Apple Announces App Development Program for Organizations with Female Founders

Apple has announced Entrepreneur Camp, a new project aimed at app-driven businesses that are either owned or led by women, reads a new press release from the Cupertino company.

The camp will consist of an “intensive technology lab, specialized support and ongoing mentoring,” and is scheduled to begin in January 2019. Apple is currently accepting applications.

The Entrepreneur Camp’s quarterly sessions will be with a cohort of 20 app companies. The pilot starting in January will have a cohort of 10 companies. The eligibility criteria are for app-driven businesses that are founded and co-founded by a woman or have at least one woman in the development team.

Apple is committed to helping more women assume leadership roles across the tech sector and beyond,” says Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We’re proud to help cultivate female leadership in the app development community with the new Apple Entrepreneur Camp and we’re inspired both by the incredible work that’s already happening, and what’s sure to come.”

Successful applicants will be able to send three attendees to Cupertino, California for the two-week program at Apple’s campus. It will include one-on-one code-level assistance with Apple engineers, sessions of design, technology, and App Store marketing, and general ongoing guidance and support from an Apple Developer rep. Successful applicants will also receive two tickets to the following year’s WWDC.

“This is a program that matters,” says Gina Bianchini, CEO of Palo Alto-based Mighty Networks. “The new Entrepreneur Camp says Apple wants to invest its expertise in a different, richer, more diverse range of app developers and product experts in a meaningful way, and that is a big deal for the industry.”

Female-led startups raised an estimated $1.9 billion USD in funding in 2017, compared to $83.1 billion in funding for startups led by men, Apple said, despite female-led startups returning a 35 percent higher return on investment than male-led startups.

In related news, Hour of Code, Apple’s annual coding session events held at its retail stores around the world, is returning for the sixth year beginning Saturday, December 1.

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