a16z Games has introduced its Speedrun 2024 Accelerator Program, pledging to invest up to $75 million in pre-seed startups that show the most potential. This program focuses on the intersection of gaming and technology and follows last year’s successful Speedrun. The eight-week training course aims to support the top gaming founders as they embark on their development journeys.
High Competition and Successful Investments
The first Speedrun event received over 1,600 applications, conducted 200 interviews, and ultimately selected 32 companies. These 32 companies received a combined investment of $20 million through the Speedrun program. Notably, over 80% of them received additional financial support after the Speedrun Demo Day in June, attended by industry giants including Krafton, Twitch, Unity, Activision, and Tencent. Mentors from King, Riot Games, Take Two, and Supercell also participated in the program.
The majority of the participating companies were game development studios, comprising 57% of the batch. Additionally, tool creators (36%) and platform developers (32%) were also well-represented, covering a range of fields from gaming to biohealth to Web3.
Expansion of Funding and Program Details
The announcement of Speedrun 2024 brings a significant expansion in funding, with a potential investment pool of up to $75 million. The event will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area and will include in-person kickoff sessions, live speakers, panels, mixers, and an invite-only Demo Day.
Applications for the program are now open and will be accepted until September 30. Final interviews are expected to be conducted on October 15. The Speedrun event itself will commence on January 22, 2024, and conclude at the GDC in March.
“a16z Games is committed to building the future of the games industry with world-class founders, supporting startups from Phase Zero through Launch, and beyond,” said a16z in its blog post.
Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The Speedrun program aims to bring about a fundamental shift in how we perceive games, technology, and the type of founders who create them. As games rapidly become major drivers of entertainment, social media hubs, and cultural landmarks, a16z believes that innovation and entrepreneurship should be at the forefront of this wave.
In the previous year, a16z invested $4.8 million in the remote-first studio Battlebound and subsequently launched a $600 million games venture capital fund.
To learn more about Speedrun 2024 and apply for a place in the program, visit their website.
Note: Tencent, Supercell, and other key players from the previous Speedrun event were also featured in our Top 50 Mobile Game Makers 2022 list. Stay tuned for the upcoming 2023 list.