a16z Announces its SPEEDRUN 2024 Games x Tech Accelerator

Uncover how a16z's SPEEDRUN 2024 is set to support the best gaming founders at the earliest stages.

Mostafa Salem author picture}

Mostafa Salem

Head of Gaming Research

a16z speedrun 2024.jpg

Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), has made waves in the gaming and tech industry with their SPEEDRUN 2024 initiative, which has committed to invest up to $75 million in pre-seed startups. Following the successful first iteration of SPEEDRUN, which saw investment in 32 companies, the program aims to further its mission to back the best gaming founders in the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey.

The genesis of SPEEDRUN sprung from a need to encourage innovation within the gaming industry, which has often been stifled by the dominance of larger corporations. Recognizing the potential of first-time founders, as evidenced by success stories like Minecraft, Riot Games, and Unity, a16z crafted SPEEDRUN as an accelerator to empower emerging creators and facilitate their transition from ideation to reality.

SPEEDRUN’s first cohort of startups exhibited impressive diversity in terms of technology, ideas, and the support they required. The selected 32 companies represented various sectors of the gaming industry, including game development studios, platform developers, and tool creators. Founders of these startups hailed from an array of backgrounds, some being veterans of renowned gaming and tech companies like Zynga, Nintendo, Blizzard Games, Unity, and others embarking on their entrepreneurial journey from fields as varied as EdTech, BioHealth, Mental Health, Web3, and AI.

Although a significant portion of the first SPEEDRUN class operated out of San Francisco, the program saw robust representation from various US and international hubs. This global footprint reflects SPEEDRUN’s vision to enhance its impact on the worldwide games business and player community.

Networking and learning were key components of the SPEEDRUN initiative. The program facilitated talks from experienced founders on a range of topics relevant to startups, culminating in the highly successful Demo Day. The event was attended by over 260 individuals from gaming and tech investment circles, thus showcasing the potential value that SPEEDRUN could bring to the gaming ecosystem.

Beyond funding and networking, the essence of SPEEDRUN lies in its vision to change the perspective of the gaming and tech industries. With games evolving as major drivers of entertainment and culture, the initiative focuses on fostering innovation, reducing development timelines, and unlocking the potential of talent within and outside the traditional gaming industry.

As applications open for SPEEDRUN 2024, it promises not only to be a launchpad for startups but also a catalyst for the broader gaming and tech industries. With its unique blend of investment, mentorship, and community, SPEEDRUN is geared up to shape the future of gaming and interactive media.

Share this article and tag us on any of our socials to let us know.

Website | Discord | Twitter | Twitch | YouTube


September 6th 2023


August 2nd 2023