North America’s First Apple Developer Academy to Open in Detroit

Apple and Michigan State University in East Lansing today announced a partnership to build the tech giant’s first North America-based Developer Academy, which will be located in Detroit.
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Detroit skyline
Apple and MSU are partnering to open North America’s first Apple Developer Academy, to be located in Detroit. // Stock photo

Apple and Michigan State University in East Lansing today announced a partnership to build the tech giant’s first North America-based Developer Academy, which will be located in Detroit.

The two organizations have been working together for three years on efforts to provide new forms of education, beginning with the iOS Design Lab on MSU’s campus and continuing with MSU’s community-based learning opportunities centered around technology in Detroit.

Other Apple Developer Academies exist in Brazil, Italy, and Indonesia. Detroit was selected due to its history of design and creative arts as well as its growing tech sector and startup ecosystem. It also has a strong entrepreneur and developer community and is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., Apple says.

“We’re grateful for the partnership this opportunity brings to students in Michigan,” says Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr., president of MSU. “Apple is the perfect partner for us to help educate and prepare the next generation of coders, tech leaders, and entrepreneurs, and Detroit — Michigan’s innovative technology hub — is the right location for this academy. There is tremendous potential for this project moving forward, and we’re excited to get started.”

The academy will be open to all Michigan residents. There will be a competitive application process designed to create diverse cohorts of students.

The academy’s program will last one year, and students will learn coding, design, entrepreneurship, and other professional skills. After, MSU will offer a month-long program designed for participants who are considering app economy careers and looking to better understand what it means to be a developer.

The organizations have not finalized a location for the academy or information on the first cohort. MSU has partnered with Detroit’s Rock Ventures to identify a location, and the university hopes to have a site selected by the summer.

The Detroit area is home to almost 105,000 MSU alumni. Other MSU-affiliated programs in the city include Science Gallery Lab Detroit, the MSU Community Music School, the MSU Detroit Center, and a forthcoming partnership with Henry Ford Health System.

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