Become a Startup Scout
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Join the VC Startup Scout Program and connect with innovation directly. Gain access to pioneering startups and expand your entrepreneurial knowledge. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, your potential awaits.


The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), has been known to foster a vibrant startup and venture capital (VC) ecosystem. It has contributed to the success of multiple notable startups and VC firms in diverse fields.

The Research Park at UIUC stands as a beacon that enables innovation and entrepreneurship within the University community. The Research Park is home to more than 120 businesses, offering a platform that encourages the advancement of technology and idea exchanges between the faculty, students, and industry partners.

The University has launched prominent technology companies in the recent past. Among its most successful ventures, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin is a UIUC alumnus. He has made invaluable contributions to the tech industry and continues to support early-stage startups via his San Francisco based VC firm, HVF Labs.

Another impressive example is the revolutionary search engine "Cuil", developed by Anna Patterson, a UIUC alumna. Patterson is currently managing Gradient Ventures, a Google-backed venture that focuses on artificial intelligence opportunities.

EnterpriseWorks, an incubator focused on high-tech startups, provides resources, support, and guidance to student-founded startups. Their efforts have nurtured companies such as PhotoniCare, a medical device company that uses light-based technology to diagnose middle ear infections.

UIUC is also home to the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership (AEL), which offers multidisciplinary curriculum and experiential learning opportunities in entrepreneurship. The academy aims to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among students and faculty that goes beyond traditional classroom education.

In conclusion, it's clear that the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, promotes a healthy and productive ecosystem for startups and venture capitalists alike. The University's alumni, Research Park, EnterpriseWorks, and academic initiatives like AEL have contributed significantly to launching many successful ventures in diverse fields.

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 bright minds of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and discover the newest startups, innovations, and dealflow opportunities. Join us and take advantage of the potential in Illinois’s top research university today.

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Scout Programs in Other Global Startup Hubs


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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?

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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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