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Amazon Web Services Launches Startup Accelerator for Ed Tech

Startup companies looking to make inroads in the U.S. education market are eligible for $100,000 and free training under the new AWS Education Accelerator initiative. The application deadline is Nov. 17.

Side view of a child laying on their stomach looking at a laptop surrounded by many digital symbols like locks, globes, people and graphs.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) this week announced $100,000 grants and free training programs for selected ed-tech startups that want to leverage cloud technology.

According to a news release this week, 15 applicants in the new AWS Education Accelerator global competition will be chosen based on their proposals to serve U.S. markets for Pre-K-12, higher education and workforce education by using artificial intelligence and data analytics to address major challenges in education.

The application deadline is Nov. 17. Recipients will be notified by Dec. 12, and the program will run from early January through mid-March.

The $100,000 grants will be in the form of AWS computing credits, and the 10-week training program will involve coaching, mentorships, guidance and collaboration opportunities. After the training period ends, recipients will be invited to a virtual event with OMNIA Partners, a government procurement company, to gain experience in the procurement process and visibility in the ed-tech market, according to the news release.

“We are thrilled to support the go-to-market acceleration of the most promising ed-tech startups,” Doug Looney, OMNIA Partners executive vice president of public-sector sales, said in a public statement. “Data-driven solutions are what our 86,000-plus public-sector institutions are asking for. We’re excited to collaborate with AWS on their demo day to showcase these innovative ed-tech solutions to our customers.”

This inaugural program will build on similar tech-focused accelerator initiatives AWS has sponsored for the government, health care, defense and space industries, according to an email from Kim Majerus, AWS vice president of global education and U.S. state and local government.

The AWS GovTech Accelerator launched in June, and those participating startups, which propose to help public agencies engage communities, deter crime and reduce recidivism rates, began training this fall.

It’s difficult to gauge how many education startups across the globe will apply to this new accelerator program, Majerus wrote, but those that have already launched an ed-tech tool have a better chance of being selected.

“We welcome startups in the early stages of exploring go-to-market opportunities, and also startups with existing education customers,” she wrote. “The inaugural cohort of startups will focus on companies whose technology solutions use data, analytics, and/or AI in equitable ways to accelerate innovation, drive decision-making, and improve educational outcomes. We do believe AI is going to drive significant change in education and are excited about the opportunities; however, it is not a requirement to apply.”

Startups may submit applications directly through the AWS Education Accelerator website.
Aaron Gifford has several years of professional writing experience, primarily with daily newspapers and specialty publications in upstate New York. He attended the University at Buffalo and is based in Cazenovia, NY.