How did we get to FbStart from Facebook, and what does it eat with

    Good morning, Habr!

    On April 30, 2014, Facebook announced the FbStart program ( original in English ) for supporting startups. They promised up to $ 30,000 in services and software.

    In August of this year, we decided to try to apply. A desire arose in the situation “it was evening, there was nothing to do, but let's give in?”

    And we managed to get through the selection! We decided to share our experience, as well as talk about pitfalls.

    Spoiler: if you want to get a “freebie” subscription to useful software, then the program is perfect for you.

    0. Structure

    First I will talk about what FbStart is, then about the requirements, and at the end - about how we applied and passed the selection.

    1. What is FbStart?

    So what is FbStart?
    This is a program in which Facebook and partner services offer selected startups free services to use these services or free advertising.

    Program partners:

    As we can see, very useful services participate in the program.

    You can apply in two categories:
    1. BootStrap Track . Up to $ 8K of buns will be here:

    2. Accelerate Track . Up to $ 40K of buns will be here:

    Here I didn’t even fit into the screenshot the full list of buns (there was a continuation).
    The list can also be seen on the program page by clicking on “See all benefits” next to the category of interest (BootStrap Track or Accelerate Track).

    What is the difference between the BootStrap Track and Accelerate Track categories? BootStrap is for recently launched projects, while Accelerate Track is for products that have already shown growth and have prospects for continued growth in the future.

    2. Requirements

    The list of goodies looks good, now I want to know, and what requirements does Facebook put forward to those who receive bonuses?

    The basic requirements are very well described on the FbStart FAQ page .

    The main requirement (it’s a pitfall number 1): You must be the developer of an application for iOS or Android, which is in the application store for at least 30 days . Other platforms are not yet considered.

    A nice feature: integration with Facebook is optional, it may not exist at all (proof: we do not have integration with Facebook, and we have passed the selection).

    An application for participation in the program can be submitted at any time, Facebook does not put any deadlines. Although, of course, they mention that the number of seats is limited.
    The guys write that they undertake to consider the submitted application within 14 days .

    Tip : go to Accelerate Track and check the box "consider the project on Bootstrap Track, if it does not pass on Accelerate Track."
    This is how it looks on the application form:

    3. How we applied

    For us, the process of passing on FbStart was not smooth.
    Having decided to submit an application according to the “why not?” System, we went to the program website and began to fill out an application (for this, select “Apply Now” on the program page ).

    When we filled out the application and tried to send it, we received an error on the form: missing DUNS number. Yes, yes, as now this field was indicated as optional / optional, but in August the form was not accepted without it. Now the form has been fixed, and the DUNS field has really become optional. And we had to wait for the registration of a legal entity (DUNS can be obtained only with a legal entity), and only in September to resend the application.

    A week later we received a refusal:

    Allegedly, in the description of our application on Google Playincomplete or incorrect information was provided.
    At first we were at a loss: what could be incomprehensible in the description of our application?
    Then, we came to the conclusion that ( pitfall No. 2 ) the description of the application should be available in English. As a result, we made a translation of the application description into English and again submitted an application.

    And lo and behold! After another week, we received a letter of happiness from Facebook that we were accepted into the program!

    Summary: FbStart is a good way to get the right to use a set of good services for free.
    So if you have applications for Android or iOS, which is more than 30 days old, then try to apply - it will take 5 minutes to fill out the form, and you can get a lot of goodies.
    It is advisable not to forget to translate the description of the application into English (I mentioned this in the article as a pitfall No. 2).

    PS Have you noticed how Facebook changed the size of the buns that they give in the program? The initial announcement was $ 5K (Bootstrap) and $ 30K (Accelerate), then for Accelerate they raised to $ 40. Finally, in a letter of happiness that came to us, $ 8K was already indicated for Bootstrap Track.

    I wish you success in the development of your projects and I certainly recommend using such a freebie!

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