Scaling the startup economy: A focused culture can nurture growth

Scaling the startup economy: A focused culture can nurture growth

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By the company’s own estimate, Amazon Web Services Inc. has helped tens of thousands of businesses launch and scale on AWS since 2012. At the end of 2019, AWS formalized that process with the introduction of its Global Startup Program, an invite-only, go-to-market opportunity for mid-to-late-stage startups seeking a springboard to growth.

A number of startups have indeed claimed growth through the program. Artificial intelligence software company Sisense Inc. generated over $100 million in annual recurring revenue and saw a 30% surge in strategic accounts last year. The cloud-native, software-as-a-service data platform Reltio Inc. reached a $1.7 billion valuation in the fall following a successful round of new funding.

“We get to see a lot of partners building their businesses on AWS,” said Serge Shevchenko (pictured, right), global startup partner development manager at AWS. “We help these partners focus on what we truly need to build by working backwards from customer feedback. Often startups try to boil the ocean with many different use cases, and we help them laser focus on what they are really good at and how to bring that to the customer as quickly as possible.”

Shevchenko spoke with John Furrier, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the recent AWS Summit San Francisco event. He was joined by Jeff Grimes (pictured, left), partner leader, startup ISVs at AWS, and they discussed the support network AWS provides to nurture new companies and how startups have managed through the global pandemic. (* Disclosure below.)

Solving customer challenges

The Global Startup Program offers a support network to fledgling companies, with a focus on go-to-market strategies, product development and co-selling. AWS provides dedicated teams with expertise in areas such as security, DevOps and core infrastructure to help launch independent software vendors.

“We are trying to find ISVs that can solve really interesting AWS customer challenges,” Grimes said. “The startups that we cover have support from a build-market-sell perspective. You’ve got someone who’s technical get the technology figured out, someone to get the marketing message dialed and spread, and someone to do the co-sell day-to-day activities and help get them in front of customers.”

A two-year global pandemic triggered a rise in entrepreneurship and expansion of the global startup economy. Startups raised healthy rounds of funding over the past two years in a market filled with speculative investors. Yet the funding raised at high valuations often came with high expectations of rapid growth, which forced many startup companies to adjust strategies on the fly.

“The pandemic was hard on a lot of startups,” Shevchenko said. “But what we’ve seen in many of these startups is as quickly as they can grow, they can also pivot as well. I’ve seen many of our startups grow through the pandemic because their use cases are helping customers save money, become more operationally efficient, or provide value to leadership teams that need more visibility into their infrastructure.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS Summit San Francisco event.

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the AWS Summit San Francisco event. Neither Amazon Web Services Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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