Classes Begin February 21

Congratulations to the applicants selected for the Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Crypto Startup School, which begins on Feb. 21 and runs through April 3. The program is aimed at encouraging more tech entrepreneurs to start crypto projects and helping crypto-curious builders navigate the idea maze. We're excited for our instructors, presenters and mentors to meet our stellar class of participants.

We'll be recording all the classes and lectures and posting them online at the conclusion of the course. Sign up below to get the videos sent to your inbox along with occasional email updates from the a16z Crypto team.

The full course agenda has just been announced! Read More »

Meet the instructors and mentors. Read More »

Introducing a16z Crypto Startup School

By Chris Dixon


Historically, new models of computing have tended to emerge every 10–15 years: mainframes in the 60s, PCs in the late 70s, the internet in the early 90s, and smartphones in the 2000s. Today, a number of exciting new computing paradigms are on the cusp of going mainstream. We are particularly excited about the promise of blockchain computers such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many more recent projects they’ve inspired.

Blockchains are new types of computers where the unique capability is trust between users, developers, and the platform itself. This trust emerges from the mathematical and game-theoretic properties of the system, without depending on the trustworthiness of individual network participants. This in turn enables the credible creation of powerful new computing primitives, such as digital money, smart contracts, and decentralized organizations. 

As with any new computing movement, blockchains have endured a variety of challenges, false starts, and misconceptions. Some of the challenges are technical (e.g., scalability), some are product related (e.g., user experience), but many are due to the lack of widespread understanding of the technology’s capabilities, and the best practices required to take it mainstream.

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, organization development, go-to-market strategy, and legal/regulatory best practices. 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.

This is why we are excited to announce a16z Crypto Startup School, a seven-week program that will kick off in late February 2020. The lectures will be in person in Menlo Park, Cali., and afterwards we’ll be putting videos of the event along with curriculum materials online. The program is completely free. There is no charge and we don’t take equity. The curriculum is meant to supplement—not replace—the many other excellent programs and resources that help founders learn about building tech startups. 

If you are as excited about crypto as we are, and have experience building software products, we invite you to apply. You will hear from leading technologists and investors in the field, and learn the fundamentals of building a crypto startup.

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Course Outline


Speaker: Jesse Walden, Program Manager, a16z Crypto Startup School

What is a Blockchain & What it's Good For
Speaker: Chris Dixon, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

Blockchain Primitives: Cryptography & Consensus
Speaker: Dan Boneh, Professor in Residence, Andreessen Horowitz & Stanford University




Applications: Today & 2025
Speaker: Balaji Srinivasan, Angel Investor & Entrepreneur, Nakamoto

Opportunities for Crypto in Gaming
Speaker: Josh Williams, Cofounder & CEO, Forte

Building a New Monetary System: From Protocol to Product
Speaker: Nitya Subramanian, Product Manager, Celo




Business Models & Value Capture
Speaker: Ali Yahya, Deal Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

Cryptoeconomics 101
Speaker: Sam Williams, Cofounder, Arweave




Building Applications: Chapters of Decentralization
Speaker: Robert Leshner, Founder, Compound

Secure Smart Contract Development
Speaker: Jutta Steiner, Founder & CEO, Parity Technologies

HR Best Practices: Managing a Distributed Workforce
Speaker: Tina Ferguson, Partner, Andreessen Horowitz




Building Crypto Companies
Speaker: Brian Armstrong, Cofounder & CEO, Coinbase
Moderator: Ben Horowitz, Cofounder & General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz




Developer Community Building
Speaker: Tom Preston-Werner, Cofounder, Chatterbug; Former Cofounder & CEO, Github

Regulatory Landscape
Speaker: Katie Haun, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

Token Securities Framework & Launching a Network
Speaker: Brian Brooks, Chief Legal Office, Coinbase

Fundraising & Deal Structure
Speaker: Jesse Walden, Program Manager, a16z Crypto Startup School



Project Showcase

Closing Reception

Instructors & Mentors

Top entrepreneurs, builders, investors, and experts from the crypto community will teach on a range of topics and guide participants through the process of developing a new crypto project.