AppStori seeks to self fund App Developers-Microsoft delivers strict App guidelines

I have already said that I enjoy seeing developers apply for funding from Kickstarter, but it has seemed to me that the platform is pretty much device or material oriented. Now an emerging effort is coming on line that will provide a similar opportunity for mobile developers.

Called AppStori, it is a platform that is designed to provide funding opportunities for startups that are developing mobile apps and related technology. Touting itself as a site that brings together mobile enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and developers it has a self funding model that looks a great deal like Kisckstarter.

The goal is to help eliminate funding as an issue to getting an app to market, or at least getting it a good head start. Aside from the funding aspect there is an interesting twist, interaction between users/investors and the design teams.

By posting questions, comments and feedback on project users can also get early access to software, recognition and other benefits. In addition you can offer to join teams and so it could become in some ways an ad hoc job board for developers looking for projects.

There is no cost to get a project listed but it does need to be approved to be on the site. I think that this will be an interesting site to follow to see what is popular and what gets the final green light by getting the greenbacks.

Speaking of apps it has been reported by the BBC that Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace Guidelines ban content that a reasonable person would consider to be adult or borderline adult content, and that Microsoft plans to take a very stringent interpretation of this rule.

The idea here is to get parents feeling comfortable that their children will not be able to download racy apps without their knowing about it. Apple has a very similar policy regarding apps from its iTunes store.

Intel the Latest to Create Mobility App Fund

The company has a strong history of focusing funds on specific markets

Intel has created a $100 million investment fund called AppUp Fund that invests in a range of mobile companies and has already helped provide financing to two startups, 4tiitoo and Urban Airship. The fund will invest not only in app developers but also middleware, mobile infrastructure, and digital content.

Intel has created several funds such as this over the years including its $500 million Communications fund formed in 1999 and its recently formed $300 million Ultrabook fund. The funds are managed by Intel Capital.

Of course Intel is not just investing in any company. The ones that will get its blessing, and funding, are ones that advance the Intel architecture, something that is increasingly important for the company as it continues to see important platforms and products being built using processors from rivals such as ARM.

Just One of Many Players in Fund Space

There are other efforts at funding startups, and the number is growing with companies seeking to fund everything from efforts to create apps for a specific operating system like Android, or social media platforms like Facebook, and increasingly just to push the overall market.

There is the App Fund from VezTek that seeks to bring investors and inventors together, United Holdings Group’s Mobile App Fund that offers between $5,000 to $500,000 for developers in a range of mobile spaces from Enterprise, small business, B2B as well as social media and collaborative entertainment.

The Founders Fund and Accel Partners, original funders of Facebook, launched a $10 million fund in 2007 called the FBFund, although it is run a bit differently than others with Facebook executives participating in the vetting process.

First two Investments

One of the first two companies that have received undisclosed funding from Intel is Urban Airship, a Portland, Ore. developer of a platform that enables developers and publishers to target specific market segments with push notifications, subscriptions and geo-location info.

The second, with the snappy name of 4tiitoo, was founded in 2007 in Germany and is an open source developer that already has experience working with Intel. It developed the WeTab OS that is based on the MeeGo technology that was jointly developed by Intel, Nokia and the open source community. It is currently working on software solutions across all system layers from kernel development up to application development.

The amount of funding shows just how important major companies and venture capital firms see the emerging mobile app and social app markets. Expect this to lead to new innovations and a new generation of programs that can enhance all aspects of the user and business experience as related to the mobile space.