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AWS Spurs Enterprise-Tech Startups Growth with Expanded Partner Program and Benefits

By Elio Narciso, Principal BD, Startups at AWS

APN-Global-Startup-Program-2One year ago at AWS re:Invent 2019, we announced the APN Global Startup Program. This invite-only go-to-market (GTM) program provides mid-to-late stage enterprise-tech startups with exclusive benefits and a robust set of GTM resources.

Since launch, the APN Global Startup Program has continued to experience significant momentum. In 2020, we increased the number of startups supported by the program by more than 50 percent. Startups have received dedicated support from co-sell specialists to drive engagement with AWS Sales and field teams.

We have also reduced sales cycles and improved win rates for opportunities with mutual customers. AWS startups have worked on tens of thousands of sales opportunities, with several thousands of joint customer wins with AWS, for a net increase of over 228 percent year-over-year.

Qualified startups realize benefits in three key areas—product development, go-to-market, and co-sell. The ultimate goal is accelerating growth.

“Our go-to-market strategy with AWS [has] been nothing short of a game changer,” says Brady Lenahan, Director of Sales at CloudZero, a Series-A developer of an enterprise cloud intelligence platform. “In 2020, we’ve had co-sell support and deal acceleration in 75 percent of opportunities; 33 percent of our net-new leads are referred by AWS sellers; and AWS Marketplace reduced sales cycles by over one week.”

What’s New with the APN Global Startup Program?

The APN Global Startup Program offers white glove support by assigning startups a Partner Development Manager (PDM) that has AWS knowledge and startup or co-sell business experience. PDMs leverage a robust set of AWS resources and drive visibility across multiple AWS teams to power startups’ growth at the speed they need.

Here are some new benefits available to APN Global Startup Partners:

AWS ISV Accelerate Eligibility

We are excited to announce that in 2021, APN Global Startup Partners that have passed an AWS Foundational Technical Review (FTR) will gain expedited access for eligibility in AWS ISV Accelerate, a program to help partners co-sell with AWS.

To compete in the market with more established companies, startups need to move at a much higher rate of speed to close deals faster. Gaining expedited access to AWS ISV Accelerate, the AWS co-sell incentive program, will be transformational for many enterprise-tech startups. It will accelerate existing deals with assistance from AWS sellers, or even generate new opportunities by receiving customer introductions.

In the words of Brandon Sweeney, CRO at HashiCorp, a Series-E platform to run infrastructure for any enterprise application: “The AWS startup co-sell team has helped HashiCorp work closer with AWS sellers and end customers. This has allowed [our] sales team to accelerate their efforts driving amazing outcomes for AWS customers.”

AWS Data Exchange Integration

Another important way AWS supports co-selling with startups is through optimized sales channels. In 2019, we launched the AWS Data Exchange, which makes it easy to find, subscribe to, and use third-party data in the cloud. Qualified data providers can reach AWS customers directly without having to build or maintain their own data storage, delivery, or billing systems.

We are excited to announce integration and onboarding support for AWS Data Exchange. In 2021, interested startups that are data providers will be able to access up to $15,000 in AWS credits, dedicated AWS Data Exchange Business Development co-sell support, and exclusive marketing opportunities like webinars, blog posts, and panel discussions.

One of our AWS Data Exchange launch partners was Foursquare, a Series-G venture that developed a location intelligence platform. Dozens of global brands accessed subscriptions to Foursquare’s free data sets to power domestic and international site selection efforts, or omni-channel customer journeys based on where and how customers shop.

Foursquare was invited into the APN Global Startup Program in 2020, and through the AWS Data Exchange closed multi-million dollar joint deals with AWS. With notable wins already achieved with ADX, innovative customers like Doordash, and a growing pipeline for 2021, Foursquare CEO David Shim, recently told us: “This partnership has enabled our shared customers to acquire, activate, and build upon Foursquare’s location data products that deliver in spades with AWS Data Exchange.”

AI/ML Acceleration

AWS aligns partner product development to AWS service integrations to help drive innovation in areas like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

That’s why we are excited to announce an AI/ML acceleration program for APN Global Startup Partners. This includes up to $5,000 in AWS ML credits to fund experiments on AWS AI/ML services, enabling startups to explore tools that offer the best fit for them at low risk.

The AI/ML acceleration program also offers APN Global Startup Partners the opportunity to join pilot programs of new AWS AI/ML services. They’ll receive guidance from the product teams, and get free access to new AWS AI/ML services and co-marketing support.

An example of how AWS AI/ML services can support a wide variety of use cases and verticals is Snapdocs, a Series-C real estate technology company that’s streamlining the mortgage closing process. Snapdocs uses AI/ML powered by AWS, including Amazon SageMaker, to enable a digital mortgage closing experience for lenders, title companies, signing agents, and homebuyers at an unlimited scale.

“We now touch about 13 percent of U.S. residential mortgages and are growing fast,” says Briana Ings, VP of Product at Snapdocs. “In the past, processing that level of volume across numerous lenders would have required unsustainable manual work. By using a machine learning solution built on AWS, we not only avoid that manual work, we also make the whole process easier, faster, and less error-prone for everyone.”

Expansion of AWS Marketplace Benefits

We are also pleased to announce the expansion of existing AWS Marketplace startups benefits.

AWS Marketplace makes it easy for startups to grow at scale by giving them access to millions of AWS customers. Earlier in 2020, we teamed up with the AWS Marketplace Startup Program and launched hundreds of new listings for APN Global Startup Partners.

In 2021, AWS will offer credits to completely offset listing fees for the first five private offers that APN Global Startup partners launch on AWS Marketplace, and offer further discounts to AWS Marketplace listing fees for renewal of pre-existing deals. is a Series-D APN Global Startup launch partner, and developer of an open-source, fully managed observability platform. had 10x the amount of joint wins with AWS in 2020 year-over-year, for tens of millions of dollars in new business. AWS helped close new opportunities, with dozens of deals being transacted on AWS Marketplace to further facilitate our joint enterprise customers.

“The value from the APN Global Startup Program has been transformative to our business from a service delivery and business execution perspective” says Tomer Levi, Co-Founder and CEO at “Our business benefited by AWS co-sell support scaling our AWS Marketplace go-to-market.”

Learn More About the APN Global Startup Program

AWS has empowered entrepreneurs across the world with the tools they need to build and scale their companies faster and cost effectively. These enterprise-ready, innovative startups offer cloud-native solutions across a variety of uses cases, technologies, and industries.

Explore the latest startup success storiesAWS Marketplace listings, and content to discover how startups are driving innovation for their customers with support from the APN Global Startup Program.