Station F: what you need to know about Xavier Niel’s giant start-up campus

by bold-lichterman

It is a major project for the start-up ecosystem in France. Station F, the largest start-up campus in the world, will open its doors on July 1, after 3 years of work. At the origin of the project, Xavier Niel will have invested 250 million euros, out of his personal funds.

Overview of what you need to know about this project, inaugurated this Thursday evening in the presence of President Emmanuel Macron and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.

A space designed to facilitate exchanges and meetings

With operating costs estimated between 7 and 8 million euros per year, Station F’s ultimate ambition is not profitability at all costs. The objective of the project is therefore above all to support the French start-up ecosystem, and to allow it to open up internationally.

In total, more than 3,000 workstations will be made available to start-ups, as well as around sixty meeting rooms, an auditorium, a fablab, a pop-up store, etc. With 8 spaces dedicated to events, the residents of Station F will find themselves at the heart of the innovative ecosystem. The building is divided into three large areas: the Share area, to work, the Create area, to chat, and finally the Chill area, to relax and eat. The latter will be open to the public.

Note, Station F is the first brick of a larger project, which will also include a co-living space dedicated to entrepreneurs. The latter can be accommodated about ten minutes from Station F. Around a hundred shared apartments will be made available to them, as well as a fitness room and relaxation areas.


Photo credit: Patrick Tourneboeuf for Station F

Read also: 10 figures to know about Station F, the largest start-up campus in the world

More than 20 on-site acceleration programs

At the heart of Station F is the Founders Program, an acceleration program developed by Roxanne Varza and her team. For 195 euros per month and per workspace, entrepreneurs from all over the world wishing to work in Paris will have access to resources to develop. In particular, they will have access to the expertise of a network of selected entrepreneurs, to exclusive events, as well as advantages on certain software and services recognized by their peers. Note, the philosophy of the program is based on the independence of entrepreneurs: “No mentors or mandatory meetings, only a unique selection of resources and experts available (…), à la carte», Can we read on his site.

Beyond the Founders Program, a number of companies have decided to implement a project acceleration program on site. In total, 21 programs will be used daily. We will notably note the Facebook Start-up Garage, which will support 12 start-ups at the start of the school year, Impulse, the Vente-privee incubator, or the program dedicated to artificial intelligence developed by Microsoft, in partnership with the INRIA.


Photo credit: Patrick Tourneboeuf for Station F

Read also: What acceleration programs will be hosted at Station F?

1,000 start-ups hosted

In total, 1,000 start-ups should be housed in this 34,000 square meter space. If all the start-ups present at the start of the school year are not yet known, a number of accelerators have already announced the names of the lucky ones who will inaugurate their program.

Facebook presented the 12 start-ups that will be part of its Start-up Garage from September. Jam, Alan, Mapstr, Chekk, The Fabulous, Onecub, Karos, Bruno, The School Project, Welcome To The Jungle, Glose and Riminder will thus compose the first class of this program.

Likewise, Vente-privee unveiled in March the names of the 5 start-ups that will be part of the first Impulse session. It includes Fitle, Shipup, ShorTouch, Wishibam and EasySize. Other start-ups will also be present, such as RMOpportunities, SoBus and BonjourIngrid.


Photo credit: Patrick Tourneboeuf for Station F

Read also: Focus on 4 start-ups incubated at Station F