Become a Startup Scout
California Institute of Technology

Join the VC startup scout initiative and get front row seats to the latest in tech innovations. Apply your Caltech-honed analytical skills and help shape the future of the startup landscape.


California Institute of Technology, often referred to as Caltech, is a prominent entity in the global startup and VC ecosystem. Its rich history of entrepreneurship and innovation, combined with strong ties to the tech industry, has resulted in a fertile environment for startup activity.

One of the key initiatives, Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum, is an entrepreneurship resource of Caltech’s Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships. The organization organizes lectures and events that provide an opportunity for networking and collaboration among entrepreneurs and aspiring business founders.

Caltech also extends its entrepreneurial influence through an entity called the Caltech Startup Launchpad. It is sponsored by the Office of Technology Transfer & Corporate Partnerships and provides resources, mentoring, and workshop events that deliver practical insights into starting a company.

One noteworthy success story to come out of Caltech is the case of business intelligence platform Ooyala. The company was co-founded by Caltech graduate Bismarck Lepe and secured over $120 million in funding before being acquired by Telstra.

An example of a successful investor from Caltech is Bill Gross. Not only is he a successful investor, but he is also the founder of Idealab, a startup incubator. Gross received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech.

Caltech’s startup and VC ecosystem also extends to biotech. For instance, the James W. Antenen Professor of Chemistry at Caltech, Brian Stoltz, co-founded a biotech startup called Cleave Biosciences, which fetched over $54 million in Series B financing round.

Due to its focus on science and engineering, Caltech has also been instrumental in the Space Tech industry. Spaces, co-founded by a Caltech alumnus, raised $90M in Series B funding to further its mission of creating new dimensions in space technology.

No summary of Caltech’s startup and VC ecosystem would be complete without mentioning its overall impact on the tech industry. The famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development center managed by Caltech. Graduates of the university frequently go on to careers in JPL, NASA, and other high-profile organizations. In fact, the Mars Rover project was developed and is managed by JPL. It has inspired new waves of entrepreneurs who are venturing into the fascinating world of space exploration and technology.

In conclusion, Caltech's role in technology-based startups and venture capital activities is both diverse and substantial, with initiatives and alumni contributing to fields spanning from media and technology to biotech and space exploration. With their continued investment in their startup and VC ecosystem, Caltech ensures its graduates are equipped with the resources and networks necessary to drive innovation and entrepreneurship globally.

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?

Connect with the entrepreneurs, innovators, and startups coming out of California Institute of Technology for dealflow opportunities. Benefit from our network of knowledgeable investors and gain access to an array of exciting startups.

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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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