We broke the news in last week’s newsletter: Paris-based STATION F is organizing a (virtual) femtech accelerator program, that will kick-off in January 2021. But who’s behind the program and what can startups expect? We caught up with STATION F’s Marine Wetzel, who filled us in on all the details!

Marine Wetzel, STATION F Startup Program Manager

Marine, can you tell us more about STATION F? How long has it been around and what are you working on?

STATION F is the largest startup campus in the world, launched in 2017 in Paris. We gather under one roof all resources an entrepreneur needs. We support +1000 early stage tech startups each year, coming from all around the world, and selected at an 9% selection rate on average.

There are 33 different programs on campus, most of them specialized in one industry or technology, and run by corporate partners, schools, ecosystem partners, or by STATION F staff.

To help foreign entrepreneurs to settle easily we launched a very accessible coliving space for entrepreneurs, and we help them get a fast track for their visa when needed.

You recently announced a new accelerator program tailored to femtech startups, which will kick-off in mid-January. It is an evolution of STATION F’s more general Founders Program. Which aspects have you added to the program to cater to the needs of femtech startups?

Yes! We’re launching this FemTech program this January with Ida Tin (Clue Founder) as our first guest speaker, exciting!

The FemTech program is a spin-off from the Founders Program. The latest is the main program on campus, supporting 200 tech early-stage startups from all industries. This program is based on peer to peer support, we believe that 90% of entrepreneurs challenges will be solved by other great entrepreneurs who already went through the same thing.

So what’s in this FemTech program? After discussing with dozens of FemTech actors in the world, 2 main pain points came out that we’re addressing:

  • Connect with other FemTech entrepreneurs: the program is a FemTech community with which you’ll share your challenges to leverage collective intelligence for each of you.
  • Access to funding: we’ll have investors specialized in FemTech to coach the entrepreneurs to prepare them for their roadshow. We also have a community of +150 investors partnering with STATION F with which we can connect the startups when they are ready to raise.
  • Access to best practices specific to FemTech: we have top FemTech entrepreneurs who will share their learnings growing a FemTech startups. Ida Tin (Clue), Michelle Kennedy (Peanut), Lora Di Carlo (Lora Di Carlo), Andrea Oliver (Emjoy), to name a few.

Entrepreneurs participating in this program will also have access to everything in the Founders Program with resources for entrepreneurs in all industries. You can check out more details about the program here.

Who do you think would benefit the most from being part of this first cohort? What stage should startups be in?

This program is best for:

  • entrepreneurs who know what are her/his needs in terms of resources and proactively reach out to it. Everything is available when you’re part of the campus, you just need to reach out to it.
  • entrepreneurs who are looking to be surrounded by other entrepreneurs who go through the same journey. For entrepreneurs who see the real value of being transparent about their daily entrepreneurial challenges to find new solutions through collective intelligence.
  • entrepreneurs with a ‘pay it forward’ mindset’. STATION F is a collaborative community, you’ll get a lot from it, and the community counts on you too to help proactively when you can.
  • entrepreneurs who are comfortable with English. No needs to be Shakespeare but you need to understand English and be comfortable speaking.

We’re looking for FemTech startups, in any segment: fertility, sexual health and wellbeing, menopause, pelvic health, etc. Startups can be either on campus in Paris or fully remote.

Do you take equity from the startups in addition to the program fee?

No, STATION F never takes equity in the startups it supports. But we have a team dedicated to connecting campus startups to investors, and to help startups prepare for their roadshow before contacting investors. So far we have hundreds of VC partnering with STATION F, and we are currently building a business angel community.

The program is the same price as the Founders Program: 205€HT/month/access and lasts 3 months.

Your program will kick-off mid-January and is open to startups physically at STATION F, but also suitable for companies not in Paris, who will virtually. For those joining virtually: How will you work with them?

All resources, content and support will be provided virtually. For those physically present in Paris they can join on campus, but everything will be accessible remotely. This is already the case with the Founders Program since covid and it works quite well. We also implemented different tools to help entrepreneurs with making valuable connexions even remotely.

Last but not least: Can you tell us a little more about the application and selection process? When are applications due?

You can apply here before December 15th, we’ll get back to you on December 23rd, and kick off for selected startups will be on January 12nd. We are looking for tech startups in FemTech space, with at least an mvp. You can reach out to me if any questions: marine@stationf.co

Thank you, Marine!

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