Compared to Apple and Google, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 was a little late to the game. The OS is lagging in terms of apps and for a platform to really be successful, there needs to be enough of a development community to ensure continued growth. Today Microsoft and Nokia announced plans to grow their develop communities with 'AppCampus.'
The two companies today announced that as part of a partnership with Finland's Aalto University, they have each pledged up to €9 million (a cumulative total of approximately $24 million USD) towards the development of a new mobile application development program called AppCampus. Set to continue for three years, the program aims to create new, self-sustaining mobile start-ups and will foster the creation of innovative mobile applications for Windows Phone, Symbian, and Series 40.
"AppCampus offers an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs to put their ideas into practice and create world-class mobile products," said Klaus Holse, president, Microsoft Western Europe. "We want to turn a new leaf in the mobile industry and foster Finland’s role as a center of excellence for mobile technology. Such investment into early-stage concepts has rarely been seen in this sector, and this demonstrates how highly both Nokia and Microsoft value Finnish mobile expertise."
Participants will be mentored by industry veterans who will provide business coaching to aid in the commercialization of their ideas and Aalto University will offer support, training in mobile technology, design and usability, and funding to create innovative new mobile apps and services. Nokia and Microsoft distribute the apps to consumers around the world via their respective app stores.
If you're a mobile entrepreneur and you want to apply for the AppCampus program, hit up http://appcampus.aalto.fi.