Getting denied another round of NSF funding in the early days of Mosaic turned out to be a huge catalyst to start a company around the fledgling web browser, says Marc Andreessen. That company was Netscape.
Andreessen was still at the University of Illinois at the time, and he wanted the NSF money to help build what amounted to a customer support team. That wasn’t the NSF’s business.
Since Andreessen’s Mosaic days, calibrating the interplay between academia, government, and the private sector has gotten, if not easier, less exotic — with schools like UC Berkeley and Stanford setting the standard for providing students and faculty with a clear path forward. From picking the right classes, to picking the right institution from which to turn research into a company, Andreessen and Chris Dixon discuss the role academia plays in the startup world in this segment of the a16z Podcast.
This discussion was part of the firm’s 2015 Academic Roundtable. Watch the rest of the sessions here.