Amazon Web Services (AWS) has awarded Australian start-ups LabSlice and Kaggle a semi-finalist spot in its global Start-Up Challenge, giving the companies US$2,500 in AWS credits each but ending their chances of winning US$50,000 in cash.
The two local companies were beaten for a shot at the major prize by Indian publishing software maker, Mediology. In December it will go on to battle for the major prize in California.
Labslice, with offices in Canada and Australia, runs its virtual-machine-sharing platform on AWS.
The company enables its customers, which must also use AWS, to remotely demonstrate their technology to facilitate training, sales and sharing of in-development software.
Kaggle has already gained some notoriety for its novel approach to data modeling, and uses cash prize competitions to attract data modellers from across the globe to improve its customers' prediction models.
The NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, for example, was currently offering US$10,000 to the group that develops the best model to predict travel times on Sydney's M4 tollway.
A full list of the semi-finalists in the global challenge can be found here.