Budding app developers – looking for funding cash to finance your Next Big Thing? Well, today could be your lucky day.
Why? Because Windows Phone AppCampus, a mobile app accelerator program, is here to help. This hothouse scheme provides successful applicants with funding to the tune of twenty, fifty or even seventy thousand euro (depending on how complex ideas they have) to develop their products. The project’s designed to foster the development of excellent new apps for the Windows Phone marketplace, and it seriously ticks all the relevant boxes as far as developers are concerned.
How can it help me?
What’s the deal? As well as hard cash, AppCampus will also provide the selected applicants with access to training in mobile tech, design and usability. What’s more, you’ll get coaching and marketing support because it’s not just about the product (the app), it’s also concerned with setting up self-sustainable mobile start-ups. Because you’ll have the might of Nokia, Microsoft and the Windows Store behind you, there’ll be local and global business opportunities aplenty, given the distribution power of these giants. Not only that, but after the first ninety days, you won’t be tied into the Windows/Nokia brand – after those first three months’ exclusivity, you can take your product multi-platform. And (deep breath) there’s no financial catch: AppCampus isn’t in it to score a profit from new designers; they don’t take equity or commission, and that makes it a pretty special kind of tech investment.
Who runs it?
So far, so good. How did this come about? It’s all managed by Aalto University in Espoo, Finland – already a player in the start-up game – and it’s the result of an €18 million joint investment between Microsoft and Nokia to make sure that Windows Phone platform is fostering the best developers and the best apps out there, and, basically, giving the whole app market an adrenaline shot. It’s been running since May 2012 and since the funding is good for three years, there’s still plenty of time to get involved. Skeptical? Let’s check out the results so far.
Where can I see the results?
We’ve previously highlighted some of these in our Apps of the Week column here on Nokia Conversations: Here’s a few you should get downloading double quick:
Image and sound combo sharing app Foundbite.
Chinese language learning game-slash-tool Tawkable Chinese.
Jack’s Mistake, an incredibly fun and unusually themed game about containing a worldwide virus.
Lusciously gory but addictive infinite running with monsters game, Dark Lands.
Space Kitty Puzzle Free, a puzzle game that takes you across the universe in 100 breathtaking levels of galactic fun.
Beatphonic, a cool music app, which enables even the musically challenged to create top tunes using just physical gestures and a super simple UI.
How do I join up?
If this sounds like the chance you’ve been waiting for, you can sign up for one of the Mobile App Acceleration Camps (MAACs) held in various locations worldwide between now and June 2014. You’ll have to prove that you’re serious in your MAAC application by letting the team know you’ve got folk in your team who can design the app, develop for W8/WP8, design a business plan and implement a marketing campaign.
If you tick all the boxes and you’re successful in getting a place at a MAAC, you’ll head off for a two-day intensive event with nine other teams where you’ll get pitching and mentoring sessions and a chance to go through the AppCampus application process. The best of the bunch, finally, get assessed by the AppCampus crew, and the selected teams get funded and perhaps even head off to Finland for the AppCademy camp! What are the assessors looking for in a killer app? Novelty, mass-market appeal, developers who are experienced, and, ultimately, a topnotch super-convincing business proposal.
We think this is a fantastic opportunity to make your mark on the Windows Phone world, but what about you? Let us know your thoughts about both AppCampus, and the apps they’ve created, in the comments below