Apple to Open Developer Academy, Provide Funding for Minority Entrepreneurs
Apple Inc. is launching several projects to extend education and funding opportunities to minority entrepreneurs, part of the $100 million pledge it made in June to help combat racism in response to the national outcry over George Floyd’s killing.
The iPhone maker on Tuesday said it would open a software-developer academy in Detroit later this year and launch two venture-funding initiatives for young “Black and Brown entrepreneurs,” with the goal of helping to build the next generation of diverse leaders.
“We are all accountable to the urgent work of building a more just, more equitable world,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a statement. “And these new projects send a clear signal of Apple’s enduring commitment.”
Last year, Apple and fellow tech titan Alphabet Inc.’s Google, major banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., toy company Hasbro Inc. and others collectively pledged tens of millions of dollars toward racial-equity efforts. The moves came after Mr. Floyd, a Black man, was killed by police in May, inciting a national debate about systemic racism. At the time, the companies said the money they pledged would go toward boosting the net worth of Black families, creating professional opportunities for minorities and diversifying their own ranks, among other outcomes.
Apple is among the first to follow through on its plans, which include investing $10 million in Harlem Capital, a New York early-stage venture-capital firm, to support its investments in 1,000 companies with diverse founders over the next 20 years. Apple said Harlem Capital would provide support to students at Apple’s new developer academy in Detroit, a hub being built in collaboration with Michigan State University.