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Accessing Amazon Web Services (AWS) through the ICKG

Amazon Web services

Here at the Innovation Centre Knowledge Gateway (ICKG), we are an official partner to the Amazon Web Services Activate programme for Start-Ups, through Oxford Innovation.

This reflects our status as a leading organisation engaged in the support and incubation of early-stage businesses. As an official partner, we are one of just 160 partners worldwide and sit alongside some of the world’s most respected names engaged in supporting Start-Ups, Scale-Ups and SMEs including VC’s Banks and Incubators.

It means our customers who take an office or dedicated desk space in the centre can benefit from free support packages worth up to $10,000. Following later stage investment, this may be increased to $100,000 subject to evaluation by AWS and how quickly the business is growing. Notable companies that took advantage of this offer during their early-stage growth include Airbnb, Lyft and Slack.

There is no obligation on the beneficiary company, Amazon does not take equity or impose any control, it is a programme purely designed to stimulate the growth of the next generation of global businesses. Clearly, by engaging early, Amazon hopes to build a lifelong commercial relationship but that is their only motivation.

The type of services available to our customers is broken down as follows:

  • $10k in AWS Promotional Credit valid for 2 years
  • 1 year of AWS Business Support (up to $1,500)
  • Opportunities to Qualify for Additional Credits

In essence, what would you use AWS for? 

You can talk this through with Neil our Innovation Director to make sure the timing is right for you in your growth stage.

And, as you might expect there are loads of videos on Youtube to see talks on how to use it in more detail, but the headlines are:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow.

In simple words AWS allows you to do the following thing:

  • Running web and application servers in the cloud to host dynamic websites.
  • Securely store all your files on the cloud so you can access them from anywhere.
  • Using managed databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle or SQL Server to store information.
  • Deliver static and dynamic files quickly around the world using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
  • Elastic Beanstalk- simple deploying and scaling of web applications
  • EC2 – secure, resizable compute capacity
  • RDS – set up, operate, and scale a relational database
  • Send bulk email to your customers

How long does the process take? 

It’s quick, at around 7 days from application to being approved and credits in your account.

Who has taken advantage of this so far and what are they using it for? 

Numerous companies have taken advantage of this service and it has allowed them to get a significant step up on the local competition. Both Balkerne and Commsoft have had real success with our support package:

“Balkerne has been able to utilise AWS Serverless architecture to quickly capture various risk datasets and provide actionable warnings to customers without worrying about server operations and managing computation capacity”

“Through support from Oxford Innovation as an AWS Activate provider, Balkerne has been able to obtain credit which enabled us to experiment new technology with minimal cost. Typically accelerators charge 5%-10% in equity to provide support services through program partners such as AWS Activate. Instead, the value is built into the innovation services provided by the Innovation Centre ” Harish Pesla Cofounder Balkerne.

The other big advantages of using AWS are benefitting another one of our customers in Commsoft.

Cloud architect Jon Wood is using AWS with regards to scalability and redundancy:

1. Scalability – There is no need to go out and purchase new hardware as you have the ability to dynamically scale, as more users start using the service the resources automatically increase and then scale back when demand is low. Therefore you are reducing costs, as you are not paying for resources aren’t using.

2. Redundancy – Services can run in multiple regions/availability zones so minimising downtime. This gives you the ability to take snapshots and backups simply and without impact on the performance of the application.

If you want to find out more about what we can offer to your business, email our Innovation Director Neil Griffin at n.griffin@oxin.co.uk or visit https://www.innovationcentre-kg.co.uk/

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