9 killer startups you need to know in the Founders Program’s new batch

🚀 Marine Wetzel ☀️
Published in
8 min readSep 27, 2018


Newbies time!

There are 200 startups in the Founders Program, STATION F’s core program for early-stage startups, and every 6 months we welcome between 30 and 50 promising new startups that bravely make it past our rigorous selection process, with only a 6% success rate.

What type of projects and teams do we select? That’s a question we get A LOT! So here’s a shortlist of 9 startups among the 40 who arrived last July.

Pssst! There’s still time to apply for next entry in January, deadline is September 30th!

1- Wishupon, the Pinterest for shoppers

Guild First Class — Korea — #AI #eCommerce #B2C

So exciting! It’s our first Korean startup ever in the program, hopefully the first of a long series!

What they do: Danbee and Jihyung are making a Universal Shopping Wishlist — a Pinterest for shoppers that impressed us with a unique retail-focused web-scraping technology.

We browse online stores just for fun via smartphone; we usually take screenshots and copy the URLs to remember. But, it is difficult to keep track later. You can now create, save, and share a wishlist in one place, and get push notifications when the price drops.

From left to right: Jihyung and Danbee between two meetings

Fun Fact about them: they just moved from Seoul to Paris 2 months ago.

Latest news: they are looking for funding & partners for marketing collaboration.

Their favorite F-word: Finish (Danbee) / Focus (Jihyung)

2- AgenT, detect Alzheimer’s early, when it can be cured

Guild Alpha — France — #BioTech #AI #MachineLearning

What they do: Combining machine learning and neuroscience, AgenT is developing the first blood diagnosis to detect Alzheimer’s disease while it’s still in the silent phase. Their algorithm aims to detect the disease 10 to 20 years ahead of the current diagnosis (!) and stratify it into 3 stages of disease progression. This diagnosis will also enable personalized medicine.

What a project! We were so impressed by their great ambition and the experienced background of the founders, you go guys!

From left to right: Jérôme, Mister Rabbit, Baptiste

Fun fact about them: “We were in Baptiste’s flatshare and we had a Skype interview with UK investors. Ten minutes into the interview, we noticed that they could see the big “Club de Fromage” poster on the wall (a “famous” nightclub in London). Well… too late to take it off.”

Latest News: They have finished in September the prototype of our blood diagnostic algorithm and they are currently optimizing it with machine learning approaches. The team will be launching a fundraising campaign to validate it on human blood samples in Q2 2019.

Their favourite F-word: Feeling (Jérôme) / FrenchFries (Baptiste)

3- Odetta, on-demand workforce

Guild Jordan — United States & Middle East & South Asia — #Workforce #B2B #Marketplace

What they do: Odetta is a virtual workforce that delivers affordable premium freelance services. Their team is made up of highly-educated women from the Middle East and South Asia who greatly benefit from flexible remote work opportunities. Their clients such as Google are global companies that are interested in both saving cost from the less expensive labor geo-labor markets but also in supporting Odetta’s mission. Our first skills vertical is data analytics.

Fun fact about them: “Odetta is 4 months old. We are named after a female jazz musician whose name has really good SEO. Fun fact is that most of our freelancers are mothers of young babies that choose to work late nights when their babies are asleep, so the most common work hours on our platform are between 9pm to 2am.”

Latest News: Odetta currently has fifty people on its talent team, and about to double in size over the next month. Their founder Katharine who is based at Station F is currently in the West Coast signing up US Tech companies as clients…so far so good.

Their favourite F-word: Future, Female, Flexibility

4- Sarwa, investing made easy

Guild Alpha — United Arab Emirates — #FinTech #B2C #InvestingMadeEasy

What they do: Sarwa is an automated investment advisory firm based in the Dubai International Financial Center. The platform provides automatic rebalancing, algorithms combined with personalized human advice, account opening in a few minutes via facial recognition, for everyone.

From left to right : Jad, Thomas, Danny, Nadine, Leujean and Mark after Sarwa’s launch event, March 2018

Fun fact about them: The Sarwa team first met in Beirut then started working on Sarwa while in Montreal, then moved to Dubai, then part of it went back to Montreal, and finally here we are spanning Paris and Dubai.

Latest News: Sarwa closed a pre-series round of funding by raising $1.3M only a few weeks after joining the Founders Program.

Their favourite F-word: Fatteh (Mark) / Fattouch (Jad) / Falafel (Nadine)

5- Whoomies, matching tool for roommates

Guild District 9 — France — #B2C #B2B #SaaS #SmartBuilding

What they do: We’ve all heard at least one awful roommate story. With its algorithm, the Whoomies app allows people to find their perfect roommates according to their needs, lifestyle and personality. Its 40 000+ users across France and London can also look for a room among the 6 000+ listings showcased by affiliates, agents, landlords and roommates alike.

From left to right: Alex and Lauren at Station F

Fun fact: Alex and Lauren have been best friends for the past 10 years. Although they never lived together, they’ve both been roommates several times. From sharing their roommate mishaps throughout the years, the idea of building Whoomies came naturally to them.

Latest news : Whoomies is now expanding its range of services by launching the first managing tool dedicated to coliving spaces, some breaking news to come in the coming weeks!

Favorite F-words: Flatmates (Lauren) / Flatshare (Alex)

6- Reengage.io, User Segmentation made easy

Guild Cortex — France — #Segmentation #B2B #Saas #Ecommerce

What they do: Reengage.io is the Plug & Play SaaS product that makes the marketer’s life easier. Marketers can now provide to their customers a true one-to-one marketing experience, through customer segmentation.

From left to right : Julian and Joseph at their very first day in the Founders Program

Fun fact about them For the final selection of the TechStars process, we had a video interview with the board of Techstars but our computer shut down in the middle of our pitch. We almost had a heart attack…

Latest News: Reengage.io has been selected to participate in the next Web Summit. you can catch them in Lisbon November 5th–9th!

Their favourite F-word: Ferrer (Julian) / Funny (Joseph)

7- iFarming, precision irrigation, they make plants talk to say how much water do they need !

Guild Alchemist — Tunisia — #SmartFarming #PrecisionIrrigation #BlueGold

What they do: iFarming develops a cloud-based solution “Phyt’Eau” that uses an algorithm to simulate a crop’s water requirements. Agriculture uses 70% of the world’s accessible freshwater however 60% of this amount is wasted due to inefficient irrigation systems and methods. Their product helps farmers around the world cope with water shortage and drought related to climate change.

From left to right: Rabeb and Samir

Fun fact about them: In order to simplify our pitch during a demo day, we said to farmers “your plants can talk to you and tell you how much water hey need via your mobile.” One of them responded “ Where can I find my plant’s phone number?”

Latest News: We made a POC for a Golf Club in Evian, France to promote eco-friendly golf courses consuming less water with perfect lawn! We made the cut … So excited to continue in this deviation and explore a new market niche!

Their favorite F-word: Family (Rabeb) / Future (Samir)

8- AlgoDeep, fast AI for 4.0-industry

Guild Explorateurs — France — #AI #IoT #IT #DeepLearning

What they do: AlgoDeep accelerates the design and deployment of AI for the Industry 4.0. This PaaS offering - focused on Deep Learning - eliminates the pain points related to collaboration around AI models and access to computing hardware over the entire project lifecycle, from the research phase to the operationalization of Artificial intelligence models.

From left to right: Rudy and Guillaume from their favorite pods on campus

Fun fact about them: They once got stuck in the EDF facilities (it was pretty late) and had to scream for half an hour to get some security guy’s attention to secure their exfiltration!

Latest News: They just deployed their solution at the Research & Development Department of EDF (Electricité de France) to unlock the full potential of their data scientists and allow them to efficiently build and deploy AI-based applications that will be real game changers.

Their favourite F-word: Felicità (Guillaume) / Featurette (Rudy)

9- HD Rain, measure and forecast rainfalls everywhere

Guild Blackjack — France — #GreenTech #B2B #SmartCity

What they do: HD Rain measures and forecasts precipitations using an innovative technology.

We offer subscription-based products to improve resilience to rainfall risks for weather-sensitive companies and territories, in particular in the 80% of the countries over the world which have currently no means of measuring rainfall.

From left to right : Duminda, Ruben and François during VivaTech 2018

Fun fact about them: “During a sensor installation in Toulouse, France we were once mistaken for cable technicians. An old man insisted so much that we finally went to see if we could fix his TV. Conclusion: the power plug was disconnected.”

Latest News: They are leaving this Friday to install a system in Manaus, Brazil, to measure and forecast rainfalls in the Amazon rainforest. During 10 days, they will be installing their sensors, in order to have an unique prototype in this part of the world.

Their favourite F-word: Fortaleza (François) / RainFall (Ruben) / Forest (Duminda)

So.. what about you? Do you have the soul of a Founder?

If so, you can still apply here until September 30th.

What are they getting from the Founders Program? The Founders Program effect, duh!



🚀 Marine Wetzel ☀️

Station F & StartHer Teams 🍀 Building the world's biggest startup campus 🙌🏻 #Entrepreneurship #Tech #WomenInTech