A few weeks ago, I announced that I was leaving Microsoft and mentioned that in the upcoming weeks I would be announcing my next move. Some people asked me if I was moving back to California (uh, why would I do that?) and some people asked me if I was launching my own startup (maybe one day, *sigh*). And no, I was not leaving Microsoft to join Google. When people would ask me what I was going to do, I would reply:
“My new job is huge. Literally.”
How huge? Well, the project I have just joined – known as the Halle Freyssinet or the 1000 Startups project – is set to be the world’s largest startup incubator and located in central Paris. The man behind the project is Xavier Niel, one of France’s leading entrepreneurs (founder of Free/Iliad telecoms company, hyper-active fund Kima Ventures, free coding school 42…). The Halle Freyssinet site has a long history and is currently under construction. The 34,000+ square-meter incubator will therefore open to the public in 2017 and I am insanely honored and excited to have joined the project as its Director. I couldn’t have imagined a more exciting opportunity if I tried 😀
The architectural simulations of what the site will look like from the front.
A map showing the Halle Freyssinet’s location in central Paris.
This is an incredibly ambitious project that is set to be far more than just an incubator. It will house top local and international startups and numerous on-site services. But there is much, much more that will be revealed in the upcoming months – including a housing extension that is set to open in Ivry-sur-Seine the following year. You can find more information on the Halle Freyssinet – including simulation photos of what the space will look like when construction is completed – on the website here.
All ideas/suggestions welcome.
I have been overwhelmed by the support and interest that people have shown in my new role and in the project – thank you! Many of you have reached out to me to know if there are opportunities to join the team or to discuss potential partnership opportunities. Or simply to ask me questions about when it will open (hint: 2017). For the moment, we are not recruiting and we are only just beginning to discuss potential partnerships. But of course if there is something you would like to do with us or if you have an idea you want to recommend, feel free to mention it here.
Please note that we will be revealing more information about the space shortly, please stay tuned 🙂