Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, is set to visit Israel in August to launch Playground, the new space by the social media giant which will offer courses for startups and businesses, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Israeli daily newspaper “Yediot Ahronot” on Monday.
Playground will be an open space for startups, developers, communities using the platform, artists, and businesses. The open space, which will be housed within Facebook’s Rothschild Boulevard location, will also host events and training programs.
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The space will be debut at the same time as a startup program set up by Facebook to help companies with growing consumer tech products. The program is comprised of four tracks: product management, marketing, management, and technology development. Thirteen startups will be chosen to participate in the four tracks, with each track taking about four months.
The 13 selected startups will be mentored and followed by Facebook employees from the company’s R&D center in Tel Aviv, by employees abroad, and by key players in the tech sector and VC firms. Facebook has selected companies Modli, the largest online modest fashion marketplace, EquityBee, a company that helps startups get money to exercise stock options, Lumen, the device that measures metabolism through one’s breath, Elemento, a WordPress page builder, Shookit, a marketplace for fresh produce, and Venn, the company that creates a neighborhood-wide network through homes and shared spaces for its first cohort.
Sandberg moved from Google to Facebook in 2008. She is a former chief of staff for then-US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and has written two bestselling books.
Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been involved in several scandals dealing with fake news, election interference, and data privacy.