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Author: Alicia Shapiro

Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

Amazon Commits $230 Million to Boost Generative AI Startups

Amazon has announced a significant commitment of up to $230 million to support startups developing generative AI-powered applications. This investment is part of Amazon’s strategy to position AWS as the preferred cloud infrastructure for generative AI development.

Key Components of the Investment

Generative AI Accelerator Program

  • Funding Allocation: Approximately $80 million of the total investment will be allocated to Amazon’s second annual AWS Generative AI Accelerator program.

  • Compute Credits: The funding primarily comes in the form of compute credits for AWS infrastructure, ensuring startups utilize AWS services.

Support from Nvidia

  • Expert Access: Startups in the accelerator program will gain access to Nvidia experts and technology.

  • Nvidia Inception Program: Participants will be invited to join the Nvidia Inception program, offering opportunities to connect with investors and additional consulting resources.

Expanded Support for Startups

Increased Funding

  • Previous Year Comparison: Last year’s cohort of ten startups received up to $300,000 each in AWS compute credits, totaling around $3 million.

  • Enhanced Support: This year’s funding marks a substantial increase, aimed at helping startups scale and develop impactful AI applications.

Official Statement

Matt Wood, VP of AI Products at AWS: "With this new effort, we will help startups launch and scale world-class businesses, providing the building blocks they need to unleash new AI applications that will impact all facets of how the world learns, connects, and does business."

Amazon's Broader Generative AI Efforts

Ongoing Projects

  • AWS Generative AI Innovation Center: Amazon has also invested $100 million in this initiative.

  • Project Olympus: A generative model project to enhance Amazon’s AI capabilities.

Competitive Landscape

  • Catching Up: Despite significant investments, Amazon is perceived as trailing behind other tech giants in the generative AI space.

  • Generative AI Businesses: Amazon claims its generative AI businesses have achieved “multiple billions” in run rate.

Challenges and Setbacks

Delayed Launches

  • Bedrock Model: AWS planned to launch its Bedrock model hosting service, akin to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, at its 2022 annual conference but had to postpone due to major bugs.

Internal Struggles

  • Alexa Division: Reports highlight technical setbacks and political infighting within Amazon’s Alexa division, leading to delays in launching new features.

Missed Opportunities

  • Investment Rejections: Amazon initially passed on backing leading AI startups Cohere and Anthropic, later co-investing $4 billion in Anthropic with Google after being rejected by Cohere.


Amazon’s $230 million commitment to generative AI startups underscores its dedication to advancing AI technology and supporting innovation. Through its AWS Generative AI Accelerator program and collaborations with Nvidia, Amazon aims to empower startups to create groundbreaking AI applications that will shape the future of technology.