Offering an "immersive technology lab and more for female app developers who are founders and entrepreneurs", Apple says its new program "aims to help women-led businesses leverage technology to make a meaningful impact for their customers".
To be eligible for the program, Apple says that "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 company also states that "the program’s pilot session, beginning in January 2019, is now accepting applications".
“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.”
Gina Bianchini, investor and founder and chief executive of Mighty Networks, 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.”
We're told that "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, 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.
"Female entrepreneurs continue to face challenges obtaining funding, training and support in the VC landscape – receiving US$1.9 billion in funding in 2017, compared to US$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 start-ups delivering a 35% higher return on investment than tech start-ups led by men."
To apply, or for more information, Apple's Entrepreneur Camp is here.