GCHub AWS Activate program for Startups

Gold Coast Hub is a participating organisation in the AWS Activate Portfolio program. Amazon Web Services are proud sponsors of the Hub and this program allows members of the hub to get a massive head start on the AWS platform, with credits, training, architectural assistance and more.

This page is to explain what the activate program is, determine if it is for you and get started.

What is AWS Activate?

  • AWS Activate is a “quick-start” program that give eligible startups a great, low cost way to get started on the AWS platform. If you qualify for the program you receive
  • $10,000 in AWS Promotional Credit valid for 2 years
  • 1 year of AWS Business Support (up to $1,500)
  • 80 credits for Self-Paced Labs ($80 value)
Additionally Stripe and AWS Activate have partnered to offer AWS Activate founders the following benefits to scale their businesses:
  • Waived the processing fees of your first $25,000 worth of transactions processed on Stripe
  • Priority beta and special event access
Being part of the Activate program additionally gives you access to other resources otherwise not available to regular customers starting on AWS such as Discounts on cloud products and services, marketing support and the possibility of being featured in startup blogs or speak at AWS events. The program does change from time to time, so it is best to check out the Activate site for the latest details.

Is AWS Activate for me?

There are some rules around AWS Activate and it should not be viewed as a free lunch or part of a “credit shopping” exercise (ie. jumping back and forth between GCP, Azure and Amazon). Here is a quick guide below to determine if it’s for you:


  • You are a GCHUb connected startup wanting to get started on the AWS platform
  • You have an email address for the business (a website helps, but is not  essential – you can totally be fresh out of the box!)
  • You are creating a product of some kind that can use AWS Cloud Services
  • You have not yet received any major funding (ie. Series A equiv) for your startup or any previous credits


  • Consulting businesses just offering services on cloud and not creating any new products
  • You have previously received AWS credits for this business
  •  You are not connected with the Gold Coast Hub (ie. someone just gave you the code thinking you could just signup)
  • You are just setting up an Amazon store (this is AWS not Amazon.com)
  • You are fully funded and scaling up (why are you wasting your time applying for this – get on with it!)

Please note that at the time of writing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Reserved Instance upfront payments, certain types of AWS Support, Amazon Route 53 domain name registration, AWS Marketplace are all not covered by AWS credits

Ok, I'm eligible. How do I apply?

We do check all applications and AWS also conduct their own checks and ask us for confirmation. Steve Dalton is the current administrator of the AWS Activate program for GCHub and can usually be found on the Ground floor of GCHub in the Gold Coast TechSpace outreach room behind reception.

It’s always good to know who you are and get a feel for what your startup is – so please reach out to Steve on the GCHub Slack and tell him about yourself and he will direct you to the signup page and give you a secret organisation id for the GCHub portfolio account. Please don’t share this key to others – all applications are vetted so if people apply who we don’t know, they will be quickly rejected!

Once you have applied, it takes a couple of days for AWS to process, then another couple for us to approve and complete the process. The credits will then appear on your account in the Billing section shortly after. Please chose the account that you select for your credits carefully as you can’t change this later. If you use AWS Organisations (previously consolidated billing feature) put the credits on the master organisation account (ie. the one at the top that you create first!)



What other help can I get?

  • Please join the #aws-activate channel on the GCHub Slack. If you are not on slack – please reach out to the GCHub team for an invite
  • Come along to the regular AWS meetup that convenes monthly at the GCHub. Join our meetup group for updates on meetings and other local AWS events.
  • If you have something too big for your own team. Consider finding a local AWS partner. The AWS Partner Network is the place to start – there are even some that are regularly around the GCHub building. Please support your local economy and consider using a Gold Coast based one if you can!
  • AWS are an awesome company to work with and one of the only cloud providers with serious boots on the ground in Australia who understand how to build community and put customers first. Get involved in the AWS community, attend conferences/events and be part of something special!
  • Note: As an AWS Activate Company – AWS is not your official “Partner” in the classic sense, you are an Activate company and can display the Activate logo, but please be careful with usage. The AWS Activate Logo Guidelines page explains things very well.