Station F, a 34,000 square metre innovation campus for startups, has officially opened its doors in Paris, France. The project is backed by tech and telecom tycoon Xavier Niel, who’s current net worth is an estimated $7.4 billion.
Investing in an average of two to three startups per week, Niel’s Kima Ventures investment program is poised to bring 3D printing innovations and other related technologies to the hub, which already has the support of Microsoft, Facebook and South Korea’s internet content service operator Naver Corporation.
Makerspace and professional program support
An early backer of World-NET, France’s first Internet Service Provider, and co-owner of Le Monde newspaper, Niel’s investment portfolio has stretched to become one of the most active in the world. Through Kima Ventures, Niel has been a seed investor for a number of 3D printer companies including Formlabs and metal additive machine developers MatterFab.
The Station F facility in particular promises to offer a 3D printer powered Makerspace to its members, and has opened with 26 startup programs offered by the project’s partners.
Opportunities for AI, 3D modeling and creative industries
In collaboration with the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA), Microsoft is offering opportunities to 5 or 6 startups specializing in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Incubator network Creative Valley and the French Institute of Fashion (IFM) has a program set up for inspiring projects that connect technology with creative industries, as in Stephania Stefanakou’s 3D printed clothing line.
Interestingly, The National Automotive Council (CNPA) is also searching for “the future of transportation and mobility” requesting pitches with a focus on security, collaborative transportation, and green solutions. 3D printing oriented startups, especially in the field of materials, could easily find a space within this remit.
Ubisoft, publisher of the Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and Rayman video game franchises, is also a offering a startup program dedicated to development and entertainment.
With the opening of Station F, Paris hopes to overtake their neighbours in London as a startup capital. But, if London Major Sadiq Khan’s plans for development along the Thames estuary go ahead, we may see the power shift again within the next decade.
Featured image: Inside 34,000 square metre Station F startup campus in Paris, France. Image via stationf.co