Created 2 years ago, Station F is more a hub for startups than a classic incubator. It’s big, they host many events, tech partners, public institutions and VCs permanences on a dedicated floor 🏢
We want here to give you some insights from our experience after our integration and 2 weeks in the Founders Program.
The selection process starts like almost any other one.
The first step is an online application file 📂 with questions about vision, short and midterm strategy and execution plan. Then, the most serious applications will have to go through a video interview with the founders in real-life conditions; to be honest, we had fun doing it!
The originality of the selection is that the decision for each startup is not only made by Station F but also by successful founder from all around the world 🌐A few weeks after submitting our interview video, we received an email… We were officially joining Station F!
The onboarding day is a mandatory step for every new startup!
We were quite surprised to discover that we had to stop working for half a day for an onboarding session… But there are many things to learn to really make the most of our limited time here ⏱️ We discovered HAL, our new intranet, Slack, our internal emulation platform, the different perks and rules of the place.
It is also the perfect time to meet all the new startups joining the program with us. A lot of sectors, business models and type of organizations are hosted in Station F. We met a lot of people from Europe but also Lebanon, US, South America or Sri Lanka!
We then joined our desk led by someone from our guild 🧝 It could sound like a Lord of the Rings sect, but a guild is just like a neighborhood of startups. We share the workspace and meet once a month minimum to talk about our challenges and our suggestions!
The first days are super exciting.
First thing first: the place is beautiful and super big. There are two particular things that we use to do: once a week, someone from the team cook for the others, and once a day, we go walking outside. We decided to count each time we go around the building, we are at 10 already!
The main place is called the Create zone, exclusively dedicated to the 1000 startups hosted. It’s not possible from an external to get here (many tried 😂), and the consequence is striking: it’s super silent! 🔇
But it doesn’t mean that it’s not living! Each startup, program, partner or VC are very accessible and Slack helps a lot to discuss and meet.
We are in the 3D/VR area, like many other startups in Station F, we naturally met already 6 of them to discuss our vision, our stakes and we already building a business partnership 🤝 with one of them… Synergies!
Having 1000 startups from very different places and sectors is also an excellent sample from a global market. We are already discussing with 5 startups to test our road to market and find our first real use cases with customers 💶
Yes, we did a lot of meetings.
We also did 2 mentorships sessions, one with a business & strategy professor from HEC Paris and another one with the co-founder of an SBF 80 company (80 biggest French companies). Perfect timing as we are constituting our advisory board 👌
We also had the opportunity to book 3 slots with Venture Capitalists to get challenged on our pitch deck. Wish us good luck!
Finally, we already got approached by 3 Venture Capitalists 🏦 and 1 other financial institution. One of the VCs has an office in Station F and is one of the leaders in France, the two others are based in Paris and Berlin.
Long story short, What a start! Emulation & Visibility!
Station F is not a magical place where success comes out of nowhere. But, after 2 weeks, we are super excited to witness the positive emulation 🙋♂️ of 1000 startups with high ambition. Of course, this emulation is not fundamentally different from an incubator, but the volume of startups and the proximity with tech partners, public institutions and VC clearly enhances it.
The second keyword of this first week is visibility 👀 It’s one of the most important challenges for any early-stage startup, get visible and credible enough for customers, investors and future employees (by the way, are you looking for a full-stack dev internship?), and it is clear that Station F give us opportunities to shine!
You would have not read this article either without them!
About StationF: Station F is the biggest startup campus in the world, backed by Xavier Niel (founder of France’s second-largest ISP, and third mobile operator) and located in Paris. They host more than 1000 early-stage startups from all around the world in 30 different incubation and acceleration programs in partnership with schools, companies and associations.
About Naker: Naker built a platform to develop 3D on the web and make the web cool again! Naker democratizes the creation of intales (interactive digital tales) through a 3D web/VR editor only based on drag-and-drop and 3D templates. It allows any organization to create engaging digital storytelling experience for their audience.