CUPERTINO, CA — Women learn differently when they’re not surrounded by men. Because of that, Apple is launching the Entrepreneur Camp, a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to create new opportunities for app-driven businesses owned or led by women.
It will be managed through an intensive technology lab, specialized support and ongoing mentoring.
“This is something where there is such a need for that in terms of diversifying the workforce. This will be good for the Silicon Valley workforce,” Peter Leroe Munoz, vice president of technology and innovation for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, told Patch.
Furthermore, what a setting to learn in — one that cultivates hands-on, project-based learning.
“And they learn from each other,” Munoz said in addressing the massive networking possibilities. “People are the most important resource.”
Business is not just about producing products.
Female entrepreneurs continue to face an uphill challenge in securing funding, training and support for business. They receive $1.9 billion to every $83.1 billion men obtain to make their startups thrive.
To be eligible for the Apple entrepreneur program, businesses must be female-founded, co-founded or led by women and have at least one woman on the development team. It must be a working app or prototype, with the desire to leverage Apple technologies to benefit their mission. The program’s pilot session, beginning in January 2019, is now accepting applications.
As part of the program, cohorts will travel to Apple’s campus in Cupertino for two weeks of hands-on training and programming.
“Apple is committed to helping more women assume leadership roles across the tech sector and beyond,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer. “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.”
“This is a program that matters,” said Gina Bianchini, founder and chief executive officer of Mighty Networks based in Palo Alto. “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.”
The Entrepreneur Camp will hold sessions on a quarterly basis, with a cohort of 20 app companies accepted for each round. The pilot session will include 10 companies.
Once accepted, each company will have the opportunity to send three attendees to Cupertino for a two-week immersive program at Apple’s campus, including one-on-one, code-level assistance with Apple engineers. Sessions on design, technology and App Store marketing will also be covered, with ongoing guidance and support from an Apple development representative. Each participating company will also receive two tickets to the following year’s program.
It’s been said that women must overachieve at great lengths to get anywhere in the business world in contrast to their male counterparts. Despite the magnitude of obstacles, women-owned businesses are growing more than two times faster than the U.S. national average, with women-led tech startups delivering a 35 percent higher return on investment than tech startups led by men.
For more information on Apple Entrepreneur Camp or to apply, visit developer.apple.com/entrepeneur-camp.
–Image courtesy of Apple