Become a Startup Scout
Carnegie Mellon University

Explore the realm of venture capitalism and shape the future of startups as a VC scout. Propel your professional development, widen your entrepreneurial network, and be part of molding the next big innovation.


Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has carved out an indelible identity in the startup and venture capital (VC) ecosystem. The university is known for fostering an environment conducive to the generation of innovative ideas and their transformation into successful business ventures.

The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship at CMU is at the heart of this ecosystem, playing a pivotal role in facilitating the journey of numerous startups from seed-stage ideas to thriving businesses. The center offers an array of services for entrepreneurs, including educational programs, business plan competitions, and mentorship with industry veterans. Additionally, the Project Olympus provides micro grants, incubator space, and mentorship to facilitate startups at the initial stage.

The university has a notable track record of successful startups, many of which have grown into renowned businesses. Some of the most well-known names associated with CMU are Duolingo, an online language learning platform; ModCloth, a women's fashion retailer; and Astrobotic, a space robotics company. These companies attribute part of their success to the nurturing and supportive environment at CMU.

Carnegie Mellon University has also been a training ground for a slew of successful founders and investors. The founders of Duolingo, Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker, are alumni of CMU. Likewise, Eric Lefkofsky, the co-founder of Groupon and a successful VC, and James Swartz, founder of Accel Partners, another leading VC firm, honed their skills at CMU. Their successes speak to the quality of resources available at the university and the strong network of mentors and advisors that support emerging ventures.

CMU's unique approach to cross-disciplinary collaboration, combining its strengths in technology, business, and design, sets it apart in the startup and VC ecosystems. This collaborative approach enhances the innovative environment at the university, leading to the creation of game-changing solutions and ventures.

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?

Stay informed about the latest dealflow opportunities from Carnegie Mellon University (University) - ideas, innovations, and startups. Let us help you connect with individuals and startups to make your investments a success.

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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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