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AWS launches space and sustainability accelerator programs

By Ryan Morris-Reade
Mon 14 Mar 2022

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the launch of two global accelerator programs to help startups address pressing challenges in healthcare, space, and sustainability. Both accelerators are open to Australian and New Zealand startups and entrepreneurs.

The accelerators build on successful programs conducted in 2021. They include the AWS Space Accelerator (in collaboration with AlchemistX) and the AWS Sustainable Cities Accelerator (in collaboration with Freshwater Advisors and Public Spend Forum).
2022 AWS Space Accelerator for startups in space technology 

The AWS Space Accelerator is a four-week technical, business, and mentorship opportunity open to space startups worldwide. In its second year, the AWS Space Accelerator is designed to support innovative startups from around the world looking to power their space missions using AWS. Applications are now open, with proposals due by April 15, 2022.

"Seventy-five years ago, a camera aboard a V-22 rocket returned the first-ever photograph captured from space," says AWS director of Aerospace and Satellite Solutions, Clint Crosier.

"The black and white image was taken with a 35-millimetre motion picture camera at an altitude of 65 miles, just above the Karman Line, the official boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space," he says.

"Fast forward to today, an exciting era where advances in engineering are helping to transport human technology far beyond Earth's atmosphere. As the rapid pace of innovation continues not only for space exploration but across the global aerospace industry, organisations continue to turn to the cloud for the speed, agility, and innovation required for complex space missions."

AWS will deliver the AWS Space Accelerator in collaboration with AlchemistX, an organisation based in Silicon Valley with extensive experience running customised accelerator programs for startups at all stages of development. The two companies will select ten startups to participate in the four-week curriculum in June.

"Privately held startups worldwide, at all stages of maturity, are encouraged to apply for this opportunity," says Crosier. 

"AWS welcomes compelling ideas from across the industry that help reimagine solutions for both government and commercial space missions by leveraging advanced cloud-based technologies."

Applications for the AWS Space Accelerator will be judged on several factors, including but not limited to the innovative and unique nature of the project, the overall value the solution may bring to the industry, the creative application of AWS technology to solve problems, and the team's ability to deliver on an identified opportunity.

Startups will receive up to $100,000 in AWS Activate credit, as well as mentoring from space domain and technical subject-matter experts with deep experience working on AWS. 

The program also offers collaboration and networking opportunities with other participating startups, AWS customers, and AWS Partner Network (APN) members looking for technology solutions to challenging space problems. 

"The AWS Space Accelerator provided us at Lunar Outpost the technical and business tool kit to prepare us for the rapid growth we are currently undergoing," says Lunar Outpost CEO, Justin Cyrus.

"Additionally, the accelerator provided a unique opportunity to network and collaborate with the best in class in the space industry. Opportunities such as the AWS Space Accelerator are a must for any space company looking to leverage the cloud to reach the stars."
AWS Sustainable Cities Accelerator for startups focused on sustainable infrastructure 

AWS launched the Clean Energy Accelerator in 2021 to help startups working in clean energy accelerate their impact, access additional resources, and expand their reach. This accelerator resulted in funding and growth opportunities for the participating startups, including multiple commercial pilot deployments opportunities and series B funding rounds, signifying the ability to expand rapidly to new markets.

AWS is now launching a new accelerator focused on the rapid growth of cleantech innovations, the AWS Sustainable Cities Accelerator. This will focus on mobility and transportation to help companies innovate and accelerate their mission growth using cloud-based technologies.

"Cities occupy just 3% of the land on Earth but account for 75% of carbon emissions," says AWS global head - Public Sector, Venture Capital and Startups, Manpreet Mattu.

"With the urban population expected to grow 1.5 times to 6 billion people by 2045, developing sustainable cities is a crucial component of the fight against climate change."

The AWS Sustainable Cities Accelerator is a virtual six-week technical, business, and mentorship accelerator delivered by Freshwater Advisors and Public Spend Forum from May 15 to June 30, 2022. Freshwater has run tech scouting programs for more than 20 corporations over the past nine years in the energy, public sector, and industrial sectors seeking to work with emerging technology-based startups to bring new innovative solutions to the market.

As part of the program, the 10-15 selected startups can qualify for:

  • Collaboration opportunities with AWS customers and members of the AWS Partner Network (APN).
  • Specialised AWS training.
  • Up to $100,000 in AWS Activate credits.
  • Mentoring from subject-matter experts in technical and related domains.
  • Business development and investment guidance from Freshwater Advisors and Public Spend Forum.
  • Networking opportunities with other participating startups.

Applications for the 2022 accelerator will be judged on several factors, including innovation, the overall value the solution will bring to the industry, the potential application of AWS to solve problems, and the team's ability to deliver on an identified opportunity. Applications are now open, and proposals are due by April 15, 2022.

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