Apple has officially rolled out its Entrepreneur Camp, a new initiative designed to create new opportunities for app-driven businesses owned or led by women. The program provides an intensive technology lab, specialized support and ongoing mentoring.
Sessions will be held once a quarter with participants from 20 selected companies. Each company will have the opportunity to send three attendees to Cupertino, California 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, as well as ongoing guidance and support from an Apple Developer representative. Each participating company will also receive two tickets to the following year’s WWDC.
“Apple is committed to helping more women assume leadership roles across the tech sector and beyond,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “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.”
Female entrepreneurs continue to face challenges obtaining funding, training, and support in the VC landscape — receiving $1.9 billion in funding in 2017 compared to $83.1 billion for men. Despite such obstacles, women-owned businesses are growing more than two times faster than the US national average, with women-led tech startups delivering a 35 percent higher return on investment than tech startups led by men.
To be eligible for the program, applying app-driven businesses must be female-founded, co-founded or led and have at least one woman on the development team — as well as a working app or prototype and desire to leverage Apple technologies to benefit their mission. The program’s pilot session, beginning in January 2019, is now accepting applications.
Apple’s new program aims to help women-led businesses leverage technology to benefit their customers.