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a16z START Program: Andreessen Horowitz Pilots Accelerator

UTC by Babafemi Adebajo · 2 min read
a16z START Program: Andreessen Horowitz Pilots Accelerator
Photo: FORTUNE Global Forum / Flickr

Additionally, the enterprise and startup founders will be able to leverage a16z market expertise.

After about a year of beta testing a startup program for early-stage entrepreneurs, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has announced its a16z START program for founders. The program will be backed by the $400 million seed raised last year.

Recall that last year, the venture capitalist reaffirmed the centrality of seed investing to its strategy. Noting that it was one of the first investors in Slack, Databricks, and Instagram, the firm said:

“We are dedicated to offering the best platform to bring companies from seed through IPO.”

Despite the seeming shift in focus of the company from investing in companies, the firm assures that it’s always been a core part of its strategy.

Perks of the a16z START Program

So far, the firm has welcomed 11 START entrepreneurs and received over 1000 applications for the Startup program. Sequoia also recently deployed an accelerator for early founders in the United States and Europe. Unlike Sequoia, the a16z START program is remote-based. Apart from inviting participation from all over the globe, the company goes ahead to state on its landing page for the program:

“If founding a technology company is a dream of yours—even if you don’t yet have a fully formed idea and haven’t yet quit your day job—we want to hear from you.”

Using the funds, the firm will invest in ideas and startups in the American Dynamism, Consumer, Enterprise, and Fintech industries. Successful applicants will receive a seed funding of $1 million for a stake in the company’s ownership. This is twice what the popular accelerator, Y Combinator offers to startups.

Additionally, the enterprise and startup founders will be able to leverage a16z market expertise. Also, the founders can use the a16z network as a way to fast-track the growth of their brands.

Funds, Funds, and More Funds

With venture capitalists raising more and more funds for tech companies, there couldn’t be a better time to invest in a tech idea than now.

Earlier in the year, the firm closed a $9 billion funding round for its different investment vehicles. It also raised about $2.2 billion in funding for crypto startups last year. It however remains to be seen how the group plans to dispense the funds.

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