One of the best places in the world to be a startup is in Paris, France. The city has transformed an old train station named the Station F into a startup hub that has varieties of spaces for startups to work alongside the more established companies all under one roof. The building known as the Station F has 3 main divisions.
The first part is known as ‘Share’. This is where the meeting rooms, halls and convention centres are located. The companies that are working in the building can organize events and meeting in this region. Interestingly, it has hosted people such as Sheryl Sandberg and even the French President Emmanuel Macron.
The second in line is the ‘Create’ area. This region hosts the small and large offices depending upon the need of the company and the price that they are ready to shell out. It has used the discarded shipping containers in a beautiful manner and created some closed but mostly open spaces that allow various companies to work in close proximity. The workers and entrepreneurs working in the Station F claim that it is not about the price and facilities or the beauty of the place but the ability to meet more than 400 entrepreneurs at work that attracts them.
The third and the last major division is called the ‘Chill’ zone. This area houses the largest restaurant in all of Europe. The multi-cuisine restaurant named La Felicita is located in the Southern part of the Station F covering almost a third of the building complex. According to a Medium article, the restaurant is managed by a startup, Big Mamma, which is run by two entrepreneurs who took up the challenge to renew the restaurant industry and started a brand.
Station F has emerged as one of the best places for any startup to have an office in the world. Moreover, it has put Paris and France as a whole on the Global Startup Map too. Amidst the global startup nations, France is not a popular destination even inside of Europe, but initiatives such as these are very helpful as they can attract man young talents; the model of which can be imitated in other countries with huge scope such as India, China, Israel, Estonia and so on. The fact that even the restaurant in Station F is a major part of a startup, which is just 3 years old, is in itself a proof of Station F’s success.
Not every startup in Station F is a success. It is a sad reality but the thing is that France is still lagging behind when it comes to startup success. A startup is successful with good exit – IPO but in France, it is mostly Mergers and Acquisitions. One thing that every startup wanting to come to Station F needs to keep in mind is that the place doesn’t have any magical powers as such that it will magically take your startup on the success path. It is only a place that offers great value for money and an even better environment for entrepreneurs but at the end of the day, it all depends upon the idea that you have and your execution plans.