The Y Startup Index Fund

Yale alums supporting Y founders

Investing to grow the Yale related startup community outside Yale University.Every year students, faculty, and graduates of Yale University found new high-growth companies - we’ll call them Y Founders. There are also many Yale alumni who are active investors as angels or venture capitalists - we’ll call them Y Investors. There is an information problem in that the seed investing market is opaque, with information flowing inefficiently. This results in a situation where it is hard for Y Founders to find Y Investors,, and Y investors definitely do not see every Y Founder deal. Further, while the Yale community has great loose networks of successful entrepreneurs and investors, if compared to other startup networks, there is a lot more friction for founders to access the resources, advice, and mentorship that could be brought to bear.If you had simply invested in every Yale alumni founded company in the last 20 years you would have been in Pinterest, Arvinas, Thumbtack, DataMinr, Twitch, SocialCam, Pico, Rent The Runway, Bonobos, Higher One, Olo, ClassPass, 23 and Me, MongoDB, GILT, General Assembly, Common, One Medical, Honor, Joby Aviation, Redfin, Fitbit, Security Scorecard, Monzo, Octane Lending, Convoy, Alibaba, Upstart and many more.

Connections and Money

The Y Startup Index was created by Yale alumni to strengthen the Yale startup community and is not affiliated with Yale University. We provide a better way for Y Investors to gain access to Y founder deals, and a better way for entrepreneurs to access a broader group of Yale alumni angels. The key idea is to reduce friction for entrepreneurs to get a large number of Yale alumni angels on their cap table for advice and support and for those angels to ensure that they see a broader selection of Y founder deals and have a placeholder investment with information exchange so that they can choose to upsize their investment or increase involvement as they see fit.Each angel invests $25k per year and becomes a member of the community supporting Y Founders.The index provides low-diligence $25,000 investment to any qualified Y startups. These are startups where the founder is verified as a Yale affiliated individual.

How It Works

-The individual is a founder (and major shareholder)
-The founder is a Yale affiliate (previously enrolled or graduated from undergraduate, graduate, or professional schools) or Yale faculty
-The founder or the company’s CEO states an intention to work fulltime on the venture and seek to grow it
-The company is doing a financing and has raised or will raise with this financing at least $450,000 USD with at least half from non-family or self funding. The funding should provide 6+ months of runway
When a company has passed the low-level diligence, an email will be sent to the Y Startup Community Investor List including the company pitch deck and bullets of deal terms alongside the contact information for Y Founder at the company so that members may choose to reach out if they would like to make a larger investment into the round.When a company becomes a Y Index portfolio company, they gain access to the Yale Community Investors List (moderated email list that includes all members in the community index fund) and Yale Community Entrepreneurs List (moderated email list that includes all Yale founders who have received investment).As a Y founder, you get access to seasoned and high-profile investors who are already invested in your success.


Created by
-Sam Hendel
-Miles Lasater
-Sean Glass
Please note, while investors will benefit from their investments, the organizers are donating their time to continue to build the Yale startup community. All carry from the fund will be donated to nonprofits supporting the continued growth of the Yale startup community.


Founders: If you are a startup that meets our investment criteria and would like to become a part of the community through an investment from the index, please email us at to make an investment in the fund, please sign up on AngelList.Info: If you are interested in learning more, please let us know.

While we plan to donate profits after expenses to the Yale entrepreneurship community, we are not affiliated with Yale University. Investments are not endorsed by the university and startup companies may have no affiliation with the university either.