STATION F’s Founders Program: we have our startups!
We are *crazy* excited to welcome the very first members and to launch STATION F with them.
We opened startup applications at Techcrunch Disrupt on December 5th, 2016 (see TC’s coverage here). We closed applications for the first round of startups on February 5th, 2017 — startups can still apply, yet they will move in at a later date.
During this period, we have received an incredible number of applications, from all around the world: Nepal, Senegal, Greece, Jamaica… We are thrilled to have finished up our selection!
Now you’re probably wondering how on earth we went through our applications and what we were looking for. Well, here is what you need to know about our selection process.
How does STATION F’s Founders Program select startups?
First, a word about our team. We are currently 15 people working on building our beautiful campus. 100% of the teammates have a previous experience in startups or in the startup ecosystem. Therefore the whole team is involved in screening online applications!
STEP 1: The online form
Startups from anywhere in the world can apply to the Founders Program using an online form available on stationf.co. No 24-month business plan is required (are people still doing that?) just a short questionnaire about your market, your product — and above all — your co-founders and your team.
Now, what are we looking for in the form? The forms are first reviewed by our team. We carefully select startups that match certain criteria:
- the team must be fully dedicated to the project,
- preferably with two co-founders or more, with complementary profiles
- the startup has to show some proof of concept
- the startup has impressive growth metrics,
- the product must be scalable and the addressable market must be consistent,
- and of course: this is a competition — only the best get in!
STEP 2: pre-selected startups record a video interview
Once the startups make the first cut, they move onto the interview. Founders gather up for a video interview that’s recorded live using our online tool. They have 30 seconds to discover the questions, and 30 to 60 seconds to answer (which makes it fun to watch sometimes!)
We can’t reveal all the questions we asked, but here is the gist: most questions target their knowledge of their product and market and strength of the team, but we have some fun questions too :)
Time for the Selection Board to have a look! Both forms and video files are then forwarded to our Selection Board. Every startup is reviewed by at least two different members of the Selection Board, graded, and our team makes the final call.
Who is in the Founders’ Program Selection Board?
We have gathered a collective of 100 entrepreneurs from 21 different countries to help us select startups. We have published a blogpost dedicated to them, your can read more here.
In a nutshell: all Selection Board members have a strong startup experience and are willing to help us in our selection. We are very proud to have exceptional founders like Solomon Hykes, founder of Docker, Ida Tin, founder of Clue Eric Wahlfoss, founder of Soundcloud, or Soraya Darabi, founder of Zady. com, Demet Mutlu, who founded Trendyol, as some of our members.
Startups who applied after February 5th: this is not the end!
You can still apply to the Founders Program after February 5th. As we had a delay in our opening (see our blogpost), we have postponed the selection of startups a bit. If you applied after February 5th, we will review your startup very soon. Next move-in date will be after the Summer, as soon as a slot opens.
Hell with all that: who are these cool startups joining the Founders Program?!
Ha, a bit curious, are you?
Data is being crunched: we will reveal everything you want to know about our Founders very soon. Stay tuned!
For now, what we can tell you is that:
- we will welcome 100 startups minimum
- we will have a crazy diverse set of founders, coming from all around the world, backgrounds, and experiences
- we will have startups reinventing big data, AI, bots, machine learning, infrastructure, focusing on all kinds of industries!
Remember: the Founders Program is just one program among several present on STATION F campus! Vente privee’s Impulse program, Facebook’s Startup Garage, HEC, Numa, Zendesk, Arts et métiers acceleration… They will all have startups attending their programs on campus. Bear in mind that we are a campus, all programs will collaborate with each other and share common assets. Also, you can start with the Founders Program and apply to another one when you feel ready!
Also please note that due to the high volume of applications, there is still a tiny group of startups who haven’t received a final answer. If you are one of them: don’t worry, you will get one in the next 2 weeks.
To all startups that applied: a huge THANK YOU. Even if you were not selected, you are doing an amazing job and you will surely have a spot at STATION F in the future: don’t hesitate to apply again or to apply to one of our other 15+ partner programs!