AWS Startups Blog

Category: Startup Spotlight

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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Panos A. Panay of Berkelee

Berklee College’s Panos Panay: “For musicians, it’s important to have the mindset of a startup.”

Panos Panay wants to change the mindset of music students—and as the Vice President of Innovation and Strategy at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he’s in a great position to do so. At Berklee, Panay says, students are not only learning about music theory and composition, but they are also developing entrepreneurial skills he believes will help them become better musicians. “For musicians, it’s important to have the mindset of a startup,” says Panay, who is also the founder of Sonicbids, a startup that connects bands, music promoters, and brands on one online platform. “Most music colleges are focused on skill development, and not necessarily the mindset that you will need to embark and develop a successful career, however you define it.”

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AWS Marketplace Logo

Scaling your startup with AWS Marketplace

Amazon supports startups through a number of programs like AWS Activate, Amazon Launchpad, and Handmade, designed to boost the go-to-market efforts of entrepreneurs. Today, we’ve added the AWS Marketplace for Startups program to these, helping launch an ancillary channel for EMEA-based startups interested in building sustainable revenue streams.

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Mackenzie Kosut at AWS Startup Day

AWS Startup Day: We’re in it together

We’re in it together. That community-driven sentiment was in full-effect as more than 200 entrepreneurs gathered at the AWS Loft in SoHo for New York’s first AWS Startup Day. Machine Learning? Check. How to tell your story? Covered. Cronuts? Inhaled. “Everyone wants to help everyone else to succeed,” said Future Lab’s Craig Wilson, one of the day’s speakers. “We’re here to be a part of that.”

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Ruth Penfold Director, Talent Acquisition at Shazam

Shazam Director of Talent Acquisition Ruth Penfold on why honesty is always the best policy for recruiting

Honesty is the name of game for Ruth Penford, the director of talent acquisition for Shazam. In fact, Penford believes honesty is so critical for recruiting, the first thing she did after joining the music sharing startup was to invite in a group of consultants to ask current employees about how they felt about the company. What Penford found was that employees were filtering themselves “like Instagram filters,” she says, externally presenting a rosy view of the company and its roadmap to job candidates, as opposed to acknowledging known issues concerning their legacy tech and the need to tear it out and rebuild.

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João Menano on Expanding Credit Opportunities with AI

James CEO João Menano on expanding credit opportunities with AI

Assigning credit risk to people who apply for business loans, credit cards, and home mortgages has mostly been done by weighing some 10 or 20 attributes. Take those attributes—and we’re all familiar with some of the things that make our credit scores rise and fall, including timeliness of payments, debt to income ratio, and defaults—and crank them through your favorite logistic regression model or scorecard. The result is your assigned credit risk, and depending on the number, you either get your loan or you don’t.

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Antoine Blondeau from Sentient

Sentient Technologies Chairman Antoine Blondeau on the evolution of AI

When Antoine Blondeau, the co-founder and chairman of Sentient Technologies, first began working with artificial intelligence, the concept was still known as “algorithmic science.” In the decades since, AI has evolved into a much sexier topic because, according to Blondeau, when operating on mission speed and plugged into the right workflow, AI will learn quicker and faster than humans—resulting in business models that can evolve at machine speed. “That is the revolution,” notes Blondeau.

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Slush 2017

#NordicMade: Ready for Slush Helsinki 2017?  

In less than two weeks, 17,500 attendees from across the globe will descend on Helsinki for Slush 2017. A not-for-profit global event dedicated to the startup community and run entirely by an army of volunteers, it’s been described as “Burning Man meets TED.” With a mission to “help the next generation of great, world-conquering companies [come] forward,” the event, in just a few short years, has expanded beyond its flagship event in Helsinki to locations in Tokyo, Shanghai, and Singapore.

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