Apple invites Black founders and developers to 2021 Entrepreneur Camp

In 2019, Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp offered 42 women-led organizations the opportunity to learn from Apple engineers and leaders — a process that will continue for female founders this week despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Today, Apple announced that it’s now taking Entrepreneur Camp applications from Black founders and developers, with plans to offer its first sessions online from February 16 to February 25, 2021.

Interested organizations have just over one month to fill out a written application form and express interest in Apple’s platforms and technologies. The eligibility standards are simple: Interested organizations must have a Black founder, co-founder, or CEO, a Black developer proficient in either Swift or Objective-C, and at least a functional app build that can be demonstrated live. A third employee can also attend. All applicants must be 18 or older, proficient in English, and agree to attend together for the session’s entire duration.

Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders is the latest element in Apple’s June commitment to racial equity, which earmarked $100 million for racial justice in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Behind the scenes, the company said it would increase spending with Black-owned partners, work with the Equal Justice Initiative, and improve Black representation within both its own ranks and supply chains, all welcome improvements given the company’s history of white male-dominated leadership. On stage, Apple has taken conspicuous steps to diversify presenters at its recent media events, featuring a wider array of employees than in years past.

Beyond participation in a technology lab and sessions with Apple leadership, notably including talks on the company’s growing machine learning and augmented reality efforts, selected organizations will receive personal code-level guidance from Apple engineers to improve their apps, a year of Apple Developer Program membership, and at least one year of support from an Apple Developer representative. They’ll also be offered access to the growing Entrepreneur Camp alumni network, which already includes apps from dozens of female founders, and the opportunity to participate in special sessions at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, with additional access to “Apple senior leaders.”

Applications can be submitted here starting today through November 20, 2020. Apple hasn’t yet announced when successful applicants will be contacted, or how many applicants will be accepted for the virtual sessions, but the inaugural Entrepreneur Camp for Female Founders ran quarterly for four quarters with 100 participants across 42 organizations, representing 13 countries.

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