-based screen design tool, which helps teams achieve a shared understanding around design without worrying about syncing, exporting or installing software. We recently caught up with Field to talk about how the cloud has made life easier for designers.

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Canva's Publish page

Canva CEO Melanie Perkins on the future of design

Looking to democratize design for everyone, Melanie Perkins co-founded Canva in 2014 to reimagine design for the Internet age. “We’ve had a very strong focus on ensuring it’s accessible to everyone—regardless of your level of design experience, the language you speak, your income or the device you use,” she says. “So whether you’re a teacher, a student, an entrepreneur, a nonprofit organization or a Fortune 500 company, Canva gives everyone the ability to create beautiful designs and publish them anywhere. Just recently we heard from one of our users who created an animated design for a digital billboard—without any graphic design experience!” We recently caught up with Perkins to talk design.

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How GIPHY engineers the perfect delivery of a GIF

Every day here at GIPHY, we have GIFs on GIFs on GIFs uploaded to our platform. In fact, we serve over three billion GIFs a day (that’s a lot of dancing cats!) to over 300 million daily active users. Every upload, however, brings new information and an increasingly large amount of data—this can become a lot to manage. Using database services like MySQL and DynamoDB, we’re able to organize this heavy amount of data in a high-performing way.

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The Robocar Rally track at AWS re:Invent 2017.

Baby, You Can Drive Your Own Car: A Look at How Deep Learning Powered AWS’s Robocar Rally

What’s more fun than an all-night hackathon in Vegas? Why, a Vegas hackathon involving self-driving cars, of course. During AWS’s 2017 re:Invent conference, 25 teams were given kits to build an autonomous car that could learn how to drive around a track on its own. In this video, we explain what deep learning has to do with autonomous driving and how even a light-hearted Robocar Rally can have deeper implications for learning and the cloud.

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How Uber survives its busiest nights of the year

Halloween and New Year’s Eve are among Uber’s busiest nights of the year. According to Matt Schallert, a site reliability engineer at Uber NYC, those days can see 50-100% extra trip volume over the rest of the year. See how Matt and his team rely on AWS to make sure they are fully prepared to handle the volume of requests that come through on such ride-share heavy holidays.

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Five tips for entrepreneurs from Kabbage Co-founder Kathryn Petralia

2017 has been a great year for Kathryn Petralia. In the past twelve months, Kabbage, the financial services and small loan company she co-founded with Rob Frohwein nine years ago, raised $250 million from Softbank, bringing the company’s total equity to $500 million, and also secured $200 million in a revolving credit facility with Credit Suisse.

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