Station F, a diversity booster at the heart of Paris

Share

The biggest startup campus has done a lot to make entrepreneurship more accessible. It promotes female entrepreneurship and boasts one third of women among its residents.

The world’s largest startup campus has just celebrated its second anniversary. Station F hosting more than 1,000 startups inside Paris, nicely illustrates the French ecosystem’s change of dimension. Its entrepreneurs collectively raised more than €317m ($358m) in the last 12 months and some of them have already achieved successful exits – for instance Recast.ai was acquired last year by German software editor SAP.

Station F contributes to making the French Tech ecosystem more open to diversity.

Its management insists on financial accessibility. Thus the Founders Program, Station F’s main one, only costs 195 euros per month for full-time residency and acceleration. On top of that, 15 underprivileged people every year are entitled to join the Fighters Program which gives access to the same services – for free. One alumnus, Tally Fofana, an ex-prisoner, has created the DigiTall connected device to tackle auto theft.

The Fighters Program gives access to full-time residency and acceleration for free
The 13 startups selected for the 2018 Fighters Program

Faced with expensive rent of Paris, Station F residents can now apply for co-living spaces starting from 399 euros per month, just ten minutes away from campus. With 600 rooms, this all-inclusive housing solution called Flatmates can accommodate approximately 20% of Station F residents.

Last, a third of Station F residents are women and the campus advocates female entrepreneurship. On October 1st, it will host the “F For Femme” conference. World-class speakers will highlight projects that demonstrate how to build female-friendly communities, how to increase the number of women in tech education, or how to better distribute capital to female-led companies. “We want to promote best practices to build a more inclusive ecosystem”, sums up Roxanne Varza, the director of Station F.

Roxanne Varza, director of Station F ©Pascal-Othlingaus