The physiological relevance of Matrigel as a cell-culture substrate and in angiogenesis assays is often called into question. Here, we describe an array-based method for the identification of synthetic hydrogels that promote the formation of robust in vitro vascular networks for the detection of putative vascular disruptors, and that support human embryonic stem cell expansion and pluripotency. We identified hydrogel substrates that promoted endothelial-network formation by primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells and by endothelial cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, and used the hydrogels with endothelial networks to identify angiogenesis inhibitors. The synthetic hydrogels show superior sensitivity and reproducibility over Matrigel when evaluating known inhibitors, as well as in a blinded screen of a subset of 38 chemicals, selected according to predicted vascular disruption potential, from the Toxicity ForeCaster library of the US Environmental Protection Agency. The identified synthetic hydrogels should be suitable alternatives to Matrigel for common cell-culture applications.