Facebook launched yesterday, October 2, its first innovation center in the world. Based in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, Facebook's Estação Hack (Hack Station, in Portuguese) was created with the mission of fostering the local economic ecosystem by providing, for free, training to youngsters and support to small- and medium-sized innovative businesses. The initiative aims to reach around 7,400 people each year who are leading projects with social impact.
The center was designed for the Brazilian public, without leaving behind, of course, elements of "Facebook's DNA" known as "Hack Culture". As stated by Diego Dzodan, vice president of Facebook and Instagram for Latin America, to ZDNet:
We want to reinforce our commitment to Brazil and, therefore, we will make an unprecedented investment here. We will help train young Brazilians for some of the professions of the future, within an environment that stimulates innovation.
Estação Hack will constantly offer free programming and entrepreneurship-related courses, as well as career planning workshops, for the general public. Furthermore, it will provide a six-month residence program for selected startups, which will also be awarded access to Facebook's infrastructure and tools, mentoring, and business advice.
In the first months of operation, Facebook will receive proposals from startups for projects in the areas of employability, education, data security, civic engagement, financial services (for inclusion or financial education), and micro-entrepreneurship. Startups interested in submitting proposals have until October 29 for doing so, what can be done here. The first group of selected startups will start their residency program in January 2018.