Microsoft and Nokia have a pretty cozy relationship with each other considering the latter makes pretty amazing Windows 7 phones that make the mobile OS pretty tempting to adopt. The two companies are now using their combined muscle to help train the next generation of mobile developers at Aalto University in Finland.
It was announced today that both Microsoft and Nokia will invest up to 9 million euros each into the AppCampus program at Aalto University. AppCampus’ intention is to foster “creation of innovative mobile applications for the Windows Phone ecosystem” and Nokia platforms including Symbian and Series 40. The hope is to create a “new generation of self-sustaining mobile startups.”
AppCampus will begin in May of this year and will be maintained by Aalto University. It will hopefully attract students and developers to submit application proposals. The university will be supplying support by offering “premises, coaching services, and access to both academic and business networks for budding app developers.”
On top of the training app developers and students will receive from the university, Microsoft and Nokia will help them reach a global audience with their applications. While the university and its corporate sponsors will help participants monetize and market their applications, the creators retain all IP rights to their applications.
“AppCampus offers an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs to put their ideas into practice and create world-class mobile products,” said Klaus Holse, president, Microsoft Western Europe. “We want to turn a new leaf in the mobile industry and foster Finland’s role as a center of excellence for mobile technology. Such investment into early-stage concepts has rarely been seen in this sector, and this demonstrates how highly both Nokia and Microsoft value Finnish mobile expertise.”
Will Cardwell, head of the Aalto University Center for Entrepreneurship, says that the university has helped with the growth of more than 30 startups in the past two years. With this new collaboration, that number should grow even more. It would make Finland, which gave us talented studios like Rovio of Angry Birds fame, an even better place for mobile app development.