November 27, 2018 // 10:32 a.m.
Cupertino-based Apple has announced the launch of an 'Entrepreneur Camp' aimed at addressing the lack of diversity in technology by providing support for female app developers - providing, of course, that they're developing apps for Apple platforms.
Due to launch in pilot form in January 2019, the Apple Entrepreneur Camp is open only to app-driven businesses owned or led by women - with Apple's definition specifying that the underlying business must have been founded, co-founded, or is actively led by a woman or women and has at least one woman on its development team. The company is further restricting applicants to those already reasonably far along the development curve, demanding that companies have a working app or prototype to demonstrate before applying to the programme.
Those accepted, Apple explains, will be eligible to send three attendees to Apple's new campus in Cupertino, California for a two-week immersive technology camp which includes one-on-one code-level assistance from Apple engineers; sessions covering design, technology, and marketing for Apple's App Store platform; and ongoing guidance and support from an Apple Developer. Two tickets will also be provided for the next year's Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC).
'Apple is committed to helping more women assume leadership roles across the tech sector and beyond,' claims Tim Cook, Apple chief executive, of the new programme. '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 programme that matters,' adds Gina Bianchini, investor, founder, and chief executive of Mighty Networks, in support of the company's effort. '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.'
In support of making the Camp female-only - a definition, the company explains, which includes those who self-identify as female in addition to those born biologically female - Apple has shared statistics showing that female entrepreneurs are under-represented in the technology industry, representing $1.9 billion in funding compared to $83.1 billion for men in 2017. Despite this, Apple further claims, women-owned businesses are growing at double the US national average and deliver, on average, a 35 percent higher return on investment than start-ups led by men.
Interested parties can find more details, and the link to apply, on the official website.