Ladies and gentlemen, here come the Founders!

July 7th, 2017 was a big day! No, it was not a day marked by the launch of Game of Thrones seventh season (why is this taking so looooooong ☹??? Ok, just another week …) but marked by the arrival of the Founders Program startups at Station F. Yes, back to school season at Station F is in early July!

Who the hell are the Founders?

In order to get into the Founders Program, startups naturally had to go through a selection process. The application went online starting December 5th 2016. All startups, from *all sectors*, could apply.

2300 applications from over 50 countries

The Founders Program has had over 2,300 startups complete an application and only 200 made the cut (I let you do the math). Applications came from over 50 different countries and the countries with the most applications, surprisingly were: USA, UK, China, India and Germany — but we also had applications from places like Nepal, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Uzbekistan, UAE, Tunisia, Japan and more. All were reviewed and scored by our “Fantastic 100” Selection Board with a key permanent focus: reduce selection bias thanks to a diversified board who is coming from 21 countries with experience in all types of businesses.

200 startups selected, 40% founded by women

Diversity is a huge priority for the whole Station F team and we’re proud of the different profiles we’ve brought together for the Founders Program. First, the selected Founders are between the ages of 20 and 71. But we are especially proud to say that 40% of our startups are founded by women (and you know what, it is just a start!). Some are first time entrepreneurs and some have worked for big companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Criteo, Ubisoft etc. 22 of our entrepreneurs have even launched successful companies before with 7 previous acquisitions. So, providing an accurate portrait of one Founder is quite a challenge (on purpose!) but to give you an idea we have everything from entrepreneurs that never did any higher education and entrepreneurs that are YC alumni. Literally. And of course you know that we focus on early stage companies with the Founders Program so many of our startups have not raised money but 20% of our companies have raised $500K or more.

7.7.17 D-Day and what’s coming next

So the Founders are now on campus! They arrived last week and took part in our onboarding sessions to learn about Station F security rules, services you can find on campus, campus members etc.

Some of the first startups of the Founders Program!!!

Right after, the Founders got their “precious” Station F badges, a Founders Program welcome pack and were finally allowed to discover their work space:

Back to school for the Founders: welcome pack, badge and Station F discovery

We’ll share more details on the program in the upcoming weeks. If you’re interested in applying for the Founders Program, please note that applications for batch 2 (starting October) are now closed — but you can apply for batch 3 (starting January). Otherwise, please check out our other programs and our Fellowship offer on our website.