Today, at one of our old offices in downtown Palo Alto, it's graduation day for our first round of the fbFund REV social incubator program. We're wrapping up a packed summer of innovation, collaboration, and hard work with a packed house of VCs, press, Facebook employees, and entrepreneurs who will be on hand to watch 20+ teams demo what they've built. Of course the fbFund REV summer wouldn't be complete without some news of profitability, funding, and growth. Stay tuned for more details as the excitement unfolds.
Having more than 20 startups and upwards of 60 people here today is proof that our vision for fbFund, and more broadly, Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect, is gaining momentum. We launched Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect to give developers and entrepreneurs the power to build tools that help people share and communicate on Facebook and across the Web. We started fbFund with Founders Fund and Accel Partners soon after launching Facebook Platform to remove some of the barriers to getting a company started and to provide mentorship and marketing support.
This round for fbFund was announced at SXSW in March with the launch of Facebook Connect on the iPhone. Over 400 developers and entrepreneurs from around the world applied for this round of funding. These submissions were narrowed to the top 50 finalists and, finally, to eighteen startups and two non-profits. To round out the program, a few more startups from past fbFund rounds were added. We invited more than twenty of our fbFund Council advisors and investors to help us review, rate, interview, and select the finalists. fbFund invested over US$800,000 in equity investments this round.
While we think we can do a little to help startups get started and become social, it’s what they do next that matters. In fbFund REV, we looked for teams of entrepreneurs that show tremendous potential in the apps, websites, and business models they develop. We are excited to see many of the businesses using Facebook Connect as well as several engaging new Platform apps on the list of finalists. The diverse startups range from businesses around running, religion, and apartment referrals to social games, business communication, dating, and music, retail, and travel. In all of these categories, users can benefit by using these applications and Connect integrations with their real friends on Facebook or around the Web.
Each team will give a 5- to 7-minute pitch about their company. Please join us for the live UStream of the event.
Live Embed: Webcam chat at Ustream
1:00 - 1:30: Kickoff by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer
1:30 - 3:00: fbFund REV Pitches
3:00 - 3:30: Break
3:30 - 5:00: fbFund REV Pitches
To learn more about fbFund REV social incubator, check out this video:
Thanks again to everyone who made this summer exciting. We especially want to thank our community of developers and entrepreneurs that served as mentors and those who continue to build great experiences on Facebook Platform and with Facebook Connect. If you're interested in applying to the next round of fbFund, or would like to stay updated on the fbFund teams, become a fan the fbFund Page and stay tuned for our next announcement.