Become a Startup Scout
University of California, San Diego

Join our VC startup scout program! Gain unparalleled exposure to innovative startups and develop invaluable entrepreneurship skills. Seize this unique opportunity, not affiliated with University of California, San Diego.


The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has been a prominent player in the startup and VC ecosystem. In nurturing the entrepreneurial mindset in students, the university has launched several initiatives such as the UCSD The Basement, a student-run startup accelerator that provides mentoring, resources, and funding for student-driven ideas.

Also noteworthy is Rady School of Management's StartR program, a non-profit accelerator program for Rady School of Management students to launch their startups. This notable program has spurred numerous successful startups, including CiVentiChem, founded by UCSD alumni Dr. Bhaskar Venepalli, which was sold for $20 million in 2018.

Another success story of UCSD's thriving startup ecosystem is ecoATM, a company founded by Mark Bowles, who is a UCSD alumni. EcoATM developed self-serve kiosks that buy back used electronics, providing an innovative solution to electronic waste. This startup raised more than $40 million in funding before being acquired by Outerwall for $350 million.

UCSD is not just about startups, it also involves in the VC ecosystem. For instance, Triton Funds, the biggest student-run venture capitalist fund in America, is founded by UCSD students Yash Thukral, Sam Yaffa, and Nathan Yee. Triton Funds provides undergraduate students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in finance and investment.

UCSD's innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives are backed by Connect, a regional program supporting local entrepreneurship, and it was founded at UCSD. Moreover, the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD regularly collaborates with local industries and startups for research and projects. UCSD's active approach in fostering a ripe startup and VC ecosystem is evident in the success stories resulting from these programs and initiatives. The university is deeply integrated into the entrepreneurship culture of San Diego, and itself is making a direct and significant impact unto it.

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?

Discover dealflow opportunities from University of California, San Diego individuals, startups, and innovations! Connect with the next wave of innovators and invest in the future.

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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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