Apple is interested in improving their way of supporting female founders, and they are starting with their new Entrepreneur Camp. Entrepreneur Camp is a technology lab focused on app development. They are offering a free two-week camp, which will give female founders the opportunity to receive one-on-one coding assistance from Apple engineers, as well as attend sessions on design, technology, and App Store marketing. The idea of the camp is to help save overall development time – and it’s specifically targeted towards women. In general, I think this is a great idea as women don’t’ always have the same opportunity as men. Especially when it comes to the tech industry.
In order to be eligible to participate, the company must be female-founded, female co-founded or female-led and have at least one woman on the development team. Of course, the program is inclusive to all who identify as women. Which, I’d like to say is important as the program isn’t discriminating against people who identify as women.
This is exclusive to Apple though, which means if you’re currently an Android-only company, this might be a good opportunity for you to learn more about the Apple ecosystem and get support directly from the technology creators. This also gives Apple the ability to increase the quality and quantity of apps that are offered in the App Store. Apple Senior Director of Worldwide Developer Marketing, Esther Hare had this to say:
“We wanted to focus on women who already have an app-driven business, and we don’t require them to have an iOS app. 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.”
Additionally, Hare envisions this program as giving Apple some more credibility. This will also help women to get more funding. This year alone, female founders have raised 2.2% of all venture capital investment in the United States, according to PitchBook. More broadly Hare stated, “we believe we can have a role in bringing women into more leadership roles” and help keep women in the workforce. This program enables the core participant to bring up to three members from their team to the lab.
The program’s pilot session is starting in January and is now accepting applications. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO made the following statement:
“Apple is committed to helping more women assume leadership roles across the tech sector and beyond. 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.”
Despite obstacles, women-owned businesses are growing more than twice as fast as the US national average. This can be seen as a result of women-led tech startups delivering a 35% higher return on investment than tech startups led by men. Which is why I’m super excited to see Apple putting together this kind of program – specifically for women. All good news coming out of Apple!