Become a Startup Scout
Duke University

Experience the thrill of discovery with a distinct role as a VC Startup Scout. Explore the entrepreneurial environment beyond Duke University, create valuable networks, and help shape the future of innovation.


The startup and venture capital ecosystem of Duke University has been steadily growing over the past few years. The university's commitment to entrepreneurship has been reflected in the increasing number of successful startups and venture capital investments. Duke recently opened the Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative (DIEI) to provide resources and funding to students and alumni to help start businesses and bring innovative ideas to life. Duke has seen a number of successful startups come out of the University, including 3D printing company, Formlabs, which was founded by two Duke graduates, Natan Linder and Maxim Lobovsky. Formlabs has since become a leader in the 3D printing industry and has raised over $100 million in venture funding. Several venture capital firms have invested in Duke startups, including Andreessen Horowitz, which invested in the Duke spinoff company, Zenysis Technologies, in 2016. The company was founded by two Duke graduates, Anish Sebastian and Nitin Rai. Zenysis Technologies is now a leader in healthcare analytics and has raised more than $32 million in venture funding. Duke University has also partnered with venture capital firm, North Carolina-based Hatteras Venture Partners, to create the Duke Angel Network, a network of alumni, students, faculty, and community members who invest in startups. Duke Angel Network has invested in a number of successful startups, including Lumosity, a brain training app founded by two Duke graduates, Kunal Sarkar and Michael Scanlon. Duke also offers a range of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and venture capital investing. The Duke Start-Up Challenge provides funding for student-led companies, and the Duke Angel Network works with venture capitalists to provide mentorship and funding. The University also hosts programs like Duke’s OnRamp, a program that helps alumni launch new companies, and the Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative (DIEI) which provides resources to help students and alumni start businesses. Duke University has become an important part of the startup and venture capital ecosystem due to its commitment to entrepreneurship and its initiatives to promote innovation and venture capital investing. With its successful startups, venture capital investments, and resources for students and alumni, Duke is paving the way for future entrepreneurs.

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 ahead of the curve with dealflow opportunities from Duke University. Receive access to individuals, startups, and groundbreaking innovations from the University – all in one place!

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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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