In a first of its kind, Apple has announced the launch of the unprecedented Entrepreneur Camp, a programme designed to create new opportunities for app-driven businesses owned or led by women which include an intensive technology lab, specialized support, and ongoing mentoring as part of its efforts.

Eligibility for the programme requires the application to be for app-driven businesses founded, co-founded or led by females, having at least one woman on the development team. They must also have a working app or a prototype for the same and a desire to leverage Apple technologies for the benefit of their mission. The programme’s pilot session has been scheduled to begin in January 2019, and Apple has started accepting applications for the same.

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. – Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO

Gina Bianchini, investor and founder and CEO of Mighty Network, for her part, has said, “This is a program that matters. 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.”

Entrepreneur Camp will be holding quarterly sessions, with a cohort of 20 app companies accepted for each round. The pilot session will include a smaller bundle of 10 companies.

Apple Entrepreneur CampEach company shall have the opportunity to send three attendees to Cupertino, California for a two-week immersive program at Apple’s own campus, once they have been selected. The programme will include one-on-one code-level assistance with Apple engineers, sessions on design, technology, and App Store marketing, along with ongoing guidance and support from an Apple Developer representative. Each participating company shall also be entitled to two tickets to the following year’s WWDC.

This programme comes in the face of current statistics which show that female entrepreneurs continue to face challenges obtaining funding, training, and support in the VC landscape, being the recipient of a meager amount of up to $1.9 billion in funding in 2017 when compared to $83.1 billion set aside for men. Despite such obstacles, women-owned businesses have been growing at a pace twice that of the US national average, with women-led tech startups delivering a 35 percent higher return on investment than tech startups led by men.

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