- Kia Kokalitcheva
- Sep 1
Stanford still produces the most startup founders
Reproduced from Pitchbook's Universities Report
Stanford University (yet again) topped Pitchbook's annual ranking of undergraduate colleges producing the most tech entrepreneurs who've raised venture capital between 2006 and August 15, 2017. UC Berkeley came in close second, followed by MIT and Harvard.
Why it matters: While many entrepreneurs start their companies years after leaving school, others do so just after graduation or even while students (e.g., Facebook's Zuckerberg or Snap's Spiegel). So looking at these rankings can provide some clues as to what resources or environment can be conducive to entrepreneurial endeavors.
Stanford, for example, has a close relationship with successful alumni across Silicon Valley, along with beneficial geography and a fund that invests in its alumni's startups.
These rankings also underscore how much investors still value pedigree as they continue to fund founders from the same elite schools over and over again—something important to consider in the discussion of diversity in tech.
Girl power: The report also ranks colleges that have produced the most female startup founders—an increasingly important metric to examine as the tech industry continues to grapple with gender imbalance. Stanford also topped this list of undergraduate rankings, with its female alumni going on to found companies like Sunrun, One Kings Lane, Shift Technologies, Revel Systems, and Lever.
- But note that Harvard gets the top spot on the MBA list. The business school's women have started a slew of companies in recent years, including Birchbox, StitchFix, Rent the Runway, Cloudflare, Shoptiques, Gilt Group, and Grab.
Unicorns: Stanford and Harvard tied for the top spot in the undergraduate rankings for companies valued at $1 billion or more, while Harvard is No. 1 on the MBA list.