The five decisive dates in the history of Station F

Station F celebrates its fifth anniversary. From the initial idea to today, the start-up incubator has evolved a lot and has become an emblem of French technology. Retrospective on five key dates.

June 29, 2017: the birth of the incubator

Four years after the project was announced, Station F, “the world’s largest start-up incubator”, opened its doors in Paris, in the former Halle Freyssinet. An event widely covered by the media that saw him as a shining symbol of the take-off of French technology.

The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, was there and spoke to an audience of 2,000 people, including start-up entrepreneurs, investors and students from the 42nd school.

“Transform our country, shake it, change it, you have that responsibility as much as I do,” he pleaded, a red rooster dangling from his suit. Emmanuel Macron will return to Station F a year later to recall what were the four challenges to be faced for the ecosystem in the future (scaling, talent issue, regulation, Europe).

May 26, 2018: opening of La Félicita

You can work hard at Station F. But also eat well for lunch and dinner. On May 26, 2018, La Félicita (“happiness” in Italian) opened its doors inside the incubator. A gigantic canteen (4,500 square meters!) with an unusual decoration behind which the founders of the Big Mamma chain (Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux) hide.

The place quickly became a symbol of the place and has the particularity of being open to people from outside. It also regularly hosts conferences, exhibitions and concerts.

June 27, 2019: Live at Station F

Entrepreneurship is an activity that draws all the attention. Therefore, it may be practical to live close to your office. In June 2019, Flatmates, an extension of Station F, opened in Ivry-sur-Seine in three towers designed by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte – who had already transformed Halle Freyssinet.

This venue has 100 apartments and 600 rooms and features a café, lounge and event space. No guarantor or type of employment contract is required to put your bags – just a one month deposit. “The idea for us in offering this to them is to allow entrepreneurs to focus only on business”, Roxanne Varza, director of Estação F, had launched when the site was inaugurated.

March 17, 2020: F season inactive

Station F is a noisy place due to its size and the number of start-ups, large groups and investors present there. Like the country, the incubator was suddenly plunged into silence in mid-March 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged Europe.

The campus was suddenly closed and telecommuting was imposed for almost two months. The health crisis represented a deficit, as Station F gave up collecting rents during the closure. Since reopening, hybrid work (face-to-face and remote) has become the norm. Posto F was also a vaccinódromo during the vaccination campaign.

October 21, 2021: a digital platform

In autumn 2021, Station F launched Launch, an online platform (9.90 euros per month) aimed at helping new entrepreneurs. Thanks to a rich video library, they can test an initial idea, assess the market size, build a brand, launch a website without having any coding skills, etc.

The videos are made with renowned entrepreneurs and investors, including the founders of Lydia, BackMarket, Cajoo, the product managers of IziWork or SeLoger, and investors like Kima Ventures or ISAI.

Launch also lets you chat via a giant Slack of contacts. The program is free for participants of programs that promote inclusion and diversity, such as Fighters and French Tech Tremplin, and for project leaders of the Singa association, which supports migrants towards entrepreneurship.

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