a16z Team Launches Program to Connect Tech Experts with Venture Capital

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Andreessen Horowitz’s American Dynamism fund has unveiled a new fellowship program designed to introduce top engineers and technologists to venture capital investing, enhancing the firm’s access to less conventional sources of talent. 

Launched in 2023, the American Dynamism fund aims to support companies working in crucial hard tech sectors such as manufacturing, robotics, space, and defense. From a16z’s new $7.2 billion fund, approximately $600 million is allocated for American Dynamism.

The 12-month American Dynamism Engineering Fellows Program will immerse about three technologists in a comprehensive investment crash course. During the year, fellows will learn about venture investing, collaborate with partners to evaluate potential investments, and interact with the fund’s portfolio of industrial companies. Upon completion, fellows may join the firm, become part of its portfolio, or even launch their own companies, marking success in any scenario, according to fund partner David Ulevitch.

“We’ve always had numerous technologists at this firm, but in recent years, those aggressively seeking jobs at Andreessen Horowitz are typically more finance or banking professionals,” Ulevitch noted. “However, we prefer to have strong technologists who focus on product and envision the future.”

This type of individual might not initially consider investing or becoming a startup founder as viable paths. Ulevitch explained that the program offers a structured approach for technically inclined individuals to explore career transitions. 

“I’ve been contemplating how to attract technical people for a long time,” he said. “The applicants we receive aren’t always the ones we are most eager to find, so this initiative aims to broaden our search.”

“In investing, you often seek out those who appear the least obvious candidates,” he added. 

Candidates ideally should have some commercial work experience, such as a few years at a startup. However, exceptional candidates pursuing advanced degrees alongside notable commercial or personal projects could also be considered, Ulevitch mentioned. The selected fellows should have skills bridging hardware and software and should be enthusiastic about advancing the American Dynamism mission. 

The American Dynamism team plans to make the fellowship an annual event, with fellows based in either San Francisco or New York. Details about the program and a link to apply can be found here.

Aria Alamalhodaei
Aria Alamalhodaei
Aria Alamalhodaei covers the space and defense industries. Previously, she covered the public utilities and the power grid for California Energy Markets. You can also find her work at MIT’s Undark Magazine, The Verge, and Discover Magazine. She received an MA in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Aria is based in Austin, Texas.

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