Guest post by Founders Fund startup investor and geek blogger Dave McClure, who will be running the fbFund 2009 Incubator Program.
- "Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles Duell, US patent office, 1899.
- "Rock & Roll will be gone by June." - Variety Magazine, 1955
- "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." - Ken Olsen, President Digital Equipment Corp (DEC), 1977
Let's face it: Facebook Apps are old news. Past their prime. Over the hill... right?
Au Contraire, Mon Frére!
Actually, it's exactly the opposite. Over 200 million people of every age, shape, size, & color are now using Facebook. Every month more than 70% of those folks use Facebook apps. Over 800 third-party apps have 100,000 or more monthly active users (MAUs). Facebook Connect is now being used by major brands and retailers like NetFlix, CNN, and LiveNation, and Facebook Connect is now available for iPhone developers as well. Lastly and most importantly, Facebook app developers are making big bucks and continue to receive funding, announce partnerships, and grow their businesses.
We're just at the beginning of a brave new world of cool & interesting social applications and services, built both on and off Facebook Platform. This year with Facebook Connect for web apps and iPhone, developers are creating awesome new solutions for the hundreds of millions worldwide who use Facebook. In fact we're so sure it's a growth market, we're betting hundreds of thousands of dollars on developers just like YOU through the fbFund 2009 Incubator Program. Read on to learn how to apply, or just get in the game:
(Hurry up homes, the deadline to apply is April 20th!)
Still not convinced? Alright you cynics, check out these apples...
In the past year, we've seen several fbFund apps reach commercial success, and even get acquired:
- WedSnap, maker of Weddingbook, recently acquired by TheKnot
- Zimride, maker of Carpool, announced a partnership with ZipCar
- Sociable (formerly Party Buzz), just helped launch a Facebook Connect integration with LiveNation
- MouseHunt is on fire, growing to >500K MAUs recently
This year our new fbFund 2009 Incubator program will enable a few lucky startups using Facebook and Facebook Connect to receive up to $100,000 in investment and a "golden ticket" to come to Palo Alto for the summer. Here in Silicon Valley, we'll work together with Facebook and other tech companies and experienced mentors to help build new apps, websites, and businesses that show off the best of social apps and platforms. Initially we'll name 50 finalists from those who apply for the program, who will receive $1,000 in Facebook advertising. From the 50 finalists, we'll then select a smaller group to receive funding and participate in the incubator program (mid June - late August). The program will feature regular weekly tech talks and education on Facebook platform, Facebook Connect, technical infrastructure, product design, startup metrics and optimization, SEO, internet marketing, startup funding and hiring, and a variety of other topics of interest.
We are also announcing the Mentors on our fbFund Developer Advisory Council, who will participate in the Incubator Program with all of our fbFund 2009 startups. Here is a current list, in alphabetical order, of Advisor / Mentors (note: we expect to add more folks to this list in coming weeks):
- Accel Partners
- Citizen Sports
- First Round Capital (Josh Kopelman)
- Founders Fund
- Serious Business
- Stanford University (BJ Fogg, Rajeev Motwani)
Needless to say, we're just getting this party started. Facebook apps are still growing like crazy, and Facebook Connect is opening up tremendous new opportunities for sharing and distribution on both the webtop and the iPhone. We have a pocketful of cash to put to work on people and startups who are ready to make social apps and experiences explode across the web and mobile devices. We hope you'll apply now for the fbFund 2009 Incubator Program, and we look forward to seeing some of you in Silicon Valley this summer!
Rock & Roll, folks :)