You have to give Facebook credit. They get in the news more a lot. Maybe it’s investment. Maybe it’s a look at their numbers. Maybe it’s someone on the executive team has a hang nail. You name it they are there.
That’s why this news seemed more interesting than just the usual talk. TechCrunch reports that Facebook has announced the 20 winners of a competition to be included in a program to help them develop their platforms with a combination of money and other benefits.
Twenty companies, which include two nonprofits, will take part in a program headed by Founders Fund’s Dave McClure, and will have the chance to work with Facebook engineers and a range of Silicon Valley veterans. Facebook intends to keep us posted on the startups’ progress throughout the session, and will be holding a demo day at the end of the summer to help expose the companies to investors and press.
The list of companies are focused primarily in companies that are either social networking platforms like MyChurch.org or RunThere which is a social platform for runners and cyclists or other applications and services that facilitate online social interaction. McClure is interested in helping these folks get to business with this program.
it will emphasize getting the companies to release and iterate their products quickly, rather than spending a long time on the development cycle.
While there are two non-profits on the roster the fund is not operating as such. In other words they aren’t doing this for free. McClure says
The average amount of investment is $25,000, with over $500,000 being distributed in total (the non-profits are excluded from receiving funding, but are invited to the program for free). Investments are being made as a convertible note, with a discount for future priced rounds. fbFund is taking roughly a 1-5% stake in each company (around 2% for most of them), which is in line with what other incubators have been doing.
No word on any other Incubalooza events in the future but it might be a good time for aspiring social networking companies to set up camp in Facebook town. As we have noted recently, they do have the money.