Free AWS Credits available to LaunchPad startups

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The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars is pleased to announce a partnership with the AWS Activate program to provide LaunchPad startups with the resources they need to quickly get started on AWS, including credits that can be used towards AWS products, services, training, and support.  As a member of the Blackstone LaunchPad Syracuse community, you are eligible for the following AWS benefits:  $5,000 in AWS Credits valid for one year; two months of AWS Business Support; and 80 credits for Self-Paced Labs.  To apply for these benefits, you need to be an active member of the LaunchPad at Syracuse University.  Once approved by the LaunchPad and submitted to AWS, credits will be deposited into your account within two weeks of your application.  AWS credits can be used to host servers, provide integrative services to make sure that software operates more efficiently, and produce comprehensive data analytics.  We are looking forward to having you join some of the world’s hottest startups on the AWS platform and to helping you launch your business to the next level and beyond.  Connect with us at to learn more.  If you are an active member, we will help you with the application process.  If you are not yet a member of the LaunchPad, stop in and see us, and join. You can also follow the AWS Startups Team on Twitter: @awsstartups. Read the AWS Startups Blog here:

Here are some FAQ’s on the program:

What is AWS Activate?

AWS Activate is a free program designed specifically for startups. Activate provides resources, training, and other perks to help startups grow and get the most out of AWS, and Amazon, from day one.

How do I join AWS Activate?

AWS Activate is available only for members of certain startup enabling organizations like the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University. If you are reading this, you are eligible to become a member of one of those programs. Please reach out to the LaunchPad to receive instructions on how to join AWS Activate and to receive the information required to claim your credits.

Can I share or resell my credits?

There are checks and balances in place to ensure no one outside of your program can claim these AWS credits. You are also not permitted to resell or barter your credits. These credits are meant to help YOUR startup only. Any credit abuse will result in revocation of your credits and will jeopardize participation of the entire program in AWS Activate. By participating in the Activate program you agree to the AWS Promotional Credits terms and conditions.

What do the AWS Activate Credits cover?

After being approved for an AWS Activate package, you can find the exact amount, expiration date, remaining balance, and applicable products your credit can be redeemed for, under the “Credits” tab in your AWS Account. Please note that the following services are not covered by AWS Activate credits:

  • Mechanical Turk
  • Domain name registration
  • Upfront Reserved Instances
  • AWS Marketplace
  • re:Invent fees and registrations
  • Third party charges from services such as DevPay or Device Farm

Can AWS credits be applied to an existing bill?

AWS credits are never retroactive. When AWS credits are applied to your account, they will cover charges for the month they were deposited and going forward, until the credits are exhausted or expire.

What are AWS Business Support credits?

AWS Business Support credits provide you with access to AWS technical experts and resources meant to help you address technical and tactical issues you might be experiencing. This is a very valuable resource and one you should look to utilize to trouble shoot technical issues or questions. Response time and level of support will depend upon severity level of the ticket you submit.

Do I have to use a business email address to register? What if I do not have one yet?

When applying for credits, be sure to use the same email address as the one used when you created the account you would like the credits applied to. Please use your AWS account’s primary contact email address (e.g., Using a generic email alias (e.g., info@ or admin@) or a public email domain (e.g., @gmail or @yahoo) will cause delays in your application process.

When will I receive my credits?

Because AWS reviews every credit request, it can take up to two weeks from the date of your application to have credits deposited in your account. Application status updates will be sent to the email address submitted on your application as your application review progresses.

How will I know if I have been approved for the credits?

Upon review of your application, you will receive an automated email from AWS alerting you to your status (approved or denied). In case this goes to your spam folder, you can also check your credits and balance in the “Credits” section of the AWS Billing Console.

What happens if I use all of my credits?

Once your AWS Activate credits are fully utilized, your account will begin being charged for any AWS usage. You can check your credits and balance in the “Credits” section of the AWS Billing Console.

What happens if my credits expire?

Expired credits and credits used to cover charges are viewed the same way by AWS. You will begin being charged for any AWS usage upon the expiration of your credits. Expiration date extensions cannot be granted.

What happens if I receive access to AWS Activate through another program?

AWS credit packages may vary slightly from program to program. If you have access to AWS Activate via another on campus program, an accelerator or an institutional investor, you can claim credits through those programs as well. Please note AWS credit packages are not additive. If you register for AWS Activate through a different program, you will only receive credits equal to the difference between the two Activate packages. For example, if you currently have access to a $2,000 credit package and later register for a $3,000 AWS Activate package, you will receive the difference between the two packages ($1,000) and not an additional $3,000 in credits.

Can I use my credits in markets outside of the US?

Yes, your AWS credits can be used in other markets where AWS has a presence. China has specific governmental requirements for using your credits, which can be found here ( Be sure to review this page ( to ensure the AWS products and services you are interested in are available in your region of interest.

I received a “Free Tier Usage Limit Alert.” What does this mean?

This alert is unrelated to your AWS Activate credit usage. This message relates to your usage of the AWS Free Tier ( The AWS Free Tier provides you with free access to multiple AWS products and services up to a certain limit defined by either a dollar amount limit or a volume limit. If you are enrolled in the AWS Free Tier and later join the Activate program, your AWS Activate credits will be drawn down after you exhaust your AWS Free Tier usage/limits.