App Camp helps students take a bite out of Apple opportunities

An innovative IT services company in Belfast has recruited some of this region’s most entrepreneurial students as part of a new project to design and develop applications (apps) for Apple’s iconic iPhone and iPad.

With support from Invest Northern Ireland, Kainos attended the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in California last year and in recognising the enormous global market potential on offer, the company increased its focus on app technology by launching the Kainos App Camp.

This unique initiative aims to develop and strengthen the skills base through the recruitment of first year university undergraduates who will work with Kainos’ highly experienced developers to create new apps for world markets. An application for the first Kainos App Camp came from a wide range of technology enthusiasts and was not restricted to those studying IT.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director says: “Apple is one of the most exciting technology companies in the world. Each year tickets for the WWDC sell out in record time as international technology companies, inventors and developers try to access Apple experts and practical presentations, and view the latest Apple technology trends.

“Last year, Invest NI and the University of Ulster supported a delegation of NI companies and researchers at the conference in California. The benefits of attending such a prestigious event were clear as local firms had direct access to some of Apple’s leading developers and discovered the key trends and opportunities in app development.

“The fact that a significant and innovative initiative has resulted from attendance at the event is immensely important for the sector locally. The Kainos App Camp will not only lead to the development of world leading technology here in Northern Ireland, it will even more significantly support skills development in a niche area and ensure that this region fully realises the potential of its young, talented people now and in the future.”

Tom Gray, Chief Technology Officer at Kainos says:“This exciting new programme is designed specifically to hothouse the brightest and best new, raw talent. This is a fantastic way to engage with bright, young graduates to find out first-hand what they can do. It also shows what Kainos has achieved and all of the great career opportunities we can offer technology entrepreneurs.”

Over the summer, the App Campers will receive tuition and guidance from some of the most experienced and highly regarded technical experts in the industry today. They will gain full access to the skills and experience they need to understand hardware and software, and a whole range of support - from graphic design to marketing - with the ultimate aim of launching their app on the official Apple App Store. Each student will also keep their Apple Macbook and iPod Touch to enable them to carry on their development work while at University.