Facebook is putting its stamp on the world’s biggest startup space. Station F in Paris — which was formerly a railway depot — will be home to the social network’s first business incubator, dubbed “Startup Garage.”
The company’s COO Sheryl Sandberg made the announcement at Station F. As part of its program, Facebook will offer its marketing, tech development, and UX and UI experience to 10-15 startups during six-month cycles. Facebook will be allocated 80 desks at the building’s entrance. “We’re thrilled to be a founding partner and start the Facebook Startup Garage here,” Sandberg said.
The brainchild of French billionaire Xavier Niel (owner of telco Free ISP), Station F is currently offering up space in its massive 366,000-square-foot location. Once complete, the startup campus will include more than 3,000 desks, 10 international startup programs, a restaurant, four kitchens, a café, bar, and eight event spaces. It also plans to add a co-living space for its budding entrepreneurs by 2018, which will encompass 100 shared apartments within three towers — not to mention its very own sports center.
In his Medium post, Niel revealed that Facebook has already chosen several startups for its program. Among the inductees are location mapping app Mapstr, Chekk (an online identity management tool), science-based health app The Fabulous, and carpooling tool Karos.
“While Facebook already is a huge supporter of entrepreneurship around the world (with initiatives like F8 of FBStart), this is the *first time* [it] is investing into a physical space,” Niel wrote in his blog post.
Startups from around the world can currently apply to join the programs at Station F. Its other launch partners include French business school HEC, open-access workshop company TechShop, and VC firms Daphni, Ventech and Kima Ventures. Facebook has set up its very own Startup Garage page on its social network, where you can find out more about how to apply to its incubator.
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