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Better known as “a16z”, the Silicon Valley company was founded in 2009 by billionaire Marc Andreessen and tech investor Ben Horowitz. Before founding their eponymous firm, Horowitz and Andreessen worked together at web browser firm Netscape, which AOL bought in 1998 for $4.2 billion in stock. Through a16z, the duo has successfully betted on Instagram, Oculus VR and GitHub.
The tech investors are now ready to share their knowledge and encourage the world to join the software world, through their fund’s latest educational initiative. The a16z crypto school is a seven-week program that will commence in February 2020 and will run until April of the same year. From cryptoeconomics to application development tools, the curriculum covers a variety of topics and is designed to encourage talented technologists to get started in crypto.
“We’ve been involved in crypto/blockchains for almost seven years now, and as a team, have had the opportunity to learn from world-class entrepreneurs and technologists on topics like product and technology design. We think that sharing the most important lessons we’ve learned could accelerate the development of existing projects, and inspire more talented people to join the space,” says general partner Chris Dixon.
Interested individuals have to apply to participate and must have experience building software products. Selected applicants will hear from leading technologists and investors in the field, and learn the fundamentals of building a crypto startup. The lectures will be held at Menlo Park, California and students must be able to attend the weekly school in-person. Teaching will be conducted through lectures, workshops, mentor office hours, networking and assessed via a final project presentation. All sessions of the course will be recorded and subsequently posted online for those unable to attend the school in person at no additional charge.
The VC also actively runs a podcast discussing the ins and outs of software, as well as a blog, that serves to breakdown heavy concepts like cryptography for amateurs. Currently, a16z has $10 billion in assets under management across multiple funds, including the $650 million Bio funds and the $350 million Crypto fund.