Become a Startup Scout
Columbia University

Invigorate your entrepreneurial spirit, Columbia University members! Embrace the opportunity of becoming a VC startup scout. Fine-tune your analytical abilities and expand your business network. Seize this chance to influence the future of innovation.


Columbia University's Startup and Venture Capital Ecosystem

Columbia University has a robust ecosystem of startups and venture capital investments that provide students, faculty, and alumni with resources and support to fuel innovation. The university's venture capital fund, Columbia Venture Partners, provides seed funding to startups founded by Columbia students and alumni, with investments totaling $17.5M in 2019. Columbia students have access to a number of incubator and accelerator programs, such as the Columbia Startup Lab, which supports early-stage startups, and the Columbia Entrepreneurship Accelerator, which assists later-stage startups. Columbia also provides funding through its Columbia Startups program, which offers up to $50,000 in seed funding to founders.

In addition to funding, Columbia's startup and venture capital ecosystem also offers a wealth of mentorship and support from experienced entrepreneurs and investors. Through the Columbia Venture Community, founders can access mentors from the university's large alumni network, as well as industry experts from its corporate partners. The Columbia Alumni Angels Network also helps match founders with angel investors.

Columbia's startup and venture capital ecosystem has produced a number of successful companies, such as healthcare IT startup DirectHealth, which was founded by Columbia alumni Muthu Kulasekaran and Robert Friese and recently raised $10 million in funding. Other notable alumni-founded companies include Harry's, the men's grooming company, which was founded by Columbia graduates Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider, and Refinery29, the media and fashion company, which was co-founded by Columbia alum Philippe von Borries.

Columbia University is also actively working to increase the diversity of its startup and venture capital ecosystem. Through its Entrepreneurship for All initiative, the university provides access to resources and support for female founders, people of color, and those from low-income backgrounds. Additionally, the Columbia University Women in Business program provides female founders with access to a network of mentors and investors.

Columbia University's startup and venture capital ecosystem has enabled a number of successful companies to get off the ground and grow. With its continued commitment to diversity and access to resources and mentors, we can expect to see more successful founders and investors coming out of Columbia's startup ecosystem in the future.

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?

Connect with the latest innovations and startups from Columbia University by joining our dealflow program. We provide investors with exclusive opportunities from top innovators and entrepreneurs.

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.