90 Day App Challenge promises “virtual app incubator”

It’s a bit like college for budding developers: the 90 Day App Challenge, which will give mentorship and advice to ‘appreneurs’ is to launch on Thursday.

The programme, which claims itself to be the “world’s first virtual app incubator”, ‘enrols’ this week and allows developers with an idea for an app to go through “rigorous” mentoring and tutelage by mentors and founder Amish Shah and James Sol Radina.

Given that 80% of app developers don’t make enough money to earn a living, this ‘developer school’ is more a case of getting devs out there and staying there.

“What a lot of new developers who go out on their own unfortunately find out is that they’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars just to get the app built, and they haven’t even done their homework to know if it has a chance to succeed,” said Shah.

Of course, a lot of import rests on the idea. A recent report from analytics agency Adeven revealed that a staggering 400,000 – or nearly two thirds – apps in the App Store are “zombie” apps which have never been downloaded.

Even though CEO Christian Henschel put it down to Apple’s “closed system”, the fact there are approximately 1900 flashlight apps in the App Store may go some way to explaining it.

Theoretically, each of the 18 successful developers who graduate will have a live app available, on iOS or Android, to download in the appropriate app store.

Intriguingly, once the Challenge is over the devs aren’t figuratively thrown on the street. Rather, they will become small partners in the 17 other apps, dealing with issues such as advertising and in theory share revenue, “redefining the way cross promotion app networks are built”.

And according to Radina, who will run the marketing side of things: “Successful app companies have several apps that are used to generate traffic. Most independent developers just don’t have the resources to do something like that.”

Developers: would you have benefited with a programme such as this when you were starting out? Will this cross promotion idea work?

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