Over the last twelve weeks, 24 startups have been working out of Facebook’s old headquarters in downtown Palo Alto as part of fbFund REV, Facebook’s startup incubator program that’s jointly run with Accel Partners and Founders Fund. During that time the startups have receieved mentorship from some of Silicon Valley’s elite, as well as help from Facebook engineers. Tomorrow, they’ll be presenting at the program’s Demo Day (we’ll have full coverage beginning tomorrow afternoon). In light of the close of this session, we’ve compiled a number of the mentor presentations given thoughout the summer, and sat down with fbFund team member Dave McClure, who outlined what made the program unique.
McClure says that REV is a “social incubator” — an idea that is helped by the fact that all of the startups enrolled somehow take advantage of Facebook, the world’s largest social network. But McClure also says that the structure of the incubator, from the way classes are held to the actual layout of the building, is designed to ensure that the startups involved maintain interaction with each other. Startups have been working in wide, open rooms with white boards and no cubicles, and the program invited mentors to speak to all of the startups around three times per week. The fact that the startups get office hours and help from Facebook employees can also help give them a leg up on the competition.
Of course, fbFund has been around for some time now — it was announced back in September 2007, and has since seen a number of graduating classes. But past winners in fbFund were given no-strings-attached cash grants, while the new model, obviously inspired by incubators like Y Combinator invites the finalists to participate in a mentorship program while fbFund takes a small stake in the startups.
Here’s a list of talks that were given over the summer, as well as embedded videos of a few of the sessions.