Last month, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) general partner Chris Dixon announced at TechCrunch Disrupt that the VC firm would run a free crypto startup school. And the company is officially launching its school today. Applications are now open and you have four weeks to apply.
With this initiative, a16z wants to democratize cryptocurrencies. Dixon and the a16z team has been involved in the cryptocurrency/blockchain space for seven years, and the firm now wants to share some of its learnings with entrepreneurs.
This way, it could give a boost to the crypto community, which could create investment opportunities for a16z down the road — a16z says clearly that participating in the crypto startup school doesn’t mean you’ll receive an investment from a16z. It also positions a16z as a thoughtful investor when it comes to crypto startup investments — not just for participants of the crypto startup school but for the crypto community at large.
The a16z Crypto Startup School will be a seven-week program that starts February 21, 2020. The program is free and a16z doesn’t take any equity.
Lectures will take place in Menlo Park, so you have to be based in Silicon Valley or willing to spend a couple of months there. And because a16z knows that it can be challenging to move to another country just to attend this program, the firm will also be recording all lectures. Anyone will be able to watch videos and download curriculum materials later.
Here’s a sneak peek of the course outline:
- What are Crypto Networks, and Why Do They Matter?
- Blockchain Computing Primitives: Cryptography and Consensus
- Overview of Application Development Tools
- Applications: Today and 2025
- Crypto Business Models
- UX, Product Development and Security
- Go-to-Market Strategy and Developer Relations
- Community Participation and Governance
- Regulatory Landscape and Considerations
- Guide to Fundraising
As you can, it’s a mix of lectures purely focused on cryptocurrencies as well as broader startup 101 lessons (fundraising, go-to-market strategy, etc.).
The program is looking for 20 to 25 teams, which should represent approximately 40 participants. You should have prior experience when it comes to building software products, but you don’t need to be a crytpo expert. Participants can expect 12 to 15 hours of lectures, workshops, mentorship and networking opportunities per week.
At the end of the course, participants will showcase a project idea or a prototype during a demo day.