Amazon really wants startups to use AI models including Anthropic - and it's giving away free credits to all

AWS logo
(Image credit: Future / Mike Moore)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has unveiled new plans to support AI startups, particularly those partnered with Y Combinator, by setting aside $500,000 in credits per startup for Amazon Bedrock.

Previously, AWS provided startups partnered with Activate Provider with $100,000 in free credits; however, the cloud giant’s latest initiative increases this fivefold for the more recent cohort of Y Combinator-funded startups.

Amazon isn’t the only tech giant to be offering startups an AI lifeline, but the latest credit announcement exceeds the $150,000 set aside by Microsoft Azure and $350,000 by Google Cloud.

AWS boosts its AI credit offering for eligible startups

Announcing the boost in credits, AWS says that experimenting is both vital and expensive for startups, hence its offer of free credits. Since launching AWS Activate, the company claims to have provided more than $6 billion in credits to help startups experiment on AWS cloud “with little-to-no upfront cost.”

With the announcement, AWS is allowing credit recipients to redeem their AWS currency against third-party models on Amazon Bedrock from companies including AI21 Labs, Anthropic, Cohere, Meta, Mistral AI, and Stability AI.

The extension of free credits not only aims to help cash-strapped startups but also helps secure partners’ revenue streams. Notably, Anthropic recently received a significant $4 billion investment from AWS, the maker of the Claude LLM family.

Y Combinator Group Partner Michael Seibel commented: “With virtually every startup quickly becoming an AI startup, our partnership with AWS has never been more relevant to the companies getting into our program.”

As well as spending credits on third-party FMs on Amazon Bedrock, the latest Y Combinator Cohort (January 2024) can use them for Amazon Trainium, AWS Inferentia, and a reserved capacity of up to 512 Nvidia H100 GPUs via Amazon EC2.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!