Each year Carnegie Mellon University students, professors, and staff launch 20 – 30 new startups. Many of these spin-offs are based on industry-leading research developed in labs across campus. Dozens more startups are also founded by alumni around the globe. Carnegie Mellon Founders are behind many of the name brand products and services such as Anki, Birchbox, Duolingo, LendingHome, Nest, ModCloth (acquired by Jet), Nowait (acquired by Yelp), and many more.
The mission of 99 Tartans is to identify the highest potential early-stage CMU affiliated companies and help them succeed through access to capital and networks.
The 99 Tartans Model
99 Tartans was started in May of 2017. We are organized and run by volunteer CMU alumni and students. We operate using a model similar to an Angel List Syndicate. Investment minimums are only $5K per deal to encourage alumni to make multiple small investments each year. 99 Tartans is not a Angel Group. We charge no membership fee or management fee. Similar to Angel List syndicates, there is a 20% carry on returns. The carry is split equally between the 99 Tartans Deal Lead and 99 Tartans, LLC to cover operating expenses.
We typically invest $100K – $150K into convertible note or SAFE seed rounds of $500K - $1M. We seek follow-on rights on Series A conversations terms. All investments are opt-in deal by deal by members. Members are asked to make at least one investment per year.