Apple launches inaugural Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers

CUPERTINO, CA—As part of Apple’s ongoing commitment to empower the Black community and dismantle barriers to opportunity, today the company is welcoming leaders and their teams from 13 app companies as the inaugural cohort of Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers. In 2019, Apple held its first-ever Entrepreneur Camp, an immersive tech lab for app-driven companies founded and led by developers from underrepresented backgrounds, with a class of women founders and developers. Program participants have gone on to secure major funding rounds, garner numerous awards and accolades, and significantly expand both their teams and app users worldwide. The program is designed to give developers the opportunity to take their existing app experience to the next level by mastering new technical skills, applying a critical lens to the user experience, and more through hands-on technology labs, one-on-one code-level guidance from Apple experts and engineers, and mentorship, inspiration, and insights from top Apple leaders.

These incredible app creators and business leaders embody the entrepreneurial spirit that runs so deep in the Black community.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. In addition, Apple is partnering with Harlem Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York that invests in diverse founders, to offer guidance and mentorship to the participants. This new partnership is part of Apple’s $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), which builds on the company’s work to advance racial equity in education, the economy, and the criminal justice system. These commitments aim to expand opportunities for communities of color across the country and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders.“ These incredible app creators and business leaders embody the entrepreneurial spirit that runs so deep in the Black community,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, who leads REJI. “Their work already demonstrates the power of coding to build a better world, and we’re honored to support them as they blaze a trail we know so many more will follow.”

Meet the Developers

David Bosun-Arebuwa, B3am app creator.

B3am

David Bosun-Arebuwa created the B3am app to make gym equipment accessible to beginning fitness enthusiasts who can’t afford personal trainers by using the iPhone camera to identify gym equipment and explain proper usage. Originally from Nigeria and now based in Birmingham, UK, Bosun-Arebuwa has found community with other coders through sharing Swift knowledge.

Adam Taylor, Black app developer.

Black

Adam Taylor, the founder of app development company Langston LLC and solo developer behind Black, built the app to facilitate culturally relevant and multifaceted news for Black people, with stories that speak to the community’s shared experience. A self-taught coder, Taylor has already integrated sophisticated technology into the app to provide relevant and personalized content, and is looking forward to learning more about native iOS frameworks and going deeper on his code with Apple engineers.

Culture Genesis co-founders Cedric J. Rogers and Shaun Newsum.

Bar Exam

Culture Genesis is a venture-backed digital studio remixing technology for urban multicultural audiences, co-founded by experienced engineers and media executives Cedric J. Rogers and Shaun Newsum. The Los Angeles-based team behind the hip hop-centered live trivia game show app TriviaMob will spend their time at Camp working on their newest app called Bar Exam, focused on music.

Abdou Sarr, founder of MODU RESEARCH Corporation and the Film3D app.

Film3D 

MODU RESEARCH Corporation founder Abdou Sarr wants to remove barriers to capturing, creating, and sharing immersive media. The 22-year-old Senegalese-Canadian is a frequent speaker at youth conferences to motivate young people to pursue computer science and entrepreneurship. His Film3D app taps Core ML, ARKit, and Metal to let users shoot 3D photos without special equipment.

FormKey app founder Brent Brinkley.

FormKey

FormKey is a MIDI Controller app from Polyhedra LLC focused on helping create music without being overwhelmed by the complexities of theory and composition. Founder Brent Brinkley, who is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, uses shapes to define notes and colors to define octaves, creating a new language that makes reading music quick and easy.

Health Auto Export creator Lybron Sobers.

Health Auto Export

Lybron Sobers, a native of Barbados now living in Malmö, Sweden, created the Health Auto Export app so patients can easily extract and share specific data across healthcare providers in a secure, privacy-protected way. Sobers is passionate about teaching the basics of programming to kids at coding camps, and mentoring young programmers who are just starting their careers.

Hologarden developer Casey Pollock.

Hologarden

An avid gardener and self-taught Swift developer, Near Future Marketing founder Casey Pollock is working on the Hologarden app to help aspiring gardeners flourish using AR and AI. The app will address gardeners’ needs like recording plant growth and managing plant care and health. Pollock also hosts a free meetup called Augmented Reality Today about creating ARKit apps for beginners, and has taught sessions at UC Berkeley and San Jose State.

Hubli creators Mariana Lech, Ailton Vieira, and Rodolfo Diniz.

Hubli

The Hubli app is a remote learning solution born out of the COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges of in-person education, created by five Apple Developer Academy students in Brazil: Ailton Vieira, Gabriel Taques, Maykon Meneghel, Mariana Lech, and Rodolfo Diniz. Currently in beta testing, Hubli uses AI to enrich the learning experience for both students and teachers, and aims to help make online collaboration more productive.

Justice Royale’s Quintin Rodriguez-Harrison.

Justice Royale

Zapling Studios wants to create games enjoyable by veteran and novice gamers alike. Its first game, Justice Royale, uses a proprietary set of gestures, which allows players to focus on gameplay with precise controls for a fast-paced arcade “beat ‘em up” experience. The team is focused on reworking the entire game to include local and online multiplayer capability, in addition to harnessing the power of ARKit to create an immersive experience.

Kickstroid founder David Alston.

Kickstroid

Founder David Alston and his team built Kickstroid to help sneaker enthusiasts discover their favorite shoes with features they couldn’t find in other sneaker apps, and provide a platform to build community among sneakerheads worldwide. In addition to his work on the app, Alston is also head of outreach for Blacks and African Americans in Computing (BAAC) at the University of Illinois, hosting coding events for young Black and Latinx students.

Nailstry co-founder Aurelia Edwards.

Nailstry

Nailstry is the first marketplace exclusively for press-on nails and nail art, connecting indie artists with press-on nail enthusiasts. Created by Aurelia Edwards, Nailstry uses augmented reality to digitally measure and create custom-fit press-on nails while also improving inefficiencies in the creation process. Nailstry’s team empowers makers with market education and tools to grow their businesses, supports minority founders, and gives back through coding programs such as Black Girls Code.

Ashley McKoy, Ositanachi Otugo, and Harold Lomotey.

The Peek: TV Shows and Movies

The Peek: TV Shows and Movies app started as a senior class project for founders and Howard University graduates Ashley McKoy, Harold Lomotey, and Ositanachi Otugo in 2018. The team created this mobile social media platform to share TV and movie recommendations among family and friends, while also seeking to amplify titles from Black creators and actors, as a solution to endless scrolling and a lack of reliable online recommendations for streaming content.

TuneBend creator Matt Garrison.

TuneBend

TuneBend creator Matt Garrison is a noted musician who laid the foundation for the app when he opened his live venue, ShapeShifter Lab, in Brooklyn, New York. The app helps educational organizations and performing artists create, teach, distribute, and sell new and existing music using video and audio clips, especially useful during the pandemic, when in-person performances and teaching have not been possible.

Source and photos: Apple

Pinterest files with SEC for proposed IPO

SAN FRANCISCO — Visual search engine Pinterest, Inc. (Pinterest) this week announced it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of shares of its Class A common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.

pinterest-logoAccording to The Verge, Pinterest, which launched in 2010, generates revenue by attracting advertisers to its platform where users create boards in which they self-identify their interests. Advertisers try and sell the products that closely match user interests. According to Pinterest, more than 250 million monthly active users have created more than 4 billion boards with a cumulative 175 billion pins saved. The platform itself has processed more than 2 billion searches, many of which Pinterest attempts to visually process using machine (ML) learning-based methods like object and image recognition. Last quarter, the Pinterest rebuilt their infrastructure behind its “product pins.” This update brought to their app current pricing with stock information for all product pins to monetize their platform with new advertisers.

The Verge also reported such an influx of money could drastically shake up the Bay Area landscape by creating waves of new millionaires, a capital injection that could reshape San Francisco and, as a result, the tech industry itself due to the ripple effects it could have on new startups and investments.

— Sources: Pinterest and The Verge

 


A D V E R T I S E M E N T

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Spring Ahead: ‘CB’ Time vs. ‘CP’ Time

The Celestial Body (‘CB’) — The Sun, a Moon, a planet, and stars — have provided us a reference for measuring the passage of time throughout our existence. Ancient civilizations relied upon the apparent motion of these bodies through the sky to determine seasons, months, years from “celestial body” time to modern day coders and software developers’ “computer people” time.

spring-ahead-transAccording to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), we know very little about the details of timekeeping in prehistoric eras, but wherever we turn up records and artifacts, we usually discover that in every culture, some people were preoccupied with measuring and recording the passage of time.

Ice-age hunters in Europe over 20,000 years ago scratched lines and gouged holes in sticks and bones, possibly counting the days between phases of the moon. Five thousand years ago, Sumerians in the Tigris-Euphrates valley in today’s Iraq had a calendar that divided the year into 30 day months, divided the day into 12 periods (each corresponding to 2 of our hours), and divided these periods into 30 parts (each like 4 of our minutes). We have no written records of Stonehenge, built over 4000 years ago in England, but its alignments show its purposes apparently included the determination of seasonal or celestial events, such as lunar eclipses, solstices and so on.

The earliest Egyptian calendar was based on the moon’s cycles, but later the Egyptians realized that the “Dog Star” in Canis Major, which we call Sirius, rose next to the sun every 365 days, about when the annual inundation of the Nile began. Based on this knowledge, they devised a 365 day calendar that seems to have begun around 3100 BCE (Before the Common Era), which thus seems to be one of the earliest years recorded in history.

Why do we change clocks twice a year?  Select here to discover more …

—Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

McDonald’s new growth plan includes mobile app enhancements and kiosks

CHICAGO, IL—To bring customers into the restaurants, McDonald’s must matter to people and be relevant in their daily lives. To do so, McDonald’s is accelerating digital capabilities and enhancing its use of technology in restaurants, in the drive-thru, and on the go.

mcd-appInside the restaurants, McDonald’s is bringing greater control, convenience and personalization to our customers through the use of kiosks to place orders, staffed with guest experience leaders to assist in the process. Customers can place their order and skip the front counter entirely, with their food brought right to their table. Additionally, customers will be able to place orders directly on the mobile app for pickup or have a kiosk recognize their app profile, which holds customized favorites and preferred payment methods. The result is a more stress-free, personalized experience, enhanced by technology and world-class hospitality that puts customers in control.

The same enhanced experience will be available outside the restaurant too. In the 1970s, McDonald’s revolutionized convenience in the drive-thru to make getting high-quality food easy. Now, that experience is being transformed once again. By enabling mobile order and pay through the McDonald’s app, customers can personalize their order while skipping the drive-thru line and instead choosing curbside delivery. If customers choose the drive-thru, they will simply read the already placed order code to the crew and their mobile order will be ready for pickup at the window. These more efficient enhancements will speed up the process and allow more customers to pass through our drive-thrus.

mcd-app2Mobile order and pay will be launched in 20,000 restaurants in some of our largest markets, including the U.S., by the end of 2017.

— Source and photos:  McDonald’s Corporation

Cisco to acquire APM leader AppDynamics

Combined Portfolio To Provide Unprecedented Application, Business, and Infrastructure Analytics

SAN JOSE, CA—Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced its intent to acquire AppDynamics, Inc., a privately held application intelligence software company based in San Francisco. AppDynamics’s cloud application and business monitoring platform enables the world’s largest companies to improve application and business performance. Cisco will acquire AppDynamics for approximately $3.7 billion in cash and assumed equity awards.

cisco-logo“Applications have become the lifeblood of a company’s success. Keeping those apps running and performing well has never been more important. Unfortunately, that job has only gotten harder, as IT departments and developers struggle with a tangled web of disconnected, complex data that’s hard to understand,” said Rowan Trollope, Cisco senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) and Applications Business Group. “The combination of Cisco and AppDynamics will allow us to provide end to end visibility and intelligence from the network through to the application; which, combined with security and scale, and help IT to drive a new level of business results.”

“AppDynamics is empowering companies to build and successfully run the applications they need to compete in today’s digital world,” said David Wadhwani, AppDynamics CEO and president. “With digital transformation, companies must re-define their relationships with customers through software. We’re excited to join Cisco, as it will enable us to help more companies around the globe.”

bdpatoday Server Room

In this digital economy, the application is the business and applications drive business outcomes. But as things get simpler for consumers, they get more complex for companies trying to stay ahead of rising customer expectations. Together with Cisco’s industry leading digital network architecture, customers will now have unprecedented end to end insight across their technology stack, from infrastructure to application. With this insight, companies will be equipped to improve customer experiences and accelerate revenue opportunities. The acquisition of AppDynamics also supports Cisco’s strategic transition toward software-centric solutions that deliver predictable and recurring revenues.

AppDynamics will continue to be a led by CEO David Wadhwani as a new software business unit in Cisco’s IoT and Applications business, reporting to Rowan Trollope. This acquisition is expected to close in Cisco’s third quarter of fiscal year 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

#APM, #IIoT, #IoT, #SDN — Discover more

— Sources: Cisco, Marketwired
Photos: Cisco, bdpatoday

Apple’s iPhone reaches 10-year Milestone

Apple CEO Tim Cook:
‘… the best is yet to come’

Cupertino, CA—January 9 marks the tenth anniversary of iPhone’s blockbuster debut. At Macworld 2007 in San Francisco, Steve Jobs introduced the world to iPhone as three products in one — “a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device.” In the ten years since, iPhone has enriched the lives of people around the world with over one billion units sold. It quickly grew into a revolutionary platform for hardware, software and services integration, and inspired new products, including iPad and Apple Watch, along with millions of apps that have become essential to people’s daily lives.
The late Steve Jobs announcing the first iPhone,  January 9, 2007 
“iPhone is an essential part of our customers’ lives, and today more than ever it is redefining the way we communicate, entertain, work and live,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “iPhone set the standard for mobile computing in its first decade and we are just getting started. The best is yet to come.”
“It is amazing that from the very first iPhone through to today’s newest iPhone 7 Plus, it has remained the gold standard by which all other smartphones are judged. For many of us, iPhone has become the most essential device in our lives and we love it,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPhone is how we make voice and FaceTime calls, how we shoot and share Live Photos and 4K videos, how we listen to streaming music, how we use social media, how we play games, how we get directions and find new places, how we pay for things, how we surf the web, do email, manage our contacts and calendars, how we listen to podcasts, watch TV, movies and sports, and how we manage our fitness and health. iPhone has become all of these things and more. And I believe we are just getting started.”

 

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Innovations

  • The world’s most popular camera is even better with a 12-megapixel lens, optical image stabilization, an f/1.8 aperture that captures 50 percent more light as well as wide color capture, all allowing for more vibrant colors with more detail even in low light, while iPhone 7 Plus also offers a dual-lens camera with Portrait mode and up to 2X optical zoom.
  • The A10 Fusion chip is the most powerful chip ever in a smartphone, with processing performance 120 times faster and the graphics performance 240 times faster in iPhone 7 than the original iPhone.
  • Stereo speakers provide amazing and immersive sound that is two times louder than iPhone 6s, with increased dynamic range of sound and a higher-quality speakerphone.
  • An entirely reengineered enclosure resulting in the first water-resistant iPhone that offers protection against spills, splashes and dust like never before.
  • The brightest, most colorful Retina HD display ever in an iPhone, with a wide color gamut for cinema-standard colors, greater color saturation and the best color management in the smartphone industry.
iOS 10 was the biggest iOS release ever, with innovations including:
  • bringing the power of the App Store to Messages;
  • a Memories feature in Photos;
  • SiriKit for developers so apps can talk to Siri;
  • a new Home app that allows users to easily and securely set up, manage and control their home all in one place;
  • an improved Maps app that is even simpler and more intuitive to use;
  • greater clarity and simplicity to every aspect of the Apple Music experience; and
  • support for breaking news notifications and paid subscriptions in the News app.
by Apple, Inc. and Chance Miller, 9TO5Mac.com

Exclusive: National Basketball Players Association Announces First-Ever Tech Summit

NBA players’ union plays matchmaker with its athletes and Silicon Valley for more than beefing up portfolios

by KC Ifeanyi

NEW YORK, NY – The National Basketball Players Association announced today it will hold the inaugural NBPA Technology Summit from July 19-21 in San Francisco.

The NBPA Technology Summit will provide current and former NBA players with the following:

  • Educational content and presentations from executives of major media and technology companies;
  • Site visits to several media and technology companies in Silicon Valley;
  • Networking opportunities with senior executives and influencers;
  • Workshops designed to identify opportunities for players to pursue both during and after their NBA careers.

Among the participating companies are Andreessen Horowitz, Jawbone and SV Angel.

This three-day event in San Francisco that aims to integrate NBA players with tech and media companies for post-career opportunities beyond just backing them—a shift in thinking that’s found Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (top photo) as a model student.

Code Once. Sell Many.

The NBPA Technology Summit will incorporate site visits to media and tech companies, as well as lectures, presentations, and workshops from executives and influencers. Jawbone, Pinterest, Andreessen Horowitz, and SV Angel are just a few companies on deck to help NBA players find their place in Silicon Valley—and one place the NBPA feels is particularly apt for athletes is wearable technology.  Read more

Sources:  NBPA and  FastCompany.com

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Under Armour launched UA Record during CES 2015, a health and fitness network for new wearable apps dedicated to helping users lead healthier lives.  Photo courtesy, Under Armour.

SWORKIT receives $1.5M from the ‘Sharks’

D.C. firm captures largest tech startup funding in the history of  Shark Tank

WASHINGTON—Two 40-something entrepreneurs recently received the largest tech startup funding in the history of the ABC television show Shark Tank. They received $1.5 million in funding for their product, an interactive fitness app called Sworkit (which stands for “simply work it”), which provides customizable and personalized video workouts.

Not the techie types

Sworkit co-founders are CEO Ben Young and COO Gregory Coleman. They readily admit they don’t fit the pattern of the typical Silicon Valley techies, but what they do have is a unique product that received the Washington D.C. TechDay Techie Award for Best in Health Tech in 2014. A recent fitness research study by the University of Florida also gave Sworkit the highest ranking when compared to other fitness apps on the market.

A $1.5 million deal

The two owners received a deal from shark Mark Cuban of $1.5 million for 10 percent stake in their company. Both are big fans of the show and were thrilled to be invited to appear to pitch their business. Coleman stated, “We are looking forward to working with [Cuban] and learning from him while together helping Sworkit become the leading platform people turn to fitness.”

Their business goal is to be “the leading global standard for all instructional exercise.” Their Washington D.C.-based company was well on their way prior to the Shark Tank appearance. Their product earned over 10 million downloads. But they are hoping their exposure on Shark Tank will take them to greater levels.

Discover more about the Sworkit app at www.sworkit.com

— Source: Photos and article courtesy Shark Tank and blackbusiness.org
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