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Community Newsletter

The Origin of The Yard Ventures


The Yard Ventures was launched in 2016 with a simple premise: Harvard alums investing together can have a greater impact than investing individually.

Michael Madden AB'00, Founder and Managing Partner of The Yard, knew the deep loyalties of his fellow alums to their alma mater. He also knew that there was a rich tradition of Harvard alums creating interesting and profitable businesses, fostered by the school's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through conversations with other thoughtful alums, he developed and refined his idea for a fund backed by Harvard alums to invest in alumni-connected companies. Our community would be the source of both capital and deal, creating a system that would give back to investors, entrepreneurs, and the Harvard ecosystem. 

Since The Yard was created, we have grown our network of sister funds for alumni at other schools through our parent company, Launch Angels. As our fund community expands, we increasingly share deal sources and deals, plus resources and learnings. 

To learn more about Launch Angels, watch our brief video:


Doing Good & Doing Well

From the beginning, the The Yard fund has delivered on its mission to do well and do good for all the members of our community.

For investors, we offer easy access to a diverse venture portfolio where they back the companies of fellow alumni and co-invest alongside smart, professional VCs. We also provide them with other benefits: networking, learning, and giving back to the next generation of fellow alums.

We also offer investors the opportunity to participate in our Investor Pledge Program, which is a non-binding and good-intent pledge to donate some portion of their profits back to the College with an earmark for their program of choice. The amount, frequency, and program of the gift is entirely up to the investor and is optional and not legally binding.

For entrepreneurs, we provide money, connections, and resources. And for VCs, we reciprocate with deal referrals in their areas of interest.



Growing the Community

Our belief in the loyalty, commitment, and entrepreneurism of Harvard alums has been amply confirmed. The Yard has grown from mid 2016 to over $3.75M.

And we have grown in other ways: building our supporter base to over 5,000, recruiting hundreds of Ambassadors (deal scouts and consultants), and meeting hundreds of entrepreneurs. Our investor list has also grown, inspiring us to come up with more programs to meet increasing demand.

Our robust, diverse community and their cumulative contributions have thoroughly proven that we can indeed do better investing together than we can alone.