About txo

When we speak with founders building around a cultural insight, they often complain about how sparse the ecosystem is to support them, with spotty access to capital and mentorship, a lack of systematic training, and a much less developed set of company building blocks.

Our goal with the TxO Initiative is to help emerging cultural geniuses by providing them access to a new system of funding, training, and ongoing mentorship that will help these entrepreneurs build durable, successful companies.

Mentor and Advisor Network

Explore our growing community of renowned mentors, advisers, and partners who generously lend their expertise and services to TxO founders.

Become a Mentor

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Corporate Partners

TxO partners work with TxO founders to customize services and support for their individual startup needs: from reaching customers in new or novel ways to launching a new distribution channel.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Grant Application
  • What is the TxO Grant Program?

    The TxO Grant Program is an extension of a16z’s Talent x Opportunity initiative, aimed at providing financial support to nonprofit organizations that are equipped to facilitate career growth and advancement for out-of-network individuals across the technology industry and startup ecosystem.

  • Who is eligible to apply?

    Eligibility to receive funding from the TxO Grant Program extends to U.S.-based registered 501(c)(3) organizations that are dedicated to bridging the skill gap for out-of-network individuals in the technology workforce or looking to enter the technology industry. These organizations might focus on internships, training, job placement, and broader career development within the technology industry and/or startup ecosystem. 

  • How can my organization apply for a grant and what is the selection process?

    To apply, please complete the application form provided above. If your organization is shortlisted, the primary contact will be notified about the subsequent steps, including a due diligence review conducted by the Tides Foundation, TxO’s partner who manages its donor advised fund. 

    Please note that not all applicants will receive funding, and a maximum of three will be chosen as recipients. 

    There is no guarantee of funding for any final grant recipient until they have successfully completed the due diligence process with Tides Foundation and have received formal approval of their grant from Tides.

  • How do you define “out-of-network” talent?

    In this context, “out-of-network” talent refers to individuals who lack established connections within the technology or business ecosystems. These could include connections to major corporations, elite educational institutions, influential industry groups, or well-connected alumni associations. Out-of-network individuals may reside in areas without the necessary infrastructure or exposure to major entrepreneurial or tech hubs. Our aim is to support organizations that provide access to the necessary resources, mentorship, and job opportunities that can help them compete on a level playing field with those who have more traditional support structures in place.

  • How much can I receive from the TxO grants?

    Grantees will receive up to $50,000 for the year of 2024.

  • How many grants will you give out in 2024?

    Up to three organizations will be selected to receive grants.

  • What are the reporting requirements for grant recipients?

    Grant recipients are required to submit periodic progress reports and a final report at the end of the grant period. These reports should detail the project’s progress, how funds were used, and assess the impact of the grant. Detailed guidelines will be provided to the grant recipients.

  • Can the grant be renewed?

    While each grant is awarded for 2024, recipients may be eligible to re-apply for future funding at the end of the program cycle based on performance, impact, and the continuation of their project’s needs.

  • How can recipients use the grant money?

    Grant funds should be used to directly support the project as outlined in the application. This can include development costs, salaries, marketing, and other expenses essential to the project’s success

  • When will I know if my organization is selected as a grant recipient?

    Please note that specific dates are subject to change and grant applicants will be notified if any changes to the timeline are made. Applicant responsiveness to any follow up questions and/or items needed to complete the due diligence process is greatly appreciated. 

    Monday, 6/17/24: Applications open

    Friday, 7/19/24 (11:59 pm PST): All application submissions are due

    Friday, 7/26/24: Grant recipient finalists are notified and move onto the due diligence process with the Tides Foundation

    Friday, 8/23/24: Due diligence process is completed and TxO Grantmaking Program commences

    Week of 8/26/24: Funding is released to grant recipients.

  • Who can I reach out to for additional questions about the TxO Grantmaking Program?

    Please direct all questions to txogrants@a16z.com.

TxO Application
  • How do I apply for the program?

    We are always looking to connect with talented founders and review applications on a rolling basis. If you want to apply, please submit your application here.

  • What is the selection criteria?

    We evaluate founders based on:

    Attractiveness of the product & market

    • Size of the addressable market (could this be a global phenomenon?)
    • Defensible business with compelling unit economics
    • Cultural moat (the business reimagines its category)

    Demonstrated progress

    • Having an existing U.S.-based corporation that is already up and running
    • Team (on board or in pipeline to hire)
    • Customers, revenue, and other financial metrics
    • Proven engagement: social media followers, etc.

    Founding team

    • Ambition
    • Ability to execute
    • Ability to improve
    • Cultural authenticity (founding team has cultural secrets that incumbents do not)
    • TxO’s ability to help
    • Product/founder fit
  • Are accepted applicants required to move to the Bay Area to receive funding or access the network?

    TxO University is a hybrid program and founders are not required to move to the Bay Area to receive funding or access the network. Note that we are only working with US-based founders at this time.

Program Details
  • How many programs do you run per year?

    We currently run two cohorts per year, in the Spring and Fall.

  • How is TxO affiliated with a16z?

    TxO is a standalone, separate fund from existing a16z funds. a16z provides resources to support TxO at its own expense and is responsible for the management and operational costs of TxO University. Otherwise, TxO has no relationship to other a16z funds or operations. All access to the firm’s expertise is on a voluntary basis only. In the future, it’s possible that TxO graduates may receive follow-on investments from a16z’s venture fund, but this is not guaranteed and is not an active goal of the Initiative.

  • What is the TxO Fund and how is it different from a traditional venture capital fund?

    The TxO Fund is a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) at Tides Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity committed to advancing shared prosperity and social justice, including through investments, programs and grant making that advance equity and economic empowerment. As the donor advisor to the TxO Fund, a16z makes recommendations regarding investments and disbursements from the TxO Fund. Tides Foundation exercises discretion and control with respect to all amounts in the TxO Fund and uses its independent judgment to determine whether a proposed investment or distribution is aligned with Tides’ mission, the purpose of the Fund, and otherwise complies with applicable law.

    This structure allows anyone (including non-accredited investors) to donate and join us in our mission, decentralizing who can and cannot participate in TxO. Contributions to the Fund will be treated as charitable contributions for tax purposes.

    a16z does not profit from any of the returns: all returns generated by these holdings go directly back into the fund, with the hope that we can continue to support many future generations of founders. Contributors to the fund will not receive any return of capital or appreciation on the fund’s investments.

  • What are the standard terms of a TxO Fund investment?

    The TxO Fund’s standard investment terms provide that in exchange for $175,000, an entrepreneur agrees to give Tides Foundation (as sponsor of the TxO Fund) a SAFE note that converts into a 7 percent ownership stake in the company. a16z does not profit from any of the returns: all returns generated by these holdings go directly back into the fund, with the hope that we can continue to support many future generations of founders.

  • What happens with Fund returns?

    Neither a16z nor TxO Fund donors will receive any Fund returns: All returns generated by the TxO Fund will go directly back into the Fund to support future generations of founders.

  • Who makes investment recommendations to the Tides Foundation?

    The a16z team sources and admits companies to the TxO University program. Companies accepted into TxO University are referred to Tides, which reviews each recommendation to determine whether to make an investment from the TxO Fund.

Mentorship & Partnership
  • What is the mentorship program and how can I get involved?

    TxO is continually building and maintaining a network of mentors, matching them with TxO founders at critical inflection points in the company’s growth. Mentors are seasoned entrepreneurs, operators, and investors with relevant experience building successful businesses and organizations. For each set of TxO founders, we will determine how we can be most helpful in growing their businesses and match them with mentors based on need and availability.

    As a mentor, you have the opportunity to “pay it forward” by sharing your time, expertise, and perspective with the next generation of talented entrepreneurs. If you would like to volunteer to be a mentor and help TxO founders grow their companies, please email us at txo@a16z.com.

  • How do you work with corporate partners or other external organizations?

    We engage with a variety of partners to support TxO founders, such as:

    • Corporate partners who can offer products or services or bespoke experiences to support TxO founders’ business models (e.g. financial planning, accounting, legal, marketing)
    • Early stage investors, accelerators, and incubators to identify potential TxO founders
    • Fortune 500 companies to identify mentors and GTM opportunities for TxO founders

    If you’re interested in partnering with TxO, please email us at txo@a16z.com.

  • How do I donate to the TxO Fund?

    We gratefully accept donations to the TxO Fund at Tides.org

Meet the CURRENT COHORt

Joel Horsford Rademploy
Cameron Farzaneh Outing
Andrew Florial Outing
Samerial Johns Pug.ai
Jeechieu Ta Outing
Vanessa Karel Greether
Mical Jeanlys-White Wealthmore
Luis Caballero Muse

Meet the CURRENT COHORt

The Talent x Opportunity initiative identifies and supports entrepreneurs who have the talent, drive, and ideas to build great businesses, but lack the network and resources to do so.

LEARN MORE

Find your x Factor

We are always looking for talented founders to join TxO

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