United States of America
Become a Startup Scout

Unlock exclusive opportunities as a VC startup scout in Chicago. Gain unparalleled industry insights and make rewarding connections in the vibrant start-up ecosystem. Embark on this thrilling journey today!


Chicago, known for its vibrant startup scene, has given birth to some of the most successful businesses. The city has a flourishing VC ecosystem, providing a conducive environment for new startups to thrive. In recent years, a number of growth-oriented businesses have risen from Chicago, including Groupon, GrubHub, and Basecamp.

Groupon, launched in 2008 by Andrew Mason, Eric Lefkofsky, and Brad Keywell, went public in 2011 and has been one of Chicagoโ€™s most successful startup stories. The company offered a platform for local businesses to offer deals to customers, reaching hundreds of cities globally. Similarly, another success story is GrubHub, an online and mobile food delivery platform founded in 2004 by Matt Maloney and Mike Evans. It went public in 2014 and now serves more than 4,000 cities.

On the Venture Capital front, Chicago boasts an active and thriving scene. Firms like Lightbank, started by Andrew Mason and Eric Lefkofsky of Groupon, have contributed significantly to the startup ecosystem. Other influential VC firms in Chicago include Hyde Park Venture Partners and Arch Venture Partners.

Chicago also encourages startup innovation through various initiatives. The city's '1871' initiative, established in 2012, offers a collaborative workspace for digital startups and has received recognition as one of the most prominent tech startup incubator in the world.

One important peculiarity of Chicagoโ€™s startup scene is its diversity. Chicago is known for its wide spectrum of industries โ€“ from tech to food to finance, supporting a varied mixture of startups and venture capital activities.

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 โ†’


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 โ†’


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 โ†’


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 โ†’


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 โ†’


Help Friends Get Funded

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

Explore โ†’

Grow Your Personal Brand

Explore โ†’

Join as a Scout at Your University

Available Programs

Startup Investor?

Stay up to date on the latest dealflow opportunities from individuals, startups, and innovations coming out of Chicago. Reach out to us today to connect with the city's vibrant entrepreneurial culture!

Learn More โ†’

Scout Programs in Other Global Startup Hubs



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

Scout founders you interview โ†’


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 toโ†’


Event Organiser

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

Scout startups at your event โ†’



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

Scout startups at your university โ†’

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.