Become a Startup Scout
Washington University

Join us as a VC Startup Scout and tap into the breathtaking world of startups. Leverage this opportunity for invaluable networking and a chance to witness startup potential before the crowd. Experience innovation, create impact!


Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, has been a significant contributor to the startup and venture capital (VC) ecosystem. Notably, the university boasts initiatives like the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which fosters innovation and entrepreneurship among students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

In terms of successful ventures, Square, a financial services and digital payments company, is among Washington University's notable success stories. Square was co-founded by Jim McKelvey, an alumnus of the university. In recognition of his contributions, a business school within the university is named the James M. McKelvey School of Engineering.

Another significant venture emanating from the Washington University ecosystem is Nanopore Diagnostics, a biotechnology company founded by Tom Cohen and Steve Laderman. They developed the idea for the company during their time as students at the university. Their startup focuses on developing rapid, point-of-care diagnostics for bacterial infections to prevent the overuse of antibiotics.

Furthermore, the university encourages student entrepreneurship through programs like the "Hatchery" course, which gives students the opportunity to write and present business plans to local business leaders. Through this program, notable ventures like Material Mix (a recycling and waste management startup founded by Allison Carmen) have been launched.

Washington University's reputation in research and a supportive environment for entrepreneurship has been a critical factor in fostering its vibrant startup and VC ecosystem. Through a commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship education, the university continues to cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs and startup leaders.

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?

Connect with the vibrant Washington University start-up scene and take advantage of dealflow opportunities from individuals, startups and innovations coming out of the University.

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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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