Yida Gao

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Yida Gao
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Born (1990-11-09) November 9, 1990 (age 33)
Alma materStanford University
OccupationVenture Capitalist

Yida Gao (born November 9, 1990) is a venture capitalist[1] known for co-founding Shima Capital, a global venture capital firm that focuses on web3 investment opportunities. Gao's work in the fields of blockchain and cryptocurrency has garnered significant attention in the industry. Gao is also an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he teaches the graduate-level course 15.492: Crypto Finance.[2][3] Gao took over from the previous instructor Gary Gensler, who moved on to his new role as Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.[4]

Early life and education

Gao was also a pole vaulter on the MIT men's varsity track and field team from 2009 to 2013.[5]

Gao attended Stanford University's Graduate School of Business (GSB) for a quarter before dropping out to pursue his career in venture capital.


After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from MIT, Gao started his career on Wall Street at Morgan Stanley as an investment banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions group. Gao developed a keen interest in venture capital while in New York, which led to his Associate position at New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and General Partner positions at Struck Capital[6] and Divergence Digital Currency.[7]

In 2021, Gao founded Shima Capital, a global venture capital firm that invests in promising startups in the technology sector, with a particular focus in blockchain and web3. Shima Capital has played a pivotal role in the success of numerous startups and has become a prominent name in the venture capital industry. Shima Capital's Fund I, which raised $200 million[8], was announced in August 2022. As of April 2023, the fund has over 150 investments across verticals such as infrastructure, web3 gaming, decentralized finance, and more.

Forbes 30 Under 30

Yida Gao was honored in the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 for 2020[9], under Venture Capital, when he was General Partner at Struck Capital, the venture capital firm he co-ran with his partner.

Personal life

Gao is an avid supporter of open-source projects and has contributed to various initiatives throughout his career.

In 2023, the EDU Foundation appointed Gao as a member of the EDU Council which guides the growth of Open Campus Protocol[10], a community-led education protocol that is enabling teachers and creators to monetize the content that they create through tokenization. Other council members include Yat Siu, the Founder of Animoca Brands, and Jay Varkey, the Executive Director and Board member of GEMS Education.

Gao also frequently participates in industry events as a speaker and panelist, sharing his knowledge and experience with others.


  1. "Yida Gao". Yida Gao. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  2. Capital, Shima. "Shima Capital's Founder Yida Gao Teaches Crypto Finance Course at MIT". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  3. "About Us | Finance | MIT Sloan". mitsloan.mit.edu. Retrieved 2023-05-22.
  4. "MIT Sloan's Gary Gensler to be nominated for chair of Securities and Exchange Commission". MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2021-01-19. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  5. "Yida Gao - 2012-13 - Men's Track and Field". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  6. "Team — Struck Capital". web.archive.org. 2019-12-01. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  7. "New advisors join the Havven team". Synthetix Blog. 2018-06-25. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  8. "Shima Capital Launches Crypto Fund as Web3's 'Missing Layer'". Blockworks. 2022-08-17. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  9. "Yida Gao, 29". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  10. "Open Campus (EDU)". Binance Research. 2023-04-21. Retrieved 2023-05-22.

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