Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is one of the most influential players in the Web3 ecosystem, funding entrepreneurs in space amid the “crypto winter”. Founded and led by general partner Chris Dixon, the venture firm’s crypto arm raised a massive $4.5 billion in May for its fourth dedicated sector fund to further support early-stage founders, just when the crypto downturn started to gain traction.
Now doubling down on its program for crypto founders, Dixon, an early Coinbase backer who has been investing in a16z since 2012, announced Tuesday in an interview with TechCrunch’s Lucas Matney on the stage at Disrupt 2022 in San Francisco.
On stage, Dixon announced a16z’s plans to expand its Crypto Startup School educational initiative with a new accelerator program for entrepreneurs.
The first Accelerator program will be held in person in Los Angeles in March, Dixon said, adding that he’s noticed a particular excitement in the city around the creator economy and its potential intersection with crypto. According to the website, participants in the 12-week program will each receive start-up funding of US$500,000 and access to mentors and consultants, as well as the opportunity to participate in a demo day at the end of the course.
Applications for the accelerator are now open and according to a spokesman for a16z, around 30 founders will take part in the first cohort.
“This will differ from the last one in that we will also be providing capital and raising equity, similar to an accelerator and startup school together,” Dixon said of the new program, introducing it to the current version of Crypto Startup School. opposite to. ”
The Crypto Startup School was first launched in 2020 as a seven-week course to teach people how to start a crypto business. The in-person cohort included 40 founders, including those behind companies like Phantom and Notional Finance, and collectively raised over $300 million in venture capital, according to a16z.
A16z Crypto also released video segments of his lectures to the public, which were viewed by more than a million people. Instructors on the first program included Dixon, Stanford computer science professor Dan Boneh, Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong, and other well-known industry leaders.
Dixon noted that the new program will remain crypto-centric and that a16z is “not trying to build some sort of new startup accelerator,” saying the new offering is instead intended as an educational program with funding tied to the “very specific.” be ” sector.
When asked what differentiates the company’s offering from accelerators like Y Combinator, Dixon said there is no “grand master plan” for this launch and that it was created in response to feedback from founders.
“We literally meet entrepreneurs all the time who say, ‘Hey, I wish this conversation we had was available online’ … so let’s just listen [to them]’ Dixon said.