A Tour of Station F, the World's Biggest Startup Campus
Updated: Oct 3, 2018
In May, Catherine Ivari '09, Berkeley Club of France Vice President Startups & Entrepreneurship, invited alumni to a private tour of the startup incubator and accelerator backed by Xavier Niel. Located in a former rail freight depot in Paris, Station F is self-hailed as a whole entrepreneurial ecosystem gathered under one roof.
Station F may be best described as an ecosystem of entrepreneurs who, typically, are in their early thirties, with kids, working long hours and paying themselves with a wage...unlike clichés of very young startup entrepreneurs working night and day. The comparison with SkyDeck Berkeley, UC Berkeley’s campus startup accelerator and incubator, immediately comes to mind.
Both Station F and SkyDeck Berkeley bring together top start-ups from all over the world and offer mentorship programs and a large network of accredited investors”. While SkyDeck Berkeley is a partnership between the Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Station F is a privately-owned accelerator.
Moreover, SkyDeck Berkeley combines the consulting know-how of traditional accelerators with the vast resources of its research university whereas Station F provides public services (such as a post office!), cafés, restaurants and shared apartments. Nonetheless, both Station F and SkyDeck accept applications from companies in all industries, thus becoming magnets for top startups.