Facebook has announced the first cohort of tech startups to join its LDN_LAB, the tech giant’s first in-house startup incubator, which officially opened this week.

Led by an advisory panel featuring Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook EMEA VP and in partnership with Bethnal Green Ventures, the incubator has been designed in a bid to support startups building communities through technology.

Housed in Facebook’s new London office – which is set to house over 2,000 people by the end of this year – LDN_LAB will offer three month programmes throughout the year, seeking to help 20 different companies grow.  

As part of the programme, each participant will receive mentoring from senior Facebook executives and bespoke tuition on a varied range of topics including software, product development, data science and marketing.

Steve Hatch, Facebook’s vice president in Northern Europe, said: “Facebook itself emerged from a vibrant startup ecosystem, which enabled us to move fast and innovate.

“With LDN_LAB, we want to help pave the way for the next generation of startup success stories in London and across the UK, who will ultimately grow the economy and create jobs.

“This programme is all about giving our time, expertise, and knowledge – something that developers and entrepreneurs tell us is hugely valuable at this stage in their business or product development.”

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan spoke about the incubator’s official opening :“Facebook’s LDN_LAB will be a fantastic addition to London’s world-class tech ecosystem – particularly with its focus on tech for community benefit. The capital is alive with exciting tech startups and entrepreneurs and this initiative will help them to transform their ideas into the next big thing.”

The seven technology startups joining Facebook’s inaugural LDN_LAB incubator are:

  • Teacherly (Derby): A platform for teachers to create and share lesson plans. The startup claims to offer a faster, easier and smarter way for teachers to plan and deliver teaching and seeks to help reduce the burden of planning by building a community of teachers who can share materials and lesson plans.
  • OLIO (London and Bristol). This startup connects neighbours with each other and with local shops so surplus food can be shared, and not thrown away.
  • GoodGym (London) A non-profit digital platform that connects runners with volunteering tasks in their communities.
  • Sharecare (fLondon) Connects and mobilises a community of local volunteers to provide elderly people with help for everyday tasks.
  • Mush (London) An app for new mums in the UK. The startup connects mums through a local social network.
  • Rabble (London) Getting more people into fitness by disguising exercise as games.
  • Tabl (London) An independent food community and marketplace, allowing people to buy directly from craft producers, attend inspiring food events and experiences and find unique recipes created by the community.