a16z to invest up in $75 million to game and tech startups

SPEEDRUN, a specialized accelerator program for early-stage gaming startups, has announced SPEEDRUN 2024, building on its past success. The program is set to invest up to $75 million in promising pre-seed startups at the intersection of gaming and technology.

SPEEDRUN 2024 will provide selected startups with $500,000 in investment, access to industry veterans for coaching, community-building opportunities within the game industry, and tailored content for early-stage companies. The program will culminate with a Demo Day, offering these startups a platform to connect with potential investors. Applications for the first cohort of SPEEDRUN 2024 are now open until September 30th.

The initiative emerged from recognizing that the game industry can be challenging to enter. Established gaming companies often stifle innovation, and the startup ecosystem for entertainment ventures is still in its infancy. SPEEDRUN aimed to address these issues by creating a pre-seed accelerator program that bridges the gap between stage zero and early-stage startups, committing to empowering founders in shaping the game industry’s future.

SPEEDRUN’s Demo Day showcased a diverse group of companies, spanning game development studios (57%), platform developers (32%), and tool creators (36%). These startups hailed from the game industry and explored fields such as EdTech, BioHealth, Mental Health, Web3, and AI.

SPEEDRUN alums include founders from esteemed companies like Zynga, Sega, Bungie, Nintendo, Rovio, Blizzard Games, Epic Games, and Supercell, along with serial entrepreneurs from organizations like Y Combinator, Human Interest, Glu, Knock Knock, and JCSoft. Founders from influential technology infrastructure companies such as Worldcoin, Deepmind, Unity, Discord, AppNexus, Roblox, Apple, and Xbox were also part of the program.

SPEEDRUN is more than just a showcase during Demo Day; it aims to reshape how we view games, technology, and the founders behind them. As games become increasingly dominant in entertainment, social media, and culture, SPEEDRUN believes that innovation and entrepreneurship should lead the way.

SPEEDRUN sees startups as catalysts for innovation, shortening development timelines and unlocking latent talent in the game industry and beyond. Through a blend of education, mentorship, community building, and investment, SPEEDRUN aims to empower studios, platform developers, and tool creators to pioneer the future of the game industry and interactive media on a global scale.

Any startups interested, should also consider the opportunity to maximize their chances of being selected by listening to the podcast of Michail Katkoff, the Founder of Deconstructor of Fun with Joshua Lu and Andrew Lee.

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