Apple is running an "Entrepreneur Camp" for black founders and applications are open. As far as I can tell it's their first go at it. Previously they've run events for female founders.
If you get in you'll supposedly get access to assistance from Apple engineers. I don't know how extensive that access will actually be, but I'm dying to find out. Here's my application. Apple's questions are in bold and my answers in regular. Wish me luck :)
Apple Entrepreneur Camp is for organizations worldwide with a Black founder, co-founder, or CEO. Each organization may bring up to three attendees. The Black founder, co-founder, or CEO and at least one Black developer (if not a sole proprietorship) must attend. The third attendee may be any racial background.
Describe your organization’s mission in one sentence.
Ultimately to liberate people through the use of technology, but on a day to day basis I run it to pay the bills :)
Season is a podcast player containing only limited series and audio drama where one story is told over multiple episodes. These kinds of podcasts are very popular but are sort of shoehorned in to the podcast format that is centered around free standing episodes, feeds and subscriptions. In a regular podcast player it can actually be a bit tricky to 1) find this content and 2) to play all episodes in the right order.
Sole proprietorship/single person business
Number of Black Developers Employed by Your Company
1 - 2
What is the technical skill level of your development team on Apple platforms?
Has your organization received any investments or grants from external investors?
Do you plan to raise money in the future?
Are you the founder, co-founder, or CEO?
If selected, will you be managing your organization’s involvement with the program?
Apple Entrepreneur Camp is designed to provide code level assistance as you create your next generation app using native Apple technologies. You must have a developed app or fully functional build that you can demo live.
How far along are you in the development of your app?
Available on the App Store
TestFlight, App Store, or .IPA download link
Tell us about the app you’re developing. What problem is it trying to solve?
The app is live in the App Store but limited to Sweden for the time being. Here's the TestFlight link: https://testflight.apple.com/join/OPSYw5qV usable in all regions.
Season is a podcast player containing only limited series and audio drama where one story is told over multiple episodes. These kinds of podcasts are very popular but are sort of shoehorned in to the podcast format that is centered around standalone episodes, feeds and subscriptions.
In a regular podcast player it can actually be a bit tricky to 1) find this content and 2) play all episodes in the right order.
Who is your app intended for and what solutions do they currently use? What’s unique about your solution?
People who enjoy binging on well produced limited series and audio drama podcasts. Today they are using Apple podcasts and Spotify. Limited series are heavily over represented in the Apple podcasts charts which is a strong indicator that an app specifically for this kind of content could do well.
Half of what makes Season better is the curation. If you're into limited series Season makes it sooo much easier to find stuff you'll like. The other half is the player experience that is tailored to multi episode shows, using the season rather than the feed as it's central organizational unit.
On which platforms do you plan to release your app?
What key Apple technologies have you integrated or do you plan to integrate into your app?
What developer tools do you currently use?
What programming languages do you currently use for app development? Swift
Describe your strategy and road map for apps on Apple platforms, including new deployments, over the next 6, 12, or 24 months.
I just released the app to the App Store last week, limiting it to the Swedish region. Over the next two months, using feedback from early users, I'll be polishing the app. I'm not really adding any features I'm just making the ones that are already in there look and work better. When that's done, hopefully before the end of the year I'll release to all regions. In early 2021 I hope to be able to focus more on getting the word out and reaching users.
What would you like to gain from attending?
Access to Apple engineers to help me with the code sounds like a complete dream. There have been so many times throughout this project that I've wished for something like that. I don't think that you'll be shocked to hear that your docs aren't always that helpful.
Beyond coding, getting more insights into the business side of having an app in the store would be tremendous. (This is my weak point. I have zero business experience.) Other than building a great app, what can I do to find my users?
Also getting to connect with other black techies would be fun.
How would you define your success after attending?
I'm sure this would be a great learning experience outside of any other outcomes. But viewed as a step on my journey to being successful as an indie app developer I'd also like to but a quantitative measure on it. Let's say 10000 daily users by the end of 2021!
If you are a for-profit business, how does your organization plan to sell and market its products/services?
I plan to sell ad-space in the app for podcasts. A couple of other small podcast players are already doing this so it's a proven business model. I'm rather confident that I can make that work as long as I'm able to get a sufficient amount of users.
If you've shared or considered sharing your coding knowledge and enthusiasm for computer science with others, let us know.
I've done some teaching to design and illustration-students at a local arts collage (Konstfack) here in Stockholm. I really enjoy it and would like to do more of it but the amount time of time I can devote to teaching is limited since the pay is abysmal.