Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg just announced on stage at the TechCrunch 40 conference that he is creating a $10 million fund, to be called the FB Fund, to give $25,000 to $250,000 grants to software developers creating applications on Facebook. He is doing this with Peter Thiel of the Founders Fund and Jim Breyer of Accel Ventures. These will be no-strings-attached grants. Founders and Accel won't get a stake in the companies, but they will get first rights of refusal to invest later if any of the startups raise a more sizable venture round.
The money will be doled out by an advisory board to consist of Thiel, Breyer, Zuckerberg, Josh Koppelman, and Reid Hoffman. Says Zuckerberg:
Any developer can submit their app. If we think the project is good we will give a grant.
Zuckerberg clearly wants to create as many incentives as he can for developers to create cool apps on Facebook, as do Thiel and Breyer (who are investors in Facebook).