Become a Startup Scout
American University

Become a VC startup scout and immerse yourself in a vibrant startup culture. Gain first-hand experience in venture capital trends, and broaden your network by connecting with innovative industry leaders.


American University (AU) boasts a thriving startup and venture capital ecosystem, with numerous entrepreneurial initiatives and alumni success stories. The university hosts the StartUp AU program, which provides students and alumni with resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to help grow their business ideas. The program has led to the creation of several successful startups.

One of AU's notable success stories is that of Robert Hisaoka, a graduate of the Kogod School of Business. Hisaoka went on to become a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, funding and advising numerous successful businesses. He generously gives back to the AU community, establishing the Robert Hisaoka Fellows Program which supports students interested in entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, AU promotes entrepreneurship through its Center for Innovation, which offers programs such as Pitch Competition where students can compete for seed funding. The center also holds regular events featuring industry experts, providing students with valuable networking opportunities.

AU's active engagement with the startup culture extends beyond the campus. Through the Entrepreneurship Incubator, AU helps local businesses grow and thrive. This initiative, in conjunction with programs like DC I-Corps, a regional program that provides real-world, hands-on training on how to successfully incorporate innovations into successful products, bolsters the supportive environment for entrepreneurs.

An important specific aspect of AU's startup and VC ecosystem is its dedication to social entrepreneurship. The Changemaker-In-Residence program is a distinct initiative that aims to inspire and enable students to create innovative social ventures. This dedication to impact-based entrepreneurship sets AU apart in the venture capital and startup realm.

As a Scout, You Can...

Kickstart Your Venture Capital Career

Showing your skills in picking successful startups and advising founders is the surest way to build your reputation and secure a venture capital role.

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Help Your Ecosystem Thrive

Your community, region, or group thrives when its founders are given the chance to succeed before going back and reinvesting in their comunities.

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Earn a Share in Startups Without Investing in Them

Earn a share in startups you scout without the funds to invest directly just like a VC partner.

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Monetise Your Content & Community

As a podcaster, community manager, or event organiser you have a front-row seat to interesting startups which you can monetise by helping them fundraise.

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Create a Fairer Society

By identifying under-represented founders you're level the playing field for anyone to success based on merit independent from their social or ethnic background.

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Help Friends Get Funded

Help your friends who are neck-deep in their startups get the funding they need to succeed.

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Grow Your Personal Brand

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Join as a Scout at Your University

Available Programs

Startup Investor?

Discover the latest and greatest innovations coming out of American University! Invest in promising startups and invest in individuals who have made their mark in the world. Sign up today to receive dealflow opportunities and be part of the next big thing.

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Scout Programs in Other Global Startup Hubs


Do you interview founders & startups? Take your conversation insights to the next level by scouting your favourite podcast guests.

Scout founders you interview →

Co-Working Space Organiser

Do you help run a co-working space as an organiser or a greeter? Do you come across interesting entrepreneurs and startups?

Scout startups you sit next to→

Event Organiser

Do you organise an event, conference, or trade show? Help your founder attendees get discovered.

Scout startups at your event →


Are you active in the entrepreneurship club at your college? Doing an MBA? Or are you a PHD student at a technical university? Help your fellow students get funded.

Scout startups at your university →

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