By attracting a pool of entrepreneurs and innovators, Station F is designed to attract stakeholders and talents from across the spectrum, thereby stimulating the entrepreneurial environment.
Station F launched in 2017 as the world largest startup campus. This initiative, as well as other similar ones (e.g. Factory Berlin or Google Campuses) offer a space where ideas and knowledge can be shared freely.
In an old Parisian building, this space is 34,000 square meters, 58m wide by 310m long.
The building is housing an entire entrepreneurial ecosystem under one (very large) roof, housing thousands of creators, partners, investors and talents. Startup growth will be leveraged by an unprecedented network effect.
The campus offers co-working spaces, an auditorium to host events, ‘fablabs’, 3D printers, wood and metal workshops, pop-up stores, social spaces and many opportunities for startups to meet partners, investors and anyone involved in the dynamic startups ecosystem. .
To get into Station F, start-ups have to demonstrate having a business prototype and a path to growth.
Applications opened in the Fall 2016.
A group of 1,000 companies are expected to move into the space by early July 2017.
Facebook and Amazon are backing Station F. Microsoft is basing its newest artificial intelligence start-up program there, and will be joined by French giants like the video game publisher Ubisoft and overseas players like Line, the Japanese messaging app.
2019 data: Station F offered more than 30 startup programs, 35 public administrations, 40 VC funds, 4 mentorship offices and 600 events per year as resources and knowledge to help entrepreneurs grow their companies.
Xavier Niel, a successful French entrepreneur and investor, bought the 34,000sq meter space, to be opened in 2017, as a solution to the fragmented startup ecosystem in France.
Roxanne Varza, Director, Station F. Varza was recruited as an entrepreneurship expert hailing from Palo Alto, Iran, and the U.K. Co-founder of StartHer & Tech.eu. Previously at TechCrunch France & Microsoft Ventures.
About co-working spaces (excerpt from Nesta's ‘Idea Bank’ for Local Policymakers):
They typically accommodate communities of independent but likeminded freelancers and startups, usually on very flexible terms. Such spaces have long existed, but have exploded in number in recent years. Besides offering a physical home to an early-stage startup, they can often help promote networking and learning between young companies undergoing a similar startup journey. Whilst nearly all co-working initiatives are private initiatives, policymakers may be able to lend their support through, for example, lower business rates.