​Facebook launches its first innovation school in Brazil

The initiative is part of an "unprecedented" investment plan for the country and will support over 7000 entrepreneurs a year.

Facebook has launched an innovation center in Brazil to foster entrepreneurs with ideas aimed at social disruption.

A world first for the company, Estação Hack (Hack Station, in Portuguese) is based in São Paulo and opened its doors to the public yesterday (2) with the aim of supporting about 7400 people leading projects with social impact potential per year.

"We want to reinforce our commitment to Brazil and, therefore, we will make an unprecedented investment here," said Diego Dzodan, vice president of Facebook and Instagram for Latin America in a statement prior to the launch.

"We will help train young Brazilians for some of the professions of the future, within an environment that stimulates innovation," Dzodan added.

"The [Estação Hack space] is an investment in the future of Brazil. We want to offer Brazilians who want to innovate the tools to do this."

Over the coming months, Facebook will pick projects in the areas of employability, education, data security, civic engagement, financial services (for inclusion or financial education) and micro-entrepreneurship.

The selected startups will take part in a six-month residence program at the school, which is based inside co-working space WeWork. This will include access to Facebook infrastructure and tools as well as mentoring and business advice.

In addition, the center offers an agenda with free programming and entrepreneurship-related courses, as well as career planning workshops.

Submissions for the acceleration program can be made until October 29. The first group of participants will commence activities in January 2018.

Last week, Facebook announced the appointment of former Latin America head at analytics firm SAS Conrado Leister as its general manager for Brazil, eight months after the previous incumbent left the company citing personal reasons.