Wysa founder and CEO Jo Aggarwal worked with product engineer Anurita Srivastava (seated) on which features to add to their app's roadmap at Apple Entrepreneur Camp. The India-based company with an all-women team uses AI to scale up access to mental health support.Source: Apple

What you need to know

  • The first year of Apple's Entrepreneur Camp has closed.
  • 42 women-led companies from 13 companies participated.
  • Apple is already accepting applications for Entrepreneur Camp 2020.

As 2019 draws closer to the end, Apple has announced the completion of its final Entrepreneur Camp session of 2019. In its first year, Entrepreneur Camp has hosted 42 women-led companies across 13 different countries with 100 participants. And it's not over.

Thanks to its success, Apple will continue to host Entrepreneur Camp next year, beginning in late January (women founders can still apply through Nov. 15).

Entrepreneur Camp offers a two-week session that includes hands-on tech labs, coding guidance from Apple experts and engineers, and mentorship. It covers such topics as app development, design, machine learning, augmented reality, and marketing. Each company also gets two WWDC invitations and additional ongoing support after the camp session is over.

Entrepreneur Camp is designed to encourage women in the male-centric tech industry to make their place in the world. For a company to be eligible, it needs to have a women founder, co-founder, or CEO and a woman developer on the team.

It can feel intimidating and overwhelming for women getting started in app development. It's been gendered heavily toward men for so long that the culture seems too entrenched to change, but more women are stepping into roles in tech, including becoming founders and CEOs of companies.

Ketaki and Jhanvi Shriram used their time at Apple Entrepreneur Camp to make improvements to Source: Apple

Women tend to feel compelled to over perform in male-centric environments, even if their male peers aren't doing anything special. It's like we feel we have to prove that we're capable of the task at hand, and even experts at that task before we've even started it. We worry that we won't be taken seriously or seen as relevant to our male counterparts. Apple's Entrepreneur Camp seems to be an environment that removes that fear and emboldens women to be themselves.

One founder attending Entrepreneur Camp, Jhanvi Shriram, CEO of Krikey, Inc., told Apple that the session was encouraging. "Often, as women we are asked to constantly prove ourselves and defend our achievements even if we've earned a Ph.D. or MBA," said Shiram, "The Apple Entrepreneur Camp was really a place where we were truly supported, and seen for our potential."

Want to know which women-led companies participated this year in Entrepreneur Camp? Maybe some of these companies make one of your favorite apps.

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