By Roxanne Varza, STATION F's Director.
It’s crazy to think that it’s already been 2 years since our big fat launch event in June 2017 with President Macron. As you may have noticed, a *ton* has happened since we opened.
Data — the good, the bad and the ugly.
Last year we celebrated our 1st birthday with a WTF Conference and by revealing a lot of data from our first year. You can find the full recap from 2018 here. This year, however, we decided to take it a bit further. Rather than just sharing the good numbers, we wanted to share some numbers that will help highlight the ugly truth of running a startup — because it isn’t all pretty. These numbers include the number of startups that fought with their cofounders (39%, though I believe this number is actually higher), startups that had to pivot (26%) or even fire someone during the year (35%). We also estimate that roughly 3% of our startups failed this year.
F for femme.
Station F…many people think the “F” in our name stands for “France”, but what if it actually stood for “femme” ? You all know that we are huge supporters of diversity. What you may now know is that we are thrilled that over 1/3 of our community is female, not to mention 5 of our 30 programs on campus already have over 45% of their startups co/founded by women. Earlier this year, we also announced some changes to the events criteria at Station F, including the fact that we would no longer allow any all-male panels on campus (including for external events). But somehow, we still want to do more to support gender diversity in tech and innovation.
There are so many incredible gender diversity initiatives worldwide, that we decided it was time to bring some of the world’s leaders on the topic to Station F to share what they’ve been working on. And that’s where F for Femme comes in. We are launching a half-day, invite-only conference that will take place at Station F on October 1, 2019. We’ll be announcing the full line-up shortly, but we’ve already confirmed a few incredible speakers like Jessica Livingston (cofounder of YCombinator), Alice Bentinck (cofounder of Entrepreneur First) and more.
The Top 30
We work with so many startups and so many incredible startups that sometimes people have trouble making sense of it all. That’s why we decided to launch the Top 30 list. Every year, we’ll be selecting the Top 30 startups from our campus that were top performers during the year — whether it be securing funding, getting acquired, achieving incredible growth or something else. Startups are nominated through their programs and are then validated by the Station F staff if the startup respects our community values.
This year’s Top 30 startups collectively raised over €77 million (the smallest round was €1 million and the largest round raised was €20 million), include 4 acquisitions, and a number of diverse teams with female or international founders. They cover all kinds of industries and technologies, including Saas, AI, insurtech, medtech, cyber security, retail, foodtech and more. They also come from 14 of our 30 different programs.
Now that you’ve seen our 30 top performers, know that we’ll also be sharing what we call our Future 40 list later this year. In other words, we’ll be sharing our 40 up and coming startups to watch for throughout the year.
Flatmates: Station F coliving is now open!
Our final announcement for this year includes our coliving, Flatmates. We know a lot of our entrepreneurs have been patiently waiting — and we are so pleased to say that our massive coliving to house 600 entrepreneurs from Station F is finally open! Now teams who join a Station F Program can also request housing for the duration of their program.
For anyone who doesn’t know, our apartments are not located at Station F but about 10 minutes away at Ivry-sur-Seine. It’s a 3-tower complex featuring 100 6-person apartments. Each apartment is fully furnished and each person gets their own room (and in some cases bathroom, depending on the offer they sign-up for). I’m a huge fan of the beds, which are custom-made to maximize sleep space with integrated storage and desk space as well. There are also a number of on-site services that will be ready over the coming weeks including an on-site gym, event spaces, café-restaurant & eco-friendly grocery store open to the public.
We also went out of our way to make sure to integrate relevant innovations and technologies into the offer :
- Our roommate-matching algorithm is developed by Station F startup Whoomies (Founders Program). Whoomies uses tons of tags to match people with the best-possible people. If you’re a vegetarian, non-smoker who likes to party, we’ll make sure we pair you up with the right people.
- Our living room furniture is specially designed for the flexibility needed in a coliving environment by Cutwork. We know that sometimes you may want to group together to work and socialize, and sometimes you may want your own space. Either way, Cutwork’s modular furniture design has you covered.
- Our travel offer to-and-from Station F currently includes new scooter company Dott.
Want to join Flatmates? Prices start at €399/month for a private room and shared bath (for two) in a 6-person flat. Please note that your startup needs to be accepted to a Station F program for you to join.
Thank you, ecosystem.
So, this is pretty much everything that we wanted to share for our 2nd birthday —we’ll be sharing additional project within the next few months. I often say that we have currently accomplished about 10% of our actual plan, which means we have a lot more coming.
I want to take this occasion to also give a huge thank you to everyone who has been a part of Station F from the beginning and this second year. Station F is made possible by the contribution and support of many different people and organizations from around the world. If you’ve contributed so much as a good thought, know that the entire Station F team and community are thankful :)