Become a Startup Scout
University of Washington

Unlock the future of startups as a VC scout, leveraging your University of Washington knowledge. Gain insights into the entrepreneurial landscape and build a powerful network. Lead tomorrow's innovation, today.


The University of Washington (UW) has a notable footprint in the startup and venture capital (VC) ecosystem. The University has shown ongoing commitment to entrepreneurship both within and outside the institution. They offer several integrated programs that promote a startup culture. Among those is the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, offering co-curricular programs such as business plan competitions and startup creation courses that have assisted students and faculty in launching their startups.

One successful story to mention is that of Yoky Matsuoka. A former professor at the UW, she went on to co-found Google's Nest, a company known for producing programmable, sensor-driven, and WiFi-enabled thermostats. In addition, Shwetak Patel, another professor at UW, co-founded Zensi, an energy monitoring company which was sold to Belkin in 2010.

The CoMotion Labs at UW serves as a multi-industry lab system hosting startups inside and outside the university. It aims to provide startups with the necessary tools and connections for success. Since its inception, CoMotion has helped establish over one hundred startups, contributing more than $350 million to the state's yearly revenues.

The UW’s Foster School of Business has the Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship that offers a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. There are also student-led angel funds such as W Fund and Purple Arch Ventures that exclusively invest in the commercialization of innovations from the UW community.

In the realm of venture capital, alumni have also seen success. For instance, Nick Hanauer, a UW alumnus, is a successful venture capitalist with early investments in Amazon.

Moreover, the UW's innovation hub, CoMotion, fosters a strong connection between the university and the local business community, licensing technologies for companies and providing students and faculty with coaching, workshops, and networking events. It allows companies to tap into the university's research capabilities, providing a strong foundation for a startup community.

Such initiatives and particularities position the University of Washington as a significant player in the startup and venture capital ecosystem not only in the Pacific Northwest, but also on a national level.

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?

At University of Washington, gain access to a wide variety of dealflow opportunities from talented individuals, startups, and innovations. Be the first to invest in the next big thing!

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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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