Christopher Lyons is a Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz where he oversees the firm's Cultural Leadership Fund (CLF). CLF launched in 2018 with the mission to connect the world's greatest cultural leaders to the best new technology companies and engage, empower, and elevate Black builders and creators on their journey towards excellence in the technology industry.
The $18M CLF Fund I was Silicon Valley's first venture capital fund consisting of 100% African American Limited Partners. To date, CLF has invested in over 65 startups at the intersection of culture and innovation, and across multiple industries including consumer, enterprise, crypto, fintech, and healthcare/biotech. In turn, 100% of management fees and carry associated with the fund are donated to a select group of non-profit organizations that share CLF's mission.
Through his work with the Cultural Leadership Fund and Andreessen Horowitz, Lyons has also created Silicon Valley's first "influencer network", establishing numerous strategic partnerships between emerging technology companies and seasoned athletes, entertainers, musicians and corporate executives.
Lyons started his career in the music industry working for Grammy-Award-winning producer Jermaine Dupri as a sound engineer at his Atlanta studio. He then launched his first startup in the restaurant technology industry with mobile app, PictureMenu, a digital menu offering that also invited patrons to rate dishes. Lyons moved to Silicon Valley in 2012 to participate in NewME Accelerator, an accelerator for minority-led startups. In 2013, Lyons joined Andreessen Horowitz as Chief of Staff to co-founder Ben Horowitz.
He is a champion of access and advancement for underrepresented backgrounds. Fostering an inclusive mindset in the venture capital community is an important objective of Lyon's everyday work; he hopes to unite cultural and technology leaders to facilitate a better future for everyone.
Lyons is an advisor to The Black Economic Alliance and New Story Charity. He has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative In Business and Forbes Under 30 in Venture Capital.
Education, Personal, and Fellowship
Lyons is the founder of Italian wine brand Lyons Wine, Kauffman Fellow graduate (Class '19), and member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated (KT Spring '07). Lyons received a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Business from Sail University in 2010.
Chris performed his fellowship at Andreessen Horowitz under the mentorship of Ben Horowitz and Managing Partner Scott Kupor as a member of Class 19. He also serves as a mentor to Jessica Patton at Andreesen Horowitz (Class 25).