Today marks the completion of Apple Entrepreneur Camp’s first year with its fourth cohort of 2019.
Apple Entrepreneur Camp is specifically designed for organizations founded and led by women, and dedicated to helping entrepreneurs as they work on the next generation of cutting-edge apps. The camp offers a hands-on technology lab, one-on-one code-level guidance from Apple experts and engineers as well as mentorship, inspiration and insights from top Apple leaders. After the lab concludes, participants get ongoing support and become part of a growing community of exceptional alumni who can help create and build businesses.
The WishUpon Team, including designer Seongju Lee, co-founder and CTO Jihyung Kang, and co-founder and CEO Danbee Lee, are the first Apple Entrepreneur Camp attendees from Korea. Their app lets users browse thousands of retailers and save products to a “wish list” where they can shop all in one place.
Quin founder Isabella Degen (center) earned a degree in robotics and created the regulated mobile medical app for people who, like her, have insulin-treated diabetes. She attended the fourth cohort of Apple Entrepreneur Camp cohort with, from left, software engineer Melissa Marshall and designer Nelia Keiven.
Women leaders and their teams from 42 companies have taken part in the cohorts that take place once a quarter. Apple engineers and experts work directly with participants on topics including app development, design, the latest advances in machine learning and augmented reality and, if desired by the attendees, tips for public relations and marketing. Companies are also invited to attend WWDC so they can develop their apps on Apple’s most advanced platforms and continue to build community with industry leaders.
“I’m in awe of the passion and drive of our first year of Entrepreneur Camp innovators. They are using apps to impact peoples’ lives and solve problems, from building connections for underrepresented groups in tech to making solar power affordable and giving people tools to improve mental health,” said Esther Hare, Apple’s senior director of Worldwide Developer Marketing and executive sponsor of Women@Apple. “It’s great to hear incredible women leaders telling us their experience at Camp has helped them make their apps even better, and given them the confidence and the tools to build new connections, form support networks and raise rounds of venture capital. And we’re just getting started.”
Sisters Jhanvi and Ketaki Shriram, who attended the second cohort of Apple Entrepreneur Camp, at the Krikey, Inc. office in San Francisco. The Krikey app taps technologies like ARKit to make games that connect people back to the natural world.
Meet sisters Jhanvi and Ketaki Shriram, participants in the second cohort of Apple Entrepreneur Camp. They are the founders and creators of Krikey, a mobile augmented reality app that bridges the natural and digital worlds to inspire a sense of empathy that helps people feel closer to nature. In hearing about Apple Entrepreneur Camp, Jhanvi and Ketaki wondered at first if they were were experienced enough to apply. They soon found out that the cohort was geared for developers at several different levels and company leaders at different stages of building their businesses. This was a chance to get support from Apple experts as well as their fellow entrepreneurs.
“It’s about potential versus proof,” says Jhanvi Shriram, CEO of Krikey, Inc. “Often, as women we are asked to constantly prove ourselves and defend our achievements even if we’ve earned a Ph.D. or MBA. The Apple Entrepreneur Camp was really a place where we were truly supported, and seen for our potential.”
During the cohort, Jhanvi and Ketaki were developing “Gorillas!,” a multiplayer, augmented reality game that immerses players in the Rwandan jungle with a family of mountain gorillas. Created in partnership with The Ellen Fund, “Gorillas!” aims not only to entertain, but to build empathy, and inspire conservation. Krikey was developed using the powerful tools and capabilities in ARKit and Metal creating immersive habitats and ecosystems. During the cohort, Jhanvi and Ketaki had the opportunity to demo “Gorillas!” with Apple experts.
“Working directly with the Apple team, we got feedback on design methodology that helped us solve a problem in our app we knew we had, but had no idea how to fix,” said Ketaki Shriram, chief technical officer of Krikey, Inc. “We made some significant improvements based on what we learned, including adding a preview mode so players can try the game before they sign up. That’s been really successful for us.”
Ketaki and Jhanvi Shriram used their time at Apple Entrepreneur Camp to make improvements to “Gorillas!,” which they launched two months later in partnership with The Ellen Fund.
So far, Apple Entrepreneur Camp has welcomed 100 participants from 13 different countries. The next cohort is planned for January 28 to February 5, 2020, and applications will be accepted until November 15 at developer.apple.com/entrepreneur-camp.
Here are the companies who have participated in Apple Entrepreneur Camp 2019:
Dirty Dog Software
Flame Soft AB
Hopscotch Technologies Inc.
LactApp Women Health
Literacy Matters Foundation
SALT for my Squid
Struct Club Inc.
Train Your Eyes
Trill Project, Inc.
warehouse apps LLC