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Philanthropy

I am humbled and grateful to be a co-winner of the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Prize. Thank you to the judges, and congratulations to Robert, Vint, Louis, and Tim.

I would first like to acknowledge my partner in creating Mosaic, Eric Bina. Eric co-wrote the original code for Mosaic with me — specifically all the difficult parts.

I would also like to acknowledge Larry Smarr, Joe Hardin, and all of my colleagues at NCSA and the University of Illinois at the time.

I would further like to acknowledge the distributed group of innovators and contributors who collectively built the web as we know it today during the era in which Mosaic was created.

I will donate the prize money to charitable programs that help spread the culture and foundational knowledge of engineering — such as scholarships and summer programs for engineering students.

It is amazing to think that the consumer Internet and the World Wide Web are still only 20 years old. So much important work has been done in the last 20 years — including bringing the Internet to more than 2 billion people around the world but also so much important work has yet to be done. I firmly believe our field’s best days are still ahead of us, and I can’t wait to see what the next generation of engineers will accomplish.

We are delighted to announce that the six General Partners of Andreessen Horowitz, with our families, are all committing to donate at least half of all income from our venture capital careers to philanthropic causes during our lifetimes.

The reason is simple.  We are fortunate to work with some of the best entrepreneurs and technologists in the world, and in the process help create great and valuable companies.  That activity, done well over decades, can generate a lot of money that can then be productively deployed philanthropically back into the society that makes it all possible.  We love participating in this process, and we hope that our philanthropy can, over time, help make the world a better place.

As an initial catalyst, we are making an immediate group donation of $1 million to a set of six vital Silicon Valley-related nonprofit organizations.  Those causes, and their respective sponsors, are:

Signed,
Ben, Jeff, John, Marc, Peter, and Scott