Apple Launches App Development Program For Female Entrepreneurs

Through its new Entrepreneur Camp, a technology lab which focuses on app development, Apple is giving support and training to potential female founders.

The Entrepreneur Camp, is a free two-week camp which will kick off in January 2019. Apple engineers will give one-on-one assistance and training opportunity to female company founders. Female founders will also attend sessions on design, technology and App Store marketing. The goal is to assist teams in reducing overall development time.

The camp will be inclusive to all who identify as women. But to be eligible to participate each registrant must either be part of a company that is female-founded, female co-founded or female-led and the company’s development team must have at least one woman on it.

Also, the Entrepreneur Camp could be a great opportunity for companies that are currently Android-only driven to learn more about Apple’s ecosystem and receive direct support from Apple’s tech creators. The camp also will benefit Apple with the potential of increasing the quantity and quality of apps in its Apple App store.

“We wanted to focus on women who already have an app-driven business, and we don’t require them to have an iOS app,” Apple Senior Director of Worldwide Developer Marketing, Esther Hare, told TechCrunch. “This isn’t an incubator where you come with a good idea and we help you think through it. It’s about already having a good idea, maybe they want to incorporate machine learning or augmented reality, or use some of Apple’s other technologies.”

Helping women get more funding through participation in this program, which would give them ‘street credibility’ in a sense, is Hare’s vision for the future. According to PitchBook, only 2.2 percent of all venture capital investment has been raised by female founders this year.

And even more so, Hare said, “We believe we can have a role in bringing women into more leadership roles and be a supportive force in keeping women in the workforce.”

The Entrepreneur Camp program promotes and encourages up to three members from the main registrants team to be invited to participate in the lab program.

“Even if they’re not the most advanced, they get to come to the workshop to get support, network and skill development,” Hare said.

“Apple has done similar workshops, talks and accelerators in the past, but this is the first that’s focused on women-founded companies. And while this is female-specific,” Hare said, “we designed this program with all underrepresented minorities in mind — particularly women of color.”