Amazon Web Services kicks off global startup challenge

The annual AWS challenge offers the potential of up to $100,000 in cash and rewards to the startup with the best implementation of Amazon cloud services.

Amazon Web Services has kicked off its sixth annual global startup challenge with more than $100,000 at stake for grand prize winning startups looking to get noticed by both AWS and venture capitalists.

Essentially, startups are competing to present the most innovative deployment of AWS cloud solutions while also addressing a need in the marketplace. This also might seem obvious, but AWS reiterated that all contestants must therefore use AWS platforms, such as Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) or Simple Storage Service (S3).

Here's the rundown on prizes. There are four grand prize winners, with one from each of the following categories: Big Data & High Performance Computing; Gaming; Consumer Applications; and Business Applications.

From there, 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.

Not to worry as there are more prizes. Remaining finalists get $10,000 in AWS credits, and all eligible contestants get a consolation prize of $25 in AWS credits.

More rules about the contest are available online, but note that to qualify as a startup, the company cannot have earned more than $10 million USD in gross annual revenues and raised no more than $10 million USD in outside funding.

Startups can start entering today, September 14. The last day to enter is Friday, November 9.

Semi-finalists will be announced in early December and finalists will be announced in early January. Finalists will then present their businesses to a panel of executives and venture capitalists at the AWS Global Start-Up Challenge in San Francisco later in January.