Appcelerator Launches “Innovation Fund” To Help Startups Speed Up Mobile App Development

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Appcelerator is all about speeding the development of rich, native mobile apps. One way it does this is with Titanium, its next-gen mobile app development platform. But now it’s looking to accelerate app development* by helping other startups focused on features, capabilities, or verticals that it’s not focused on itself. With that in mind, the startup is introducing the Appcelerator Innovation Fund, through which it will invest in and provide support to promising startups who build apps based on its platform.

In addition to money, startups chosen for the Innovation Fund will also receive access to Appcelerator facilities, while also receiving a whole bunch of other services. Like other accelerator programs, Appcelerator will provide legal and financial guidance, as well as help with business development, engineering, and sales channel support.

The first startup chosen for the Innovation Fund is Lanica, a very early-stage startup focused on enabling mobile game development. Founded by Carlos Icaza and Kyoto Iguchi, Lanica is building its own app development platform for games, based on Titanium and the Appcelerator Cloud Service (ACS). Lanica’s Platino platform provides a game engine that is cross-platform, working on both iOS and Android devices. It touts a full physics engine based on Box2D, as well as an Isometric Engine, Particle Effects, Shaders, image filters, and an advance rendering pipeline. As Lanica is now part of the Innovation Fund, it will get a chance to show off its technology at Appcelerator’s CodeStrong conference.

Since Appcelerator doesn’t focus on gaming, Lanica will offer big-time clients like NBC Universal, Cisco, and Zipcar a new option if they’re looking to develop games that have advanced capabilities but still take advantage of Titanium or ACS. And that’s really what it’s hoping to provide with the innovation fund: Whether a startup is focused on consumer- or enterprise-facing apps, backend mobile infrastructure or cloud services, Appcelerator wants to help support the market and keep developers using its platform. So it helps to partner with and fund startups working on solving problems it doesn’t want to tackle.

Appcelerator has raised about $50 million over the past five or six years, from investors like Storm Ventures, Sierra Ventures, eBay, Accel Partners, Rembrandt Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, Translink Capital, Red Hat, and Presidio Ventures. It also already has 350,000 mobile developers using Appcelerator Titanium — compared to the 500,000 iOS developers that Apple claims to have. And those developers have built more than 50,000 apps which have been installed on 80 million devices worldwide. With that in mind, startups looking to build on the Appcelerator program can apply by sending a business plan with supporting technical and financial materials to appcfund@appcelerator.com.

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* See what I did there?