AWS launches new accelerator for start-ups in the EU, UK and Israel

3 Nov 2021

Image: © MichaelVi/

The AWS Startup Loft Accelerator will expand to include start-ups from more countries in the EMEA region in 2022.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is launching a new early-stage start-up accelerator to help founders in the EMEA region to scale their businesses.

The cloud service provider said its new AWS Startup Loft Accelerator will accept applications from start-ups across the European Union, United Kingdom and Israel from this month.

A cohort of 25 start-ups looking to scale their product on AWS will then be selected and start the programme in early 2022. AWS said the programme will be extended to other EMEA countries in the “coming months”.

Selected start-ups will be mentored by AWS experts to help them design and develop their products, refine business plans, and provide guidance on topics such as finance, marketing and human resources.

Mentors include VC firm Entrée Capital and founders such as Bernadette Nixon, CEO of Algolia; Cristina Fonseca, co-founder of Portuguese unicorn Talkdesk and AI start-up Cleverly; and Dr Shay David, co-founder and CEO of UK-based startup and co-founder of Kaltura.

“We focus on investing in great teams who are building businesses in large, interesting markets,” said Eran Bielski, general partner at Entrée Capital. “We’re delighted to be supporting this new AWS accelerator to give hungry, ambitious and talented entrepreneurs the opportunity they need.”

‘Bringing ideas to life’

Successful founders will also be able to join the AWS Activate programme, which includes up to $25,000 in credits for AWS services, a year-long subscription to AWS business support for up to $5,000, access to pre-built infrastructure templates, and other member-only offers.

AWS said that it will not take any equity in the selected start-ups. Being a virtual accelerator, it will offer flexible weekly commitments and founders will not need to travel to take part.

“Our new AWS Startup Loft Accelerator gives entrepreneurs exactly what they told us matters most when starting a company: access to the tools, expertise and resources they need to bring their ideas to life,” said Kellen O’Connor, director of EMEA Startups at AWS.

UK-based delivery service Just Eat, which raised €1.1bn earlier this year, is one of many start-ups that have used AWS to expand their business. Other major start-ups include German fintech N26, which raised $900m last month, and Spanish ride-hailing company Cabify.

AWS entered Ireland almost 15 years ago when it launched its first cloud infrastructure region outside the US, and it now has more than 3,000 direct employees across its Irish bases.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic