A16z Games allocates $75 million to game startup accelerator

A16z Games has announced the launch of its Speedrun accelerator program, committing $75 million to invest in pre-seed startups operating at the intersection of games and technology.

The initial Speedrun program started with A16z Games selecting its first class of 32 startups during the Game Developers Conference in March. Following an extensive application process, which attracted over 1,600 submissions, A16z conducted 200 interviews and ultimately chose 32 companies for investment. Each selected startup received funding from A16z, and by May, they participated in an intensive four-week accelerator program. Notably, around 80% of these startups secured follow-on funding from other investors after a demo day in June.

The upcoming Speedrun class will continue offering investment opportunities alongside seasoned industry professionals’ coaching, community development activities, and tailored content for early-stage startups. The program will run for ten weeks, starting in January and concluding on March 29, coinciding with the Game Developers Conference. It will culminate in a demo day where industry investors can connect with promising entrepreneurs in the Games x Tech space.

Applications for Speedrun 2024 are open until September 30, with interviews scheduled to take place by October 15. Each startup accepted into the program will receive a $500,000 investment, and the accelerator will be based in the San Francisco Bay Area for the duration of the program, requiring in-person participation. While focusing on pre-seed companies, A16z Games remains open to investing in game companies at all stages of growth.

The Speedrun program offers diverse activities, including in-person kickoffs, live speakers and panels, dinners, mixers, and an exclusive demo day. Previous Speedrun classes have featured founders from various backgrounds, including game development studios, platform developers, and tool creators. Notable alumni hail from companies such as Zynga, Sega, Bungie, Nintendo, Rovio, and Epic Games.

The demo day for the Speedrun class attracted 260 guests from the gaming and tech investment sectors, including prominent figures like the CEO of Krafton and a cofounder of Twitch. Following the event, A16z Games hosted a large-scale industry party, drawing over 700 VIP guests and featuring performances by renowned artists Zedd and Noah J.

A16z Games views Speedrun as more than just a showcase opportunity; it aims to reshape perceptions of games, technology, and the diverse founders behind them. Speedrun seeks to propel talented startups to redefine the future of the games industry and media content through a comprehensive blend of education, mentorship, community building, and investment.

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