For more than one yearAndreessen Horowitz has quietly tested her vision for accelerating business innovation in the past, and today, the company announced its first official program.
In exchange for ownership of an undisclosed percentage, the a16z START will give early stage founders up to $ 1 million in business capital. The checks were backed by a $ 400 million seed fund, which closed in August 2021.
The first-of-its-kind program will accept founders on a regular basis, and seeks to connect with collaborators to advise, future customers or investors, and of course, other entrepreneurs.
In a brief START application form, a16z names six categories – U.S. activity, consumer, business, fintech, gaming, or more. Investment requirements will be discussed with the final candidates, the form says.
This program extends Andreessen Horowitz’s approval stamp to the first step in an entrepreneur’s journey: the conceptual stage, or before a day-to-day stop part of life. The company invested in founders only before their companies existed, but this program seems to be a formal effort to bring people into business. It is important to note, however, that the obligations of diversity or focus are not mentioned.
The list of early participants in this program that a16z is really interested in international entrepreneurs, as Y Combinator has shown similar growth in its global presence over the past few years. Some of START’s first entrepreneurs include executives from Rappi, Colombia.
TechCrunch contacted Bryan Kim and Anne Lee Skates, the couple’s co-hosts, for comment, but it has not been heard from yet. Until then, let me go through my main question for the two men: Why does a16z need its own Y connector?
I know it is unfair to compare the two institutions outside the focus on empowering founders at the early stages of capital, networks, and advice to transform equity. In fact, over the years, the a16z has often led some of the most noisy circuits out of the Y Combinator, including Tandem, Queenly and Contra – originally out of the speed deal.