SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 24. 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Orange Fab, the US startups accelerator for French telecommunication pioneer Orange, announced today that it has teamed up with Visa, LG Electronics, Hilton, Fnac, Morpho, and Moet Hennessy to create Fab Force. Startups selected to join Season 4 of Orange Fab's accelerator program in December 2014 will not only benefit from Orange's long presence and experience in Silicon Valley, but will also have access through Fab Force to an expanded set of growth opportunities, distribution, expertise, and cutting edge resources, as well as exposure to executives from some of the world's largest and most respected brands.
This announcement comes as Orange Fab is now accepting applications for its next season. Entrepreneurs and founders interested in applying can submit their interest at OrangeFab.com.
"For the past 15 years, Orange has developed a unique and respected ecosystem in Silicon Valley consisting of leading entrepreneurs, thought leaders, venture capitalists, and technology experts, " said Georges Nahon, CEO of Orange Silicon Valley. "Through Fab Force, we've now opened up this ecosystem to some of the world's largest and most respected brands who now have early access to some of Silicon Valley's most innovative startups."
Fab Force partners, both in the US and in France, receive exclusive access to its startup evaluation platform and are given a curated list of startup applications based on their preferences and specific interests. Additionally, they will serve as part of the selection committee when new startups are invited to present, while also having the opportunity to connect with thought leaders, investors, and industry experts that Orange works with every day. What's more, partners for Orange Fab Season 4 will be able to attend both Demo Day events, held in Paris, France and San Francisco, CA.
"In a time when brands are looking to find ways to be innovative and find the next WhatsApp, Uber, or Twitch, having a steady access to these up-and-coming startups is important so that you're always keeping track of what's happening in the industry. Otherwise it just passes you by," said Paul Martino, Managing Director for Bullpen Capital. "For large companies looking to connect with emerging startups coming out of Silicon Valley, Orange's Fab Force is a great way to get up and running almost overnight."
Orange Fab will curate a list of the estimated 300 startups that are expected to apply to the fourth season. From there, the field will be narrowed down to between 30 and 40, which Fab Force members will have an opportunity to meet in-person. Orange Fab will manage the logistics and filtering to ensure that its partners have access to the startups focused on their industry. Startups in the program will gain the benefit of being able to leverage additional distribution channels, with the potential to reach additional customers. Orange Fab will continue to offer investments of up to $20,000 to some of the startups in the program. The Fab Force participating brands can also invest if they wish in any of the startups.
"Visa and Orange have partnered to introduce innovative ways for consumers to pay using mobile devices in both advanced and emerging payments markets," said Bill Gajda, senior vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa Inc. "We are pleased to work with Orange on the Fab Force program, supporting the start-up community in Silicon Valley to accelerate the creation of new, innovative mobile commerce solutions."
This announcement coincides with the conclusion of the third season of Orange accelerator program. Investors and industry leaders will gather at Orange's office in San Francisco on September 24 to learn more about the nine participating startups. Those interested in attending may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Orange is one of the world's leading telecommunications operators with sales of 41 billion euros in 2013 and has 161,000 employees worldwide at 30 June 2014, including 101,000 employees in France. Present in 30 countries, the Group has a total customer base of more than 236 million customers at 30 June 2014, including 179 million mobile customers and 16 million fixed broadband customers worldwide. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. Orange is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).
For more information on the internet and on your mobile: www.orange.com, www.orange-business.com, livetv.orange.com, or to follow us on Twitter: @orange, @orangegrouppr.
Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trademarks of Orange Brand Services Limited.
SOURCE Orange Fab