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Sixth Amazon Web Services Global “Start-Up Challenge” Begins Today for Start-Ups Worldwide

Four grand prize winners will be selected in enterprise and consumer categories from start-ups with the most innovative businesses built on the AWS cloud

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 14, 2012-- Amazon Web Services LLC (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced the call for entries to the sixth AWS Global Start-Up Challenge, a contest to recognize innovative start-ups that are built on AWS’s cloud computing platform. This year, AWS will select four grand prize winners – one from each of the following categories: Big Data & High Performance Computing; Gaming; Consumer Applications; and Business Applications. Each grand prize winner will be awarded $50,000 in cash, $50,000 in AWS credits, AWS Support services at the Business-level tier for one year, and technical mentorship from AWS.

AWS Global Start-Up Challenge entries will be judged on their implementation and integration of AWS services, originality and creativity of the business, likelihood of long-term success and scalability, and how well the business addresses a need in the marketplace. Entries must be received no later than November 9, 2012. Semi-finalists will be announced in early December and finalists will be announced in early January, and invited to attend the AWS Global Start-Up Challenge event later in January in San Francisco, CA, where they will present their businesses to a panel of AWS executives, venture capitalists and an audience of technology industry leaders. To learn more about the AWS Global Start-Up Challenge, visit http://aws.amazon.com/startupchallenge.

“By allowing companies to deploy technology infrastructure with no capital expense and low pay-as-you-go pricing, and providing a technology platform with very broad functionality and a global footprint of datacenters, AWS is helping start-ups from around the world do what has traditionally been cost prohibitive in the past – start a company with worldwide customers on a shoestring budget and see whether you have something meaningful,” said Adam Selipsky, Vice President, Amazon Web Services. “From Brazil to Japan, Europe to Australia, the Congo to the United States, start-ups are putting their ideas to work and innovating quickly to get to market faster and compete on a global scale. We’re looking forward to this year’s Challenge and seeing the types of dynamic new businesses around the world who are leveraging AWS.”

Fantasy Shopper (based in Exeter, UK) was last year’s grand prize winner of the AWS Start-Up Challenge and was the first non-US based company to win the contest with their social game platform focused around real-world apparel. In this community application, shoppers browse actual selections from top stores in fashion centers such as London, make virtual purchases to create their own outfits, share their creations with others, and can even purchase the actual apparel items offline.

“AWS provides an opportunity to start-ups that simply didn’t exist a few years ago. Today, it’s possible to build a platform that can scale globally with minimal cost and genuinely compete with the biggest companies. This opportunity enables entrepreneurs to dream big and that is a great thing,” said Fantasy Shopper Co-Founder and CEO Chris Prescott. “Winning the AWS Start-Up Challenge was a fantastic moment for our team and a real vote of confidence to our platform and business model. The prize money and AWS credits helped immensely and furthermore, the competition helped us gain the attention of some of the world’s largest VC’s who chose to take part in our first round of funding in January this year. The accolade of becoming the first non-US based company to win also helped to further strengthen our credibility in the US and that helped us gain introductions to some very high profile individuals. If you’re thinking of applying, we would absolutely recommend that you do!”

“Booshaka was selected as a finalist in the Start-Up Challenge last year and since then, over 150,000 brands and businesses have chosen Booshaka as the social marketing solution to help them understand and engage their fans, and amplify their activity,” said Erik Ober, CEO, Booshaka. “From day one, we needed to architect and build a platform that scaled to the size of Facebook and Twitter. We utilized the full breadth of Amazon’s Web Services to build a scalable, high-performance and low-cost big data solution. Last month, we analyzed 20 billion social interactions on Facebook and we did this for an incredible $0.025 cents per user.”

“Since being a finalist in last year’s Start-Up Challenge we’ve experienced tremendous growth. We are currently processing more than 500 million data points every day, and because our business is built entirely on AWS, we’re able to process this data in real-time in a highly scalable and cost-efficient environment,” said Raj Aggarwal, CEO, Localytics. “Localytics is helping tens of thousands of mobile application publishers better understand their customers and make their applications more successful and profitable. AWS is critical to scaling our infrastructure to handle our explosive growth and to meeting our customers’ needs.”

Eligible contestants must have generated no more than $10 million in gross annual revenues and no more than $10 million in outside funding. Start-ups submitted for the contest must use the cloud computing solutions offered by AWS, such as Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2), Amazon DynamoDB, or Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). A complete description of the prizes and contest Official Rules can be found at http://aws.amazon.com/startupchallenge.

About Amazon Web Services

Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) began exposing key infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services -- now widely known as cloud computing. The ultimate benefit of cloud computing, and AWS, is the ability to leverage a new business model and turn capital infrastructure expenses into variable costs. Businesses no longer need to plan and procure servers and other IT resources weeks or months in advance. Using AWS, businesses can take advantage of Amazon’s expertise and economies of scale to access resources when their business needs them, delivering results faster and at a lower cost. Today, Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of enterprise, government and startup customers businesses in 190 countries around the world. AWS offers over 28 different services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). AWS services are available to customers from data center locations in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Japan and Singapore.

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. Kindle Paperwhite is the most-advanced e-reader ever constructed with 62% more pixels and 25% increased contrast, a patented built-in front light for reading in all lighting conditions, extra-long battery life, and a thin and light design. The new latest generation Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, now features new, improved fonts and faster page turns. Kindle Fire HD features a stunning custom high-definition display, exclusive Dolby audio with dual stereo speakers, high-end, laptop-grade Wi-Fi with dual-band support and dual-antennas/MIMO for 40% faster throughput than other tablets, enough storage for HD content, and the latest generation processor and graphics engine—and it is available in two display sizes—7” and 8.9”. The all-new Kindle Fire features a faster processor for 40% faster performance, twice the memory, and longer battery life.

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, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, and www.amazon.es. 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 Web Services LLC

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