Apple invites leaders and their teams from 13 app companies as the inaugural cohort of the Entrepreneur Camp for Black Entrepreneurs and Developers, as part of Apple’s ongoing contribution to supporting the Black community and reducing inequality to opportunity.
Apple hosted its first-ever Entrepreneur Camp in 2019, an immersive tech lab for app-driven businesses with a class of women creators and developers, created and led by developers from underrepresented backgrounds. Participants in the program have gone on to win big funding rounds, obtain multiple awards and accolades, and grow their teams and app users worldwide significantly.
This program is run by Apple to give developers the confidence to put their existing app experience to a whole new by learning new technological skills, applying a critical lens to the user experience, and more through hands-on technology laboratories, Apple experts, and engineers’ one-on-one code-level guidance, and top Apple leaders’ mentorship, motivation, and feedback.
Apple is also partnering with Harlem Capital, a New York-based early-stage venture capital firm that invests in diverse founders to provide participants with guidance and mentorship. This new partnership is part of the $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) by Apple, which builds on the work of the company to promote racial equity in education, the economy, and the criminal justice system. Such commitments aim to broaden opportunities across the country for communities of color and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders.
These incredible app creators and business leaders embody the entrepreneurial spirit that runs so deep in the Black community,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, who leads REJI. “Their work already demonstrates the power of coding to build a better world, and we’re honored to support them as they blaze a trail we know so many more will follow.
The B3am app was developed by David Bosun-Arebuwa to make gym equipment available to beginning fitness enthusiasts who can not afford personal trainers by using the iPhone camera to recognize and clarify the correct use of gym equipment. Bosun-Arebuwa, originally from Nigeria and now based in Birmingham, UK, has found a group with other coders through sharing awareness of Swift.
Adam Taylor, the founder of the Langston LLC app development company and solo developer behind Black, designed the app with stories that speak to the common history of the world to promote culturally meaningful and multifaceted news for Black people. Taylor, a self-taught coder, has already implemented advanced technology into the app to provide appropriate and customized content and is looking forward to learning more about native iOS frameworks and going deeper with Apple engineers on his code.
Culture Genesis is a venture-backed digital studio co-founded by experienced engineers and media executives Cedric J. Rogers and Shaun Newsum to remix technology for urban multicultural audiences. The Los Angeles-based team behind TriviaMob’s hip-hop-centered live trivia game show app will spend their time at Camp working on their newest music-focused app called Bar Exam.
Abdou Sarr, the founder of MODU RESEARCH Corporation, wants to remove barriers to capturing, creating, and sharing immersive media. In order to encourage young people to pursue computer science and entrepreneurship, the 22-year-old Senegalese-Canadian is a frequent speaker at youth conferences. To let users shoot 3D photos without special equipment, his Film3D app taps Core ML, ARKit, and Metal.
FormKey is a Polyhedra LLC MIDI Controller app that focuses on helping to produce music without being overwhelmed by the complexities of theory and composition. In Raleigh, North Carolina, founder Brent Brinkley uses shapes to define notes and colors to define octaves, creating a new language that makes it quick and easy to read music.
Health Auto Export
The Health Auto Export app was designed by Lybron Sobers, a native of Barbados now living in Malmö, Sweden, so patients can easily extract and distribute specific data through healthcare providers in a safe, privacy-protected environment. Sobers is enthusiastic about teaching children at coding camps the fundamentals of programming, and mentoring young programmers who are only beginning their careers.
Near Future Marketing founder Casey Pollock, an avid gardener and self-taught Swift maker are working on the Hologarden app to help ambitious gardeners use AR and AI to flourish. The app may address the requirements of gardeners, such as monitoring plant growth and controlling plant health and care. Pollock also holds a free meeting about developing ARKit applications for beginners called Augmented Reality Today and has taught sessions at UC Berkeley and San Jose State.
The Hubli app is a remote learning solution created by five Apple Developer Academy students in Brazil: Ailton Vieira, Gabriel Taques, Maykon Meneghel, Mariana Lech, and Rodolfo Diniz, born out of the COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges of in-person education. Hubli is currently using AI in beta testing to enrich the learning experience for both students and teachers and aims to help make communication online more efficient.
Zapling Studios encourages both veteran and novice players to make fun games. Justice Royale, the first title, uses a patented series of movements that enables players to concentrate on gameplay with precise controls for a fast-paced “beat’em up” arcade experience. In addition to harnessing the power of ARKit to create an interactive environment, the team is focusing on reworking the entire game to incorporate local and online multiplayer capabilities.
Kickstroid was developed by creator David Alston and his team to help sneaker enthusiasts discover their favorite shoes with features they couldn’t find in other sneaker apps and provide a forum for creating a worldwide community of sneakerheads. Alston is also head of outreach at the University of Illinois for Blacks and African Americans in Computing (BAAC), organizing coding events for young Black and Latinx students, in addition to his work on the app.
The first marketplace specifically for press-on nails and nail art is Nailstry, linking indie artists with fans of press-on nails. Nailstry, created by Aurelia Edwards, uses virtual reality to digitally measure and create custom-fit press-on nails while also enhancing creation process inefficiencies. Nailstry’s team empowers manufacturers to grow their companies with consumer education and tools, supports diverse founders, and gives back through coding initiatives such as the Black Girls Code.
The Peek: TV Shows and Movies
In 2018, the Peek: TV Shows and Movies app originated as a senior class project for Ashley McKoy, Harold Lomotey, and Ositanachi Otugo, creators and graduates of Howard University. The team developed this mobile social media network to share family and friends with TV and movie recommendations, while also aiming to amplify titles from black writers and actors, as a solution to constant scrolling and a lack of accessible content streaming online recommendations.
Matt Garrison, the founder of TuneBend, is a noted musician who laid the foundation for the app when, in Brooklyn, New York, he opened his live venue, ShapeShifter Lab. Using video and audio clips, the app helps educational organizations and performing artists create, educate, distribute, and sell new and existing music, particularly useful during the pandemic when in-person performances and teaching were not possible.