June 25, 2024
a16z’s American Dynamism team launches program to introduce technical minds to VC


Andreessen Horowitz’s American Dynamism fund has established a new fellowship program aimed at introducing top engineers and technologists to venture investing, a move that could help the firm identify less obvious sources for VC talent. 

The American Dynamism fund launched in 2023 with the broad aim of supporting companies building in the nation’s interest across hard tech sectors, including manufacturing, robotics, space and defense. From a16z’s new $7.2 billion fund, around $600 million is earmarked for American Dynamism.

The 12-month American Dynamism Engineering Fellows Program will take around three technologists on a investment crash course, with the fellows spending the year learning about venture investing, working alongside the partners to evaluate potential investments, and engaging with the fund’s portfolio of industrial companies. At the end of the program, fellows could potentially join the firm, join a portico, or even decide to start their own company, which is “a win in every scenario,” fund partner David Ulevitch said in a recent interview. 

“We’ve always had a lot of technologists in this firm, but over the last few years, the people that really aggressively try to get jobs at Andreessen Horowitz tend to be more of the finance, banking people,” he said. “But we really like to have strong technologists, and people that think about product and think about the future.”

But this type of person may not think at the outset that investing, or being a startup founder, is necessarily for them. Ulevitch said the program was established as a structured way for technically minded people to explore a career transition. 

“The issue of how do we attract technical people, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” he said. “The inbound is not always the people that we are really trying to find, and so this is a way of trying to open and cast a wider net.”

“In investing, you often want the people that seem the least obvious candidates,” he added. 

It’s fairly important that candidates have some level of commercial work experience, like spending a few years at a startup, but standouts who have been pursuing advanced degrees alongside stellar commercial or personal projects could also be suitable, Ulevitch said. The selected fellows should have expertise that intersects hardware and software, and they should be excited about scaling the American Dynamism mission more broadly. 

The American Dynamism team aims to run the fellowship on an annual basis, with the selected fellows based in either San Francisco or New York. Details about the program and a link to apply can be found here. 



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