The startups that make the cut will explore building shopping solutions to drive commerce inside Facebook’s family of apps. “Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from an entrepreneur to the largest brand to use our apps to connect with customers,” wrote Michael Huang, Head of Startup Programs at Facebook, in a blog post.
Facebook launched two 12-week accelerator programs for startups on Monday as the social juggernaut looks for new ideas and solutions to expand its commerce and connectivity efforts.
Startups interested in either of the accelerator programs can submit their application. “At Facebook, we strongly believe that by connecting, training, and growing entrepreneurs and startups through our programs, we can empower people to solve relevant, meaningful problems.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has forced Facebook to conduct the accelerator programs virtually this year, has “exposed the hard truth of the digital divide and the critical need for reliable, affordable internet connectivity,” wrote Huang.
The company said a recent global survey it conducted in partnership with the OECD and World Bank found that at least a third of small to medium-sized businesses on Facebook reported 25% or more of their sales being made digitally in the past month. “With so many sales being made online, the importance of intuitive and positive e-commerce experiences for customers has become even greater,” the company said in a statement.
Participating startups will gain access to cost-free training, 1:1 mentorship, and access to Facebook products, its expertise and access to a global network of startup peers and successful founders.