Seed Fund Helps Entrepreneurs Grow on Facebook Platform and Across the Web with Nearly $2 Million in Grants, as well as Mentorship and Marketing Resources
PALO ALTO, Calif., October 15, 2008 – Twenty-five innovators – including PhD candidates in Comparative Literature, former NASA engineers and an eco-race driver for the World Solar Challenge – were announced today as the latest recipients of Facebook’s fbFund funding cycle. fbFund is the novel program that awards teams of entrepreneurs $25,000 grants — no-strings attached — to help build businesses on Facebook.com or around the Web with Facebook Connect. These recipients are eligible for an additional $225,000 each in grant funding, which will be awarded to five winners selected by Facebook users and the fbFund advisory council in December.
“Facebook started fbFund to help seed innovation among a global community of entrepreneurs and to help change the economics of starting a company,” said Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications, public policy and platform marketing at Facebook. “By refusing to take an equity stake for our grants, we’re making it a little easier for talented entrepreneurs to maintain ownership over their ideas and focus on getting their business off the ground. Given the current caution in the market, we think fbFund is an even more attractive solution for innovative entrepreneurs to create the next great opportunities.”
fbFund recipients represent a diverse array of start-ups innovating in areas ranging from e-commerce, religion and productivity to gaming, education, weddings, wine, sports and travel. Other founders include former CEOs and seasoned entrepreneurs, as well as a supercomputer engineer and a kiteboarder who develops in Python.
fbFund was founded in 2007 as a $10 Million seed fund focused on identifying talent and enabling entrepreneurs to build innovative and meaningful applications on Facebook Platform or on any third party website, desktop application or device with Facebook Connect. Round one of the fbFund competition was announced in late July at Facebook’s annual f8 developer conference and, in less than a month, more than 600 applications were received. An investment committee comprised of members from Facebook, Accel Partners and Founders Fund carefully reviewed each submission.
Spanning a wide range of uses and categories, the following 25 recipients have demonstrated the potential to offer original, meaningful and social applications:
• BarTab • BlackDrumm • Bottle Rocket • Check My Campus• Daikon • Faithfeed• Good Call Sports• GroupCard• Kontagent• Koofers• Mousehunt • Newsbrane• PartyBuzz• Pongr• ProfessionalProfile• RealGifts• Social Arcade• Socialfly• Teach the People• Thankster • TrailBehind • Twenty20 Cricket• vDream Racing • Weddingbook • Wildfire
From now through early November, each recipient will build and submit their final applications and create a video showcasing their work, which will be found on the fbFund competition page. As round two kicks off, users will have the chance to try these applications, watch the videos and vote for their favorites. Final judging of round two will factor in user voting, as well as input from Facebook, Accel Partners and Founders Fund. Once round two closes in December, Facebook will announce five winners who will receive up to $225,000 in non-recourse grants.
“At Founders Fund, we’re in the business of investing in people,” said Justin Fishner-Wolfson, Principal, Founders Fund. “We’re optimistic about this diverse group of fbFund recipients and their potential to enrich the Facebook ecosystem.”
“At Accel, we partner with entrepreneurs that have unique, breakthrough ideas and the courage to be first,” said Jim Breyer, managing partner, Accel Partners. “The launch of Facebook Platform has provided developers with an unprecedented opportunity to build a business online, and we are looking forward to fostering the growth of innovative companies through fbFund.”
About fbFund fbFund is a seed fund focused on supporting entrepreneurs who are building their business on Facebook.com or with Facebook Connect by $25,000-$225,000 non-recourse grants. This fund was formed to provide resources to the Facebook developer ecosystem and eliminate some of the challenges of starting a company by supporting the development of businesses that provide users with a social and engaging experience. To learn more about fbFund and the recipients, visit: http://developers.facebook.com/fbFund.php.