Two thousand tech startups exhibiting at a conference in Dublin today were offered $10,000 each by Google, as the Silicon Valley giant looks to tie-down customers early.

Urs Hölzle, one of the first 10 Google employees, told an audience of entrepreneurs that Google is giving away $20 million of cloud platform credits to companies that are exhibiting at Web Summit 2014. 

The senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google later told Techworld: “Some of these companies will become our next big customers. So by helping them at the beginning we hope we’ll be their partner when they’re bigger as well. 

“There’s a business development strategy there too," he added. "We hope that by making it easy to try our product people will find out that its great and they will stay around,as paying customers, of course.”

Hölzle said startups can use the credits for everything from data analysis in BigQuery to running virtual machines from a Google data centre.

In order to receive the credits for the Google Cloud Platform startups must visit Google’s booth at the Web Summit conference before the end of tomorrow. 

Hölzle added: “There’s some fine print but not very much. Those that don’t make it to the booth, we’ll get their email.” 

One startup in the audience described the offering as “very generous” on Twitter. 

Image credit: Techworld/Sam Shead