Become a Startup Scout
University of Notre Dame

Join our VC startup scout program, tap into the dynamic and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Leverage your knowledge, engage with innovators, and shape the future. It's not just an opportunity, it's a stepping stone for your career growth.


The University of Notre Dame has a vibrant startup and venture capital ecosystem. The Notre Dame IDEA Center is the university’s main engine for igniting and fostering innovative and entrepreneurial activities. Since its inception, the IDEA Center has helped launch hundreds of startups, many of them by students, faculty, and alumni of the University. The center provides both academic and practical support to these startups, hosting seminars & workshops, providing funding opportunities, as well as mentorship and networking opportunities with successful entrepreneurs and investors.

In the 2020 fiscal year alone, the IDEA Center launched 32 startups and raised $44 million in capital. This indicates a thriving environment where new businesses are constantly being created and nurtured to funding success.

The Irish Angels Investing Network is another significant part of Notre Dame’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Comprised predominantly of Notre Dame alumni, the Irish Angels have provided funding and mentorship to a multitude of startups and entrepreneurs. One example is the investment in PreparedHealth, a healthcare technology company co-founded by Notre Dame alumnus Tim Coulter. PreparedHealth was later acquired in a successful exit, showcasing the power of Notre Dame’s connected and supportive ecosystem.

The university also conducts various venture competitions like the McCloskey New Venture Competition, which provides students, alumni, and faculty the opportunity to win start-up funding. In 2021, Notre Dame affiliated startups won a combined $400,000 in cash and in-kind prizes at the McCloskey New Venture Competition.

Moreover, the university's alumni network also plays a crucial role in nurturing this ecosystem. The vast network of alumni not only provides a strong base of support for new endeavors but often serves as the starting point for startup initiatives. Examples of successful Notre Dame entrepreneurs include Ryan Chen, a former Notre Dame student who co-founded NeuroFlow, a digital health startup that has since raised millions in funding.

Through these initiatives, the University of Notre Dame continues to foster a robust environment for startups and venture capital investment, focused on nurturing innovation and promoting entrepreneurship amongst its students, faculty, and alumni.

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 investment opportunities from the University of Notre Dame - startups, individuals, and innovations. Join our exclusive network and receive dealflow opportunities tailored to your interests.

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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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