Expansion is a fundamental business principle. You have to want to grow and evolve and get bigger. One obstacle that many companies encounter, though, is the inability to shift away from their primary focus once they reach their expansion limit. Maybe the market is saturated; maybe increased competition has forced strategic cutbacks that make new ventures nearly impossible.
The bottom line, though, is that finding ways to grow is important if you want to remain relevant and competent in today’s quickly changing global economy. Facebook, then, is looking to do something a little different, as Chief Operations Officer Sherly Sandberg has announced that the social network is planning to open its first startup incubator, in Paris, in April.
Known as “Startup Garage,” the incubator will be operated from a new EU 250 million campus called Station F; and when it opens, this will be the largest such campus in the world. You may recall that Station F director Roxanne Varza noted, at December’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference, in London, that Facebook had planned to move in but the details were not yet discussed.
At the Station F Startup Incubator, then, Facebook will provide 80 desks with space for between 10 and 15 independent “data-driven” startups over a period of six months. In addition, though—and perhaps more importantly—these early-stage startups will also get access to experienced Facebook employees (via workshops, etc, that discuss/teach design, user experience, marketing and technical support).
Facebook has invited startups who wish to participate to apply via the Startup Garage Facebook page.
Sandberg comments, “France is home to some of the most innovative technology companies in the world. We’re excited to support a new generation of French startups with enormous potential to grow the economy and create jobs.”
As of yet, the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed but Facebook describes that it includes a “multi-million euro commitment over a number of years.” Furthermore, Facebook also makes sure to note that it will not take any equity in the businesses it chooses to support through the Startup Garage incubator project.