Become a Startup Scout
California Polytechnic University

Join the dynamic realm of VC Startup Scouting and grasp the opportunity to network with innovative professionals. Propel your personal growth and industry insights as you scout the next unicorn.


California Polytechnic University, also known as Cal Poly, has a dynamic and vibrant startup and venture capitalist ecosystem that has facilitated the creation and growth of numerous innovative businesses. Notably, the University's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) is a hub for entrepreneurial activities, providing resources and mentorship for students and alumni eager to launch their own ventures.

One of the most successful startups to emerge from Cal Poly is Mindbody, a business management software provider for the wellness industry. Founded by Cal Poly graduates Rick Stollmeyer and Bob Murphy in 2001, Mindbody went public in 2015 and was acquired by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners for $1.9 billion in 2019.

Another successful Cal Poly startup is iFixit, an online repair manual and parts company for consumer electronics. iFixit was founded by Cal Poly graduates Kyle Wiens and Luke Soules in 2003, and has since become a significant player in the push for right-to-repair legislation.

Fostering such innovation, Cal Poly's Venture Capital Fund is an essential tool for fueling successful startups. The fund provides seed money to startups founded by students and alumni, helping to launch new ventures and support their early growth.

The university also belongs to the prestigious University Venture Fund consortium, offering student-managed venture capital funds that invest in high-tech startups. This platform cultivates the strategic thinking, teamwork, and communication skills in its students and alumni while they gain real-world experience.

Notable Cal Poly alum also includes Douglas Leone, a partner at venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. He was named an enthusiastic supporter of the university, donating $150 million to support its initiatives.

Cal Poly's commitment to experiential learning extends to its startup ecosystem, with opportunities for students to work on real-world projects, engage with businesses in the community, and gain experience that prepares them for entrepreneurial success.

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.

Explore →

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.

Explore →

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.

Explore →

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.

Explore →

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.

Explore →

Help Friends Get Funded

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

Explore →

Grow Your Personal Brand

Explore →

Join as a Scout at Your University

Available Programs

Startup Investor?

Discover exclusive dealflow opportunities from innovative startups and individuals coming out of California Polytechnic University. Get a first look at promising startups and invest early for maximum returns.

Learn More →

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 →

All trademarks, logos and brand names are the property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this website are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, trademarks, and brands does not imply endorsement.