Facebook’s first start-up incubator bound for Paris

18 Jan 2017

Station F will host Facebook Garage. Image: Station F

The suitably named Station F in Paris has been chosen by Facebook for its first ever full start-up programme, with some of the first businesses already named.

On the site of an old train station, the Xavier Niel-backed Station F – sporting 34,000 sq m of space and room for 3,000 desks – will soon host Facebook Garage.

The tech giant’s first full attempt to incubate a group of start-ups, Facebook Garage was revealed by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in Paris this week.

“We’re thrilled to be a founding partner and start the Facebook Startup Garage here,” she said, signifying the first tangible efforts from her company to foster the next wave of tech giants.

Facebook Garage, when it’s fully operational, will have 80 desks at Station F. Chekk, a tool that helps you manage your digital identity, location service Mapstr and carpooling company Karos are already confirmed.

Facebook Garage will run for six months, with up to 15 start-ups expected in the first version of the incubator.

Station F interior. Image: Station F

Station F interior. Image: Station F

The start-ups will benefit from Facebook’s expertise in a variety of fields, including marketing, technical development, UX/UI and more. What’s interesting, though, is that all other start-ups in Station F will receive the same benefits.

That’s according to a post from Station F on Medium, which suggests an April start for Facebook Garage. Applications for the incubator are being accepted here.

Niel is a well-known French businessman who created Free ISP as well as École 42, the latter a coding school in the country.

Station F interior. Image: Station F

Station F interior. Image: Station F

According to Wired, Station F’s ambitious plans include the creation of a 360-person auditorium, a post office, a pop-up shop, a café, a restaurant and a bar that will be publicly accessible.

Next year, on-site accommodation will be added to the space.

“Venture capital funds including Daphni, Ventech and Kima Ventures (from Niel) have committed offices to the site, which is still being renovated,” according to Wired.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic