Dan Gilbert announces support of MSU-Apple academy in Detroit


DETROIT, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State University announced today that with the help of Dan Gilbert’s foundation and other donations, they will be opening the new Apple Developer Academy in Detroit.

The Gilbert Family Foundation along with the Rock Family of Companies said they all want to “empower diverse entrepreneurs, creators and coders by helping them cultivate the skills necessary for pathways in the rapidly growing tech economy.”

“Apple’s arrival in Detroit has the potential to impact generations of Detroiters by offering new, unique pathways to join the tech renaissance,” said Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Rocket Companies. “As Detroit’s tech sector strengthens, we need to invest in intentional programming like the Academy to advance equity and remove barriers to entry for members of our community. Jennifer and I are proud to be partnered with our alma mater, MSU, and Apple to realize this vision.”

The Academy will be located on the second floor of Bedrock’s 660 Woodward Ave, known as the historic First National Building in the heart of downtown Detroit.

The Academy in Detroit will reinforce the city’s reputation as a Midwest hub for technology and entrepreneurship, MSU said.

The academy will specifically look to “improve access, outcomes and equity for communities of color and to enhance the diversity of entrepreneurship and technology-related fields.”

“At Apple, we have seen how technology can be a powerful force for good, creating new opportunities and providing tools for creativity and entrepreneurship,” said Apple Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson. “It’s critical that all communities have access to those opportunities, which is why we are thrilled to open the first Apple Developer Academy in the U.S. in downtown Detroit, a city full of resilience, creativity and entrepreneurship. We look forward to opening the Academy this fall and appreciate the partnership with MSU, The Gilbert Family Foundation and Rock Family of Companies.”

The first group of students at the academy will start in the Fall of 2021. There is no tuition to the academy and applicants from Detroit are given priority.

Apple and MSU said they think there will be close to 1,000 students each year.

Bringing the academy to Detroit was a natural fit and is a major milestone, MSU said.

“I thank the Gilbert Family Foundation and the Rock Family of Companies for their philanthropic leadership and for making the investment in this exciting, groundbreaking partnership in Detroit,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “Increasing access to education is important to MSU and a cornerstone of our university’s mission. We are grateful to have a partner who shares our vision for equity and talent development.”

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