Apple has made a new commitment to women leaders. The company this week announced Entrepreneur Camp, a technology lab meant to assist women app developers and women founders and co-founders. If your female-led company or development team has a working prototype, Apple may have a slot for you.
Apple calls Entrepreneur Camp a "first-of-its-kind initiative" designed specifically for app-focused businesses owned or run by women. It includes a lab, specialized support, and mentoring. Why? There's a huge disparity in the resources made available to women. In 2017, for example, women entrepreneurs received $1.9 billion in venture capital funding compared to $83.1 billion in funding for men. Even with such hurdles, Apple says women-led businesses are growing more than twice as fast as the average US company, often delivering a 35% higher return on investment.
“Apple is committed to helping more women assume leadership roles across the tech sector and beyond,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a statement. “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."
The pilot session for Entrepreneur Camp starts in January 2019 and Apple is already accepting applications. Companies accepted into the program will be allowed to send three attendees to Apple's campus in Cupertino for a two-week program. The program will include one-on-one, code-level assistance with Apple engineers, sessions that focus on design, App Store marketing, and direct support from an Apple Developer rep. Further, participating companies will be given two tickets to attend WWDC, Apple's annual developer conference. Entrepreneur Camp will be held in quarterly sessions. The pilot will kick off the Camp with 10 company attendees. That number will grow to 20 company attendees in subsequent quarters.
“This is a program that matters,” said Gina Bianchini, investor and founder and CEO of 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.”
More information on Apple Entrepreneur Camp, including the application, is available here.