Become a Startup Scout
University of California, Irvine

Unleash your potential with the unique opportunity to become a VC startup scout. Experience unparalleled exposure to the entrepreneurship world while honing your investment decision-making skills. Ignite possibilities beyond University of California, Irvine.


The University of California, Irvine (UCI), plays a central role in the startup and Venture Capital ecosystem within its region and beyond. UCI has a progressive approach towards entrepreneurship, evidenced by numerous programs designed to facilitate the growth of early-stage companies.

UCI Beall Applied Innovation is a dynamic platform which brings campus-based discoveries together with Orange County’s vibrant business community to support job creation and economic growth. Its initiatives include startup launch services, industry research collaborations, and the provision of a modern co-working space.

Universities' Wayfinder program is another example of UCI's commitment to nurturing startups. The incubator program offers an array of resources from three to six months at the UCI Beall Applied Innovation Cove, a bustling hub that fosters connections among entrepreneurs, investors, and potential customers.

UCI has also facilitated the creation of successful startups like Cadenza Innovation, a company that develops safe, low-cost, high-performance lithium-ion battery technology. CEO and founder Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud is a former post-doctorate associate with the chemistry department at UCI.

Among success stories of VC involvement, Enevate Corporation stands out. The Irvine-based company that develops next-generation Lithium-ion batteries announced a $100M funding round led by Samsung, but it has its origins in the UCI science department.

UCI has been influential in shaping angel investment and venture capital within Southern California. Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest and most active angel investor networks in the nation, was co-founded by UCI alumni Luis Villalobos, further stressing the University's involvement in the VC ecosystem.

Tech Surge, part of the UCI New Venture Competition, is a launchpad for new university technologies and has awarded over a million dollars in prizes to ambitious entrepreneurs from all disciplines and levels of experience.

In conclusion, the University of California, Irvine, fosters a vibrant and constructive startup culture and venture capital ecosystem. It uses academia's intellectual resources to pave the way for job creation, innovation, and economic growth in Orange County and beyond.

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?

Invest in the future of UC Irvine and its innovators. Get early access to exclusive dealflow opportunities from individuals, startups, and innovations coming out of the University.

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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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