France has taken its entrepreneurship mentorship efforts to another level. It is launching a startup hub, expected to be the largest one in the world. The campus already exists and it’s referred to as Station F. Previously called the Freight Hall Halle Freyssinet, the space is located in Paris at a railway depot. France intends to use Station F to help entrepreneurs from underprivileged backgrounds. The space has 3,000 desks. It covers an area of around 366,000ft2. Those using the space will have access to 8 event halls, a bar and restaurant.
Station F is part of the French government’s efforts of fostering homegrown business. The space will be home to 26 international programs. France has already made plans to build more housing units around the campus. The new residential houses will accommodate those undergoing different programs at the startup incubation center. France wants to establish a tech incubation culture similar to the Silicon Valley of California. The government has partnered with French entrepreneur Xavier Niel to build Station F. Mr. Niel has already put in a quarter billion pounds into the project.
The startup campus is offering two programs: The Fighters Program and Founders Program. The Fighters Program is free for those accepted into the institution. On the other hand, The Founders Program charges a monthly fee of around $200 a desk. More than 200 startups have already enrolled for the Founders Program. The majority of programs at Station F are offered by big tech firms like Microsoft.
The Fighters Program was introduced for aggressive entrepreneurs with limited resources. The businesspeople accepted into this program include refugees, immigrants as well as entrepreneurs from French suburbs. According to Station F’s website, anyone can start a company as long as they can take the initiative to do so. The startup hub will change many lives and boost entrepreneurship in France.