Stanford is well known for churning out successful entrepreneurs like SnapChat’s Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy. Then there is Harvard’s famous attendee Mark Zuckerberg  and MIT’s Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi.  Using the CrunchBase dataset, we wanted to find out what schools are really leading the production of new entrepreneurs.  The data does show Stanford leading the way, but other schools are not far behind.


Now for the some caveats about our analysis which, of course, was based on the CrunchBase dataset. In the graph above, graduate degrees were categorized the same as undergraduate degrees and the founder’s graduation information had to be present.  Using these filters,  we looked at 6,150 founders from 4,885 companies – you can download the data here.

The top 25 university programs for founders/cofounders, without filters were:

Top 25 University Programs Total (Count)
Stanford University 296
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 171
University of California, Berkeley 156
Harvard University 122
Harvard Business School 112
Cornell University 91
University of Pennsylvania 76
Stanford University Graduate School of Business 74
Yale University 69
University of Michigan 66
University of Southern California (USC) 66
Columbia University 63
Carnegie Mellon University 61
Tel Aviv University 56
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 56
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania 52
New York University (NYU) 44
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 43
Brown University 42
University of Waterloo 41
Princeton University 40
Dartmouth College 38
University of Cambridge 38
University of Oxford 38
University of Chicago 37

Next we looked at the degrees earned by founders in CrunchBase.  Most graduated with an emphasis in computer science, business, or electrical engineering.


Finally we looked at the founders most recent graduation year and analyzed how long it took for these individuals to found/co-found a funded startup.  Our data shows that it takes on average 8 years from graduation to founding date; however, that’s based on a very small sample of 575 founders with profiles containing graduation date.  We suspect the actual time may be larger because more experienced founders may not feel graduation date an important part of their profile.

Remember, CrunchBase is the free database of technology companies, people, and investors that anyone can edit. The funding rounds, people profiles and company milestones are powered by our readers. Everyone benefits when you update your profile and your company’s milestones.  CrunchBase data powers TechCrunch and many other websites plus it’s used behind the scenes by hundreds of investment firms and corporate development teams.  If you are having trouble editing CrunchBase or find an error, just drop us a note at

  • Originally published August 12, 2013, updated April 26, 2023