Last March, Nokia and Microsoft teamed up to fund up to €18 million in a mobile application development program at Aalto University in Helsinki. After receiving over 800 applications from more than 60 countries, Appcampus has invested its first million into 30 companies. The team tells us that investments made have been in the €20 000 range, although some have gone up to €50-70 000 depending on the scope of the project.
The program works like this: once a project is admitted to the program and successfully completes application design review, applicants receive 30% of the funds. The rest are then granted when the final product is certified and launched on Windows Phone Marketplace. After the app is out for six months on the Windows phone platform, then teams can expand to other marketplaces.
Zaira Mammadova, the communications coordinator behind Appcampus, reminds us that it's not all about the money. The program is focused on coaching teams and providing the tools companies need, no matter where the team is located. Accepted companies are also welcome to relocate to the Aalto campus area if they wish to plug into that ecosystem.
Appcampus is not willing to announce which teams have they have invested in yet, because many are still in stealth mode. But a few teams have already announced to the world that they have been accepted, such as Mendzapp.
Will Cardwell, Head, Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship tells us that they've put together a great international team behind the Appcampus project, and Appcampus is a sign of confidence of what Aalto is doing, considering they were competing against Universities in Silicon Valley to run the project.
Individuals and companies are encouraged to apply multiple times, even if they've already submitted a project. While coming up with a cool and unique app that hasn't already hit the market is important, Cardwell tells us that the business side of the application is crucial to be accepted.
A team is doing a tour around Finland to promote the program, and you might still be able to catch them in Tampere today. The rest of the tour can be found here.