Become a Startup Scout
Michigan State University

Join the VC Startup Scout Program and open doors to unparalleled networking opportunities and exposure to the startup ecosystem. Unleash your potential while augmenting your professional growth.


Michigan State University (MSU) is known for its vibrant startup and venture capitalist (VC) ecosystem. The university's entrepreneurship and innovation culture has led to the creation of numerous startups, while the collaborative environment encourages the active exchange of ideas and resources.

MSU has several initiatives directed towards entrepreneurship. For instance, 'Spartan Innovations' provides the educational and financial support crucial for transforming a startup idea into reality. This includes offering 'The Hatch' program, a student business incubator supporting over 100 startups annually. Additionally, MSU provides resources and mentoring through its 'Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation'.

A notable success story from MSU's startup ecosystem is TechSmith, a software development firm founded by William Hamilton, an MSU Alumni. TechSmith created universally recognized software like Camtasia and Snagit, experiencing extensive growth.

Another successful investment story is that of Scott DeRue, a former faculty member of Michigan State University, who is now the Edward J. Frey Dean of Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He also serves on several boards and is involved with venture capital funds.

The MSU Foundation operates different subsidiaries aimed at university's economic engagement and business-community-university connections. One is Spartan Innovations, which manages the execution of MSU's innovative technologies from lab to market. The other one is Red Cedar Ventures, the investment arm of the MSU Foundation.

The university's commitment to entrepreneurship extends to its curriculum too, offering numerous programs such as a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation for undergraduate students across all disciplines.

Overall, Michigan State University provides a supportive and innovative environment for budding entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and achieve their startup ambition.

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?

Investors, stay ahead of the curve and leverage Michigan State University as a resource to receive dealflow opportunities from individuals, startups, and innovative ideas.

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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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