French ISP and Mobile operator Orange announced today the launch of Orange Fab, a startup accelerator based in San Francisco intended to help startups with existing products grow their businesses. The accelerator is meant for US-based startups (sorry French startups), lasts for 12 weeks, and will feature a demo day in both the Silicon Valley and Paris at the end. The first program, who’s applications are already open until April 7th, will being in May, and has a fairly simple application form – not your standard French “what’s your blood type” interrogation.
With a mentor network that includes Justin.TV and Exec founder Justin Kan, BestofMedia founder Alfred Vericel, and major players from Iris Capital, Facebook, Orange (of course), and others, it seems that Orange has really outdone itself this time. The company is leveraging its global footprint – it operates in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the US, totaling 33 countries – to help startups grow internationally. The accelerator will accept just 4-6 startups, which will provide a very intimate experience.
“With Orange Fab, we join together with the next wave of Silicon Valley innovators to reimagine the future of communications. We are optimistic that opening up our world-class innovation center in San Francisco, and providing start-ups privileged access to decision-makers on the front lines of our business operations will be a win-win for all participants.” – Georges Nahon, CEO of Orange Silicon Valley and President of Orange Institute.
While the program promises “up to $22K,” I doubt that is the incentive for anyone to join. I think companies looking to leverage Orange’s suppliers, partners, customers, clients, and ecosystem will be jumping for a chance to join the accelerator.
You can follow them on twitter at @OrangeFab