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Startup Stories: An Angel Investment Fund Leveraging EMBA Students’ Expertise

A conversation with Alex Hatzis ’24, who collaborated with his classmates to create a fund to invest in startups at Yale and elsewhere, in health tech, fintech, and sustainability.

Alex Hatzis ’24

In this series, Karen Guzman talks to student and alumni entrepreneurs about how they are making an impact with their startups.

Venture: The EMBA ’24 Fund
Founders: Alex Hatzis ’24 (pictured), Kojo Asenso ’24, and Keval Parikh ’24

Please describe your startup and its mission.

The EMBA ’24 Fund was formed by the members of the Yale EMBA 2024 class to support entrepreneurship and innovation within the Yale community. The fund invests in startups pursuing innovative solutions in the health tech, fintech, and sustainability sectors.

What was the moment when you had the idea for The EMBA ’24 Fund?

The idea came to us during the first EMBA residency. A few of us, including Jefferson Huang, had heard about other business school cohorts forming their own investment funds and thought we should do the same. The question was what kind of fund we should do. Jefferson, who started his Yale EMBA journey with our class before deferring to 2025, encouraged me to leverage my previous experience and form an angel investment fund.

I’ve had a passion for investing and working with founders since my first exposure in 2013 and have been investing and advising startups in various roles since. Coming to Yale SOM, my goal was to join a VC firm or start my own after my EMBA journey. Jefferson provided significant support in getting this off the ground, helping to craft the pitch to our class, and securing commitments from our fellow classmates.

What’s the purpose of the fund?

The fund serves two purposes: supporting young founders within the Yale community and help members of EMBA Class of 2024 learn more about startups and how to evaluate one for an investment. Two members of my class, Kojo Asenso and Keval Parikh, assist me in the management of the fund while the remaining 24 members play either a passive role or sit on our investment committee.

We invest in startups primarily in the pre-seed and seed stages in the health tech, fintech, and sustainability sectors. By design, these sectors mirror the focus areas of the MBA for Executives program, leveraging our class’s experience and expertise. Our check sizes range from $20,000 to $30,000.

Right now, we are in the due diligence phase with two investments: one in the health tech space and one in the sustainability space, and we’re in early discussions with six other opportunities. We have completed an initial close of the fund with 27 members of the EMBA Class of 2024 but have the ability to add new investors and increase our fund size without jeopardizing our investment strategy.

What was the most important resource Yale SOM contributed to the Fund?

For us, the most important resources are those that support entrepreneurship, like Startup Yale and Tsai CITY. We began this journey to provide financial and operational support to young entrepreneurs at Yale. The EMBA community is what makes this fund possible, as we are at a point in our careers where we have the ability to make angel investments and have had 10+ years’ experience developing our own networks and expertise that we can leverage to support the startups we invest in.