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This article was published on April 21, 2020

Public plea to AWS: Give free credits to startups around the world

AWS’s CEO can give oxygen to startups and scale-ups right now

Public plea to AWS: Give free credits to startups around the world
Emma Sinclair
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Emma Sinclair

Co-founder, EnterpriseAlumni

Emma is the youngest person in the world to have floated a company, doing so at 29 on the London Stock Exchange. A serial entrepreneur, she Emma is the youngest person in the world to have floated a company, doing so at 29 on the London Stock Exchange. A serial entrepreneur, she now co-leads global software company EnterpriseAlumni. Their software powers the corporate alumni networks of some of the world’s largest companies. Outside of her day job, she is UNICEF’s Business Advisor and in 2016, was awarded an MBE by the Queen for Services to Entrepreneurship.

I’m writing this public plea to ask AWS CEO Andy Jassy to extend additional credits to startup and scale-up customers at this critical time, even those who have received them in the past. 

And why should AWS give out free credit? It’s simple, because everyone will win.

Like many, my business was fortunate to receive credits from AWS. Functioning much like cash, these credits are commonly awarded to companies in their infancy, applied to AWS business accounts as a bonus, offsettable against Amazon products and services consumed.

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This March, Amazon announced they were committing $20 million worth of credits to companies and teams working on a response to COVID-19, an initiative I of course applaud and support. 

However many startups and scale-ups are fighting for their survival too and I believe Amazon is uniquely placed to make a dramatic impact on the global tech community with one swift, easy to implement gesture. And others agree. 

I corralled over 200 founders of startups and scale-ups in Europe, North America and India within 24 hours, all AWS customers, to join me in asking Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon’s AWS, for his help. I also created a petition in case you’d like to lend your support too.

Here’s why it’s a win:win for us all. 

1. Demonstrate serious commitment to startups

Giving out AWS credit is a quick, easy, and impactful way Amazon can show its customers across the world how important our business is to them.

2. Relieve our cash flows

Many companies need urgent support and suppliers are extending any hand they can to aid cash preservation, runway extension, and for many, survival. Credits will immediately provide some welcome relief to our cash flows.

3. Our survival is critical to AWS’s business

There’s a symbiotic relationship between AWS and its customers. Survival of the startup ecosystem is critical not just to global economic recovery but to Amazon too. In helping its startup and scale-up customers survive, Amazon thereby ensure customers continue to need to consume their services.  

4. Win loyalty, market share, and new customers

AWS’s business already has millions of customers but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to cement customer loyalty and potentially increase market share.

Generously offering additional credits will resonate not only with existing customers and build unprecedented brand loyalty but will also demonstrate to companies thinking of moving providers, that AWS is the supplier of choice.

There are thousands of founders across the globe conceiving tomorrow’s startups, contemplating whose services and products to consume. What better advert and what more compelling reason can AWS offer a potential customer than this show of support? And what more authentic reason could AWS give existing customers to stay loyal than by supporting them now? 

5. It’s quick and easy

Amazon has all our information. They know what we spend on an ongoing basis. The USA’s COVID financial subsidies such as the Payroll Protection Program and Economic Disaster Loans under the Cares Act, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme in the UK and Government backed initiatives all over the world require huge amounts of information to be submitted and validated. AWS has all the data on startups they need at hand.

I am asking AWS to offer us all additional credits based on the last 12 month’s spend. Help us … based on how much business we do with you.

Reward your loyal customers. Offering us all, say, the equivalent of one quarter’s standard usage based on the last 12 months of consumption would be a spectacular way you can help us through this difficult time. 

Founders and CTOs, please help demonstrate that this initiative is vital to you too by joining hundreds of others and signing my letter to Andy here on   

And Andy if you’re reading this, I know you need to secure your own business, have many demands on your time and are already helping COVID initiatives – but we the startup and scale-up community need your help too. 

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