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AWS Start-Up Challenge (amazon.com)
36 points by terpua on July 9, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments

Not trying to be negative here, but if you just have an idea, forget it. All of the companies selected last year seemed to be already launched and profitable. Even if you are in the alpha or beta stage, I get the impression that you won't even be in the running.

Amazon touts this as though teams with great ideas have a chance, but they are really looking for companies who are already writing large checks to Amazon.

YMMV and I could be wrong, but last year I was astonished and disappointed by the lack of real, early stage startups.

Just dash off an application and get the $25 in free AWS credit. Spend less than 10 minutes on it and it's a pretty good rate of return.

You have to be from the US, UK, Germany or Israel to qualify. That sucks. You'd think that Amazon would at least cover the countries they are selling in.

No, I wouldn't think that actually. Can you imagine how much legal wrangling it would take to understand the law in 100+ countries? I don't make any guesses as to the size of amazon's legal team nor to their scope in terms of country coverage but really - that's a massive job. Just take the USA for example - Amazon's legal team is working overtime dealing with taxes. Should they hire 60 new attorneys just so that they can make this content utterly global? At that point, they'd probably say, "Let's just forget the entire thing. If people are gonna complain about it, then we just won't do it."

If you are selling something in another country, I would understand your point but this is a startup challenge. The onus is on the participants to see if their country will allow them legally. I would say that this would apply to over 90% of the civilized world.

> The onus is on the participants to see if their country will allow them legally.

You typically can't shift liability that way. In particular, Amazon can't. If there's a problem and someone has the choice of going after Amazon or some local little guy, Amazon gets it, especially if said someone is said little guy.

Plus there will be arguments like "if you just changed {rule}, everything would be okay", and different groups from the same country would name different rules.

FWIW, this is an example of the constant yet mostly invisible drag of "consumer protection".

I'm surprised they even allow participants from outside the US.

Anyone know why they chose these countries specifically? Just curious.

Centers for high tech.

That's a non answer. I could understand Ireland being a center for high-tech but not all of the UK and there are dozens of other global high-tech centers to boot.

So of all the world's high-tech centers, why these four?

Your chance of winning is tiny, but unlike other competitions, the $25 in free AWS credit is a nice bonus for all applicants.

We submit an application pretty much every year, and it covers a good chunk of our S3/Cloudfront costs for the rest of the year :)

This is the real deal - my company works with one of last year's finalists, encoding.com, and they are pretty great. Not perfect, but it's a small company using AWS as their infrastructure - and everything has worked so far.

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