Have an Idea for a New Company? START here.
The a16z START program fuels founders at the earliest stages of company-building.
Powered by the a16z seed fund in collaboration with partners investing across American Dynamism, Consumer*, Enterprise*, Fintech, and Games, a16z meets START entrepreneurs where they are in their journey—whether it’s honing their product vision and defining a target audience, building and launching their MVP, or scaling an already launched product. a16z START entrepreneurs are introduced to a network of peers, repeat founders, domain experts, potential customers and more to help refine their thesis and scale it into a world-changing business.
If founding a technology company is a dream of yours—even if you don’t yet have a fully formed idea and haven’t yet quit your day job—we want to hear from you.
Meet our STARTers
Since launching the START beta program in fall 2021, our team has received over 1,000 applications and welcomed 11 START entrepreneurs into the a16z portfolio. Meet some of the first START entrepreneurs:
Juan Pablo Ortega
Cofounder of Rappi, where he built and scaled the company’s payments and fraud capabilities while architecting the buildout of Rappi’s financial services arm.
Former Global Head of Ecommerce, Rappi, where he was responsible for creating Rappi’s one-click checkout, Paga con Rappi, and leading Rappi’s e-commerce business unit.
Angela Maria Acosta
Former Business Unit Head at Rappi, where she led the groceries team and its dark store expansion. Before that, she led business development for Rappi Pay in the region, launching the product and building the brand in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.
Former VP Product at Ethos, where he built and led the growth, product, design, and analytics teams. Prior to Ethos, Gokul worked on the monetization and growth product teams at Instagram and Snapchat.
Former Chief Strategy Officer at Ethos, where he built and led the finance, strategy & business operations, legal, and people teams. Prior to joining Ethos, David was an investor at a hedge fund and the Yale Endowment.
How is the a16z START program structured?
Through this program, a16z invests up to $1M for a percentage of ownership in your company. Founders will receive 1:1 support and be able to leverage a16z’s domain expertise and networks.
For example, a16z START entrepreneurs building in fintech could lean on us for introductions to our deep network of debt financiers and payments infrastructure providers, while those building in consumer can meet with community go-to-market pros.
Do I need to have my founding team finalized before applying?
No. In fact, introductions to potential cofounders is something we can help our START entrepreneurs with as needed.
Can I apply if I already have an MVP or product in-market?
Yes. Several of our START teams had a product in-market when we started working together.
Can I apply if I’ve already raised funding?
Can I raise funding alongside the a16z START investment?
Yes, and we can help introduce you to our network of relevant advisors, angels, customers, and funds that can both invest and help you jumpstart your business.
What is the application deadline?
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
Do I need to be in the San Francisco area to participate?
No. The program is remote-first and we welcome founders from across the globe to apply.
How many founders are accepted into the program?
We don’t have a number to share. We’re looking to back the boldest entrepreneurs building the future through technology. Since piloting the program in fall 2021, we’ve been excited by the interest and traction to date.
For additional other questions, please apply through the form and we’ll be in touch.