Today we’re pleased to announce that Chris Dixon, a venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz, will be joining us at Disrupt NY. This is great news, and let me tell you why.
Usually venture capitalists are pretty boring. They generally wear khakis while on the hunt for whatever the next Uber-for-X or Airbnb-for-Y will be. They know what all the hot new messaging apps are, and have tried every possible consumer-focused enterprise productivity app that’s hoping to be acquired by Microsoft.
Every now and then they get hyped up talking about burn rates or the coming startup zombie apocalypse.
Dixon isn’t really like that. Sure he gets paid more than you or me, and he can hold his own in whatever the popular VC debate du jour is. But when it comes to investing, his portfolio is decidedly (and refreshingly) unlike anyone else’s.
See, Dixon’s not just looking to back one weird thing in an effort to balance out a portfolio of otherwise boring investments — he apparently wants to back all the weird things.
The last time we had Dixon on stage at Disrupt for a fireside chat, he had recently joined Andreessen Horowitz and was just getting settled in as one of the firm’s general partners. But since then, he’s led the firm’s investments in a number of unconventional startups and new technology platforms. They include stuff like VR (via Oculus), 3D printing (Shapeways), drones (Airware), bitcoin (Coinbase) and even food alternatives (Soylent).
Basically, he’s the guy at a16z putting money into all sorts of startups that doesn’t fall into the same boring old categories of consumer, mobile or enterprise technology. And that’s pretty cool.
That would probably be enough reason to have Dixon on stage, but bringing him back to Disrupt NY is kind of like a homecoming. Prior to life in Silicon Valley, Dixon spent many years as one of the pillars of the New York tech ecosystem and has been a staple on the judges panel of many a Startup Battlefields.
As an entrepreneur he founded web security startup SiteAdvisor and sold it to McAfee, as well as recommendation service Hunch, which was acquired by eBay. Over the years, he also became an active angel investor in New York before moving on to become a big-time VC.
So come see Chris Dixon tell us about what he thinks of New York tech now. Or why betting on all the stuff that doesn’t fit a VC’s usual investment thesis is, in itself, a viable investment thesis.
Either way, it’s sure to be a fun conversation.
Chris Dixon will join other notable Disrupt NY speakers, including Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and Vine’s Jason Mante.
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