Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is launching a free, seven-week crypto startup school, scheduled to kick off in February 2020.
The firm — well-known for its investments in crypto industry names such as Coinbase and Ripple — publicly announced the program on Nov. 8.
Free materials online for the general public
According to the announcement, the program — which will entail lectures held in person in Menlo Park, California — will cover a broad curriculum for those seeking to found blockchain startups. In parallel, videos and curriculum materials will be freely accessible online.
A16z has stressed it will not take any equity from participants in the educational initiative but rather aims to accelerate the development of existing blockchain-focused projects as well as to encourage more talent to join the sector.
A selection of experienced entrepreneurs and technologists will coach students in areas such as product and technology design, organization development, go-to-market strategy and legal/regulatory best practices.
A16z outlines that, as is common to any new computing environment or technology:
“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.”
Institutional education projects
As reported earlier this month, France is about to introduce an educational module to its high school curriculum that covers Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies.
In February of this year, Ripple unveiled the latest new partners in its global University Blockchain Research Initiative, including universities from the United States, China, Singapore and Brazil.
As distinct from a16z’s industry and venture capital-sector initiative, many higher education institutions globally have launched their own internal blockchain laboratories, research centers and degree programs and certificates — including MIT in the U.S. and the IT University of Copenhagen.
Initiatives that count corporate funding from the crypto sphere include Stanford’s Blockchain Research Center — whose sponsors include the Ethereum Foundation and Polychain Capital.