Amazon Web Services has said it would be too costly to offer independent startups the same cloud package as it offers to those partnered with incubators and accelerators.
The online retail giant's cloud arm launched its Activate programme yesterday, which provides a Self-Starter Package for independent startups and a more advanced Portfolio Package for startups on an accelerator programme.
While both offer free access to services such as AWS's startup forum, where entrepreneurs can connect with others around the world, the former offering only provides firms with a month's support at developer level and one hands-on training lab.
The latter one, aimed at startups involved with seed funds, accelerators and incubators, includes extras such as up to one year's business level support, four hands-on training labs, third-party promotions and up to $15,000 in credit.
However, Iain Gavin, MD of AWS UK & Ireland, said startups, incubators and VCs were consulted over the packages, adding that making the advanced package available to anyone is too expensive an option.
"It's a case of economics at the end of the day," he told CBR. "That qualification of getting into an accelerator or incubator is necessary or you could get a huge number of people applying and it becomes incredibly expensive."
He added that startups on such programmes are generally more developed than those accessing the self-starter package.
"By that point they're attracting customers," he said. "That self-starter package is for one or two people to get going. As they're further down the line they approach an incubator or accelerator."
But the company also told us that it would keep an open mind depending on feedback received about the programme.
Gavin said the firm has "no end game" in delivering its services for free with the Activate packages, but admitted "if you look at a common trait across our business, we take the long-term view".
"If people use our services they will show we provided value and they will work with us ongoing," he added.
"Starting a startup isn't an easy task. It's a lot of investment up front. That's why we offer services like this so if their first idea isn't successful we don't have a financial impact on them."