Facebook has opened its very first in-house startup incubator at its London office.
The LDN_LAB programme will offer three 12-week courses throughout the year, supporting more than 20 startups who will be mentored by Facebook engineers and executives on a range of areas including software, product development, data science and marketing.
The social network is set to run three incubator courses in London throughout 2018 — one for community-focused businesses, one for Facebook and Instagram creators and one for Facebook page admins.
Developed in partnership with London-based investment fund Bethnal Green Ventures, the incubator opened its doors on Monday with the first wave of seven startups chosen from a pool of 100 applicants. Five of the initial seven startups are led by female founders.
“Over the next 3 months we’ll launch in 10 new locations,” said Ivo Gormley, Founder and CEO of Goodgym in a statement. “Being part of LDN_LAB will supercharge these launches and help thousands more runners make a difference to communities across the UK.”
The LDN_LAB program is part of Facebook’s wider, through which it aims to train and support small businesses across Europe. The effort shows the company’s commitment to Europe — a region where it faces heavy oversight and scrutiny.
Facebook’s London headquarters is its biggest engineering base outside of the US.