Become a Startup Scout
University of Maryland, College Park

Explore the startup world firsthand, University of Maryland, College Park members! Join us as a VC Startup Scout and enjoy exclusive networking opportunities and skill development in the dynamic, entrepreneurial atmosphere.


The University of Maryland, College Park has been a nurturing ground for startups, with many successful entrepreneurs and ventures emerging from its ecosystem. The university hosts the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship that fosters startup culture and provides resources for budding entrepreneurs.

Among the success stories from the university is Squarespace, a website building platform that was founded by Anthony Casalena during his time at UMD. This start-up venture opened up the path for many students to take the entrepreneurial route.

Immuta, a data governance platform co-founded by Matthew Carroll, a UMD alumnus, has also been a significant success. The startup has raised over $90 million in funding and continues to grow.

Another notable example is Oculus, a virtual reality technology company co-founded by Brendan Iribe, a former student of UMD. Facebook acquired the company for $2 billion in 2014, marking a milestone in the university's startup ecosystem.

In order to promote the startup culture, the university has initiated programs like the E-Fund, a student-run venture fund providing investments to student startups. The fund is managed by students and serves to connect student entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow their business.

A distinguishing feature of UMD's startup ecosystem is the strong support it enjoys from its alumni network. Brendan Iribe, Oculus Co-founder donated $31 million to UMD for constructing the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering. This center now serves as a magnet for attracting tech-savvy students and faculty, ultimately enriching the start-up ecosystem at the university.

Moreover, initiatives like 'Pitch Dingman Competition' encourage students to present their business ideas and compete for seed funding. This initiative fosters an entrepreneurial culture among students and serves as a launchpad for their ideas.

Overall, the University of Maryland, College Park plays a pivotal role in encouraging startups and VC activities, focusing on helping students transform innovative ideas into successful ventures.

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?

We provide dealflow opportunities from University of Maryland, College Park for startup investors. Join us to discover innovative individuals and startups coming out of UMD and take advantage of unique investment opportunities.

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Co-Working Space Organiser

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Event Organiser

Do you organise an event, conference, or trade show? Help your founder attendees get discovered.

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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.

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