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Getting denied another round of NSF funding in the early days of Mosaic turned out to be a huge catalyst to start a company around the fledgling web browser, says Marc Andreessen. That company was Netscape.
Andreessen was still at the University of Illinois at the time, and he wanted the NSF money to help build what amounted to a customer support team. That wasn’t the NSF’s business.
Since Andreessen’s Mosaic days, calibrating the interplay between academia, government, and the private sector has gotten, if not easier, less exotic — with schools like UC Berkeley and Stanford setting the standard for providing students and faculty with a clear path forward. MORE