They also offer free credit to portfolio companies of most reputable venture capital firms. So if you are not in an incubator/accelerator but have received investment you can usually get it as well.Mathew Lodge, formerly VP of Cloud Services, VMware
AWS just wants to know that you are a “bona fide” start-up, because they have no easy way of telling otherwise. Getting funding from, or membership of Accelerators, incubators and VC firms is a simple way to ensure that.
If you’ve raised money from a prominent VC firm such as Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, or Sequoia, you can get up to $100,000 in AWS credits by talking to your program director. These investors typically require you to give up 20% or 30% of your startup’s equity.Mendel Chuang, Entrepreneur, Advisor, Google & MIT Alum
You may also want to look at some accelerators/programs that don’t require you to give up any equity. If you’re an experienced tech industry professional, you can get $100,000 in AWS credits by becoming a member of Founder Friendly Labs, which costs $5,900 to join.
If you’re a Stanford University affiliated founder (undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty member, etc.), you can apply to join StartX and get up to $100,000 in AWS credits.
You can find the full list of AWS Activate Participating Organizations here: