Stanford, Harvard, MIT is still at the top of the list of schools produced by funded founders

Stanford, Harvard, MIT is still at the top of the list of schools produced by funded founders

After two years of disrupting the pandemic, personal graduations are back. And over the next few weeks, millions of students will dress up for the speeches and celebrations that come with the completion of another important milestone.

For business-minded people, among other things, it’s also time to think about one of the big questions of higher education: Was it all worth it? And does the prestigious title really give you an edge in the competition?

Although Crunchbase data cannot answer these specific questions, it does provide some insight into how a degree from a particular institution correlates with the likelihood that a person will become a funded founder. It turns out that your chances of getting funding for a startup have a pretty strong correlation with where you went to school.

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So what are the best schools for funded founders? If you’ve read one of our previous iterations on this topic, you may realize that the findings don’t vary much from year to year. This means that Stanford, Harvard and MIT are consistently at the top of the list. Prominent, prestigious colleges and major research universities complete the rankings.

This time we focused specifically on the recipients of funding in the initial phase and in the early phase. Even so, the results have not changed much. Let’s look at the specific breakdown below, in the table, how many of our best school founders have earned $ 500,000 or more since the beginning of 2021.

We compile business schools separately, they are listed below:

Although many things have remained the same, we are seeing some changes. With this in mind, here are some key insights into new and long-term trends:

Stanford still has it: Let’s start with the long-term trend. Stanford – a leading university in Silicon Valley – is still spewing more funded founders than anywhere else. At least 338 graduates have received initial or initial funding since last year, including a business school.

Boston has it with Harvard and MIT: MIT and Harvard, two Boston institutions known for their competitive acceptance and academic rigor, ranked second and third in our university rankings. This is the same order we saw in our last data crisis more than a year ago, which dealt with early and late financing.

Berkeley leads among public universities, UT brings profits: The University of California at Berkeley is also the only public university to make it into the top 10. Berkeley has ranked high in past founder-funded surveys, so this latest finding is no surprise, especially given the school’s strength in science. , engineering and technical fields.

Meanwhile, the University of Texas at Austin seems to be climbing among funded founders. UT Austin ranked 11th in our overall list and was the second highest public university. This rise is probably partly linked to Austin’s rise as a center for technology startup activities. After UT, the other top-ranking public universities are the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and UCLA.

Business school remains a popular path: In recent months, we have seen several articles about the declining number of top business school applications and the declining number of people testing GMAT. But even though the popularity of the MBA is declining from top levels, it is still a fairly common credential among well-founded founders. As usual, the most competitive business schools come first, with Harvard Business School leading the way, followed by Stanford Graduate School of Business and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

In conclusion: The title is not destiny, but it is a difference

Of course, as many have noted, no documents are required to become a successful startup founder.

This means that if you want to enroll in college or graduate school and you are attracted to the path of a startup founder, the data seems to suggest that it would definitely not hurt to try Stanford, Harvard or MIT. Schools that are known to be difficult to access generally seem to be a happy choice for future funded entrepreneurs.

However, the data certainly do not suggest that a particular title or any title will increase or disrupt a person’s chances of success. If the history of innovation has taught us anything, it is that great entrepreneurs come from a very wide range of geographical areas and education.


The list is not exhaustive, in part because many Crunchbase founders’ profiles do not include university affiliation. In addition, some founders attended more than one listed university or business school and were counted twice.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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