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Amazon Web Services' Third Annual "Start-Up Challenge" Begins Today
Start-ups invited to showcase their business built on AWS and win $100,000 in cash and services

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 9, 2009-- Amazon Web Services LLC, an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced the third annual Amazon Web Services Start-Up Challenge, a contest for entrepreneurs and start-ups. The contest will award the first place winner with $50,000 in cash, $50,000 in Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits, mentoring sessions from an AWS technical expert, and premium gold support for one year. The first place winner may also receive a possible investment offer from Amazon. All finalists will receive $5,000 in AWS service credits and all qualified contestants will receive $25 in AWS service credits to help them build or grow their business. Contestants will be evaluated on the originality and promise of their venture, and the degree to which the business leverages the pay-as-you-go technology platform offered by Amazon Web Services. Entrepreneurs in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Israel are eligible to enter. Entries are due no later than 11:59 P.M. (PT) on August 26, 2009. To learn more about the AWS Start-Up Challenge, visit http://aws.amazon.com/startupchallenge.

“In the three and a half years we’ve been operating these services, we’ve been blown away by the innovation we’ve seen from hundreds of thousands of customers in a wide range of industries. One of the things we look forward to all year is the creativity that comes from the contestants in this challenge,” said Adam Selipsky, Vice President of Product Management and Developer Relations for Amazon Web Services. “By opening up the contest to start-ups and entrepreneurs in other parts of the world where AWS is being rapidly adopted, we expect to see the most exciting competition to date.”

Since early 2006, Amazon Web Services has provided customers of all sizes, including businesses, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and government agencies, with an infrastructure platform in the cloud. Businesses can tap into critical resources such as storage, compute, database functionality and messaging that are necessary to achieve massive scale on the web—but without the expensive price tag companies like Amazon.com pay to build and maintain such reliable, secure, and scalable infrastructure. That’s because AWS requires zero up-front investment and provides low, pay-as-you-go pricing.

Contestants must submit an online application form by August 26, 2009. Finalists will be announced in early October. Each finalist will be profiled in an online video viewable on the AWS website where registered Amazon Web Services customers can vote for their favorite finalist. In late October, the finalists will be flown to Silicon Valley to present their business ideas to a panel of AWS executives and technical leads and participate in an event with an audience of start-ups, tech industry leaders, and investors. The winner will be announced at a final event that same evening.

“Winning the AWS Start-Up Challenge last year put our business on the fast track,” said John Barr, COO and Vice President of Engineering for Yieldex, a company delivering accurate forecasting of advertising inventory and yield management for online publishers. “Since winning last year’s challenge, we’ve successfully raised $8.5 million dollars and grown at least two orders of magnitude in each of the data processing categories we measure including 40 billion monthly impressions under management and 3 terabytes of data processed daily in the cloud."

Eligible contestants must be either privately held companies based in the U.S. or individuals legally residing in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, or Israel. Eligible contestants must have generated no more than $5 million in annual revenue. Business ideas submitted for the contest must use fee-based solutions offered by AWS, such as Amazon S3 and EC2 (see contest details for list of eligible services). A complete description of the prizes and contest rules can be found at: http://aws.amazon.com/startupchallenge

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel; Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial.

Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Examples of the services offered by Amazon Web Services are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS), Amazon Mechanical Turk and Amazon CloudFront.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, and www.amazon.cn.

As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

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