It’s that time of year again. We’re excited to announce the 2017-2018 PitchBook Universities Report, which ranks the programs that produce the most venture-backed entrepreneurs.

This latest edition is packed with tables covering the top universities by sector, female founders and unicorns, as well as Ivy League vs. non-Ivy League programs. Did your school make the cut?

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Introduction

This report began as an idea for a blog post several years back. Since then is has transformed into an in-depth breakdown of which schools produce the ultimate building blocks of the venture industry: founders.

Looking at the data filtered down to where founders went to school serves several purposes. It may produce pride for those that see their alma mater at or near the top of the listings, it may even be a point of contension between rival schools. But this data is in fact an important piece of understanding the venture ecosystem(s) as a whole. For instance, there is likely a large correlation between the number of founders a school produces with the overall deal value and company count figures of the region within which that school i s located. And, as entrepreneurs work through their companies to exit, eventually they may find themselves making investments from their own funds, which may be based near where they have spent their professional careers.

The network effect is a large part of VC, and this report offers evidence as to why. We hope that the 2017-2018 Edition of the PitchBook Universities Report is useful to your practice. As always, please feel free to reach out with any comments or questions to [email protected]

KYLE STANFORD

Analyst

TOP UNIVERSITIES

For VC-backed entrepreneurs

The top 10 of these rankings is somewhat of a who’s who of prestigious universities. Stanford has stayed on top with 1 ,127 founders having been enrolled at the school since 2006. Just one new university made it into the rankings from our 2016-2017 edition—Queen’s University (50). Over the past few years, the question surrounding these school rankings has changed. It ’s no longer so much why certain schools are at the top of the list as it is what particulars of their programs enable such continued success.

Alma Mater Rank

Many of these universities are consistently rated as the best by publications from The Princeton Review to Forbes to Time magazine. Many of the undergraduate schools offer elite programs in engineering and computer science, and produce classes filled with students showing significant academic potential.

But there are other factors too, such as location. Stanford and UC Berkeley are located in the hear t of the venture capital industry. Having Silicon Valley just a few steps away provides founders easy access to investors, and more investors means more opportunities to receive funding. The same can be said for Harvard, MIT, NYU, the University of Texas, and many others; these universities are located within shouting distance of major VC hubs. The network effect in VC is a significant driver of activity on all s ides of investment.

The top 10 of these rankings is somewhat of a who’s who of prestigious universities. Stanford has stayed on top with 1 ,127 founders having been enrolled at the school since 2006. Just one new university made it into the rankings from our 2016-2017 edition—Queen’s University (50). Over the past few years, the question surrounding these school rankings has changed. It ’s no longer so much why certain schools are at the top of the list as it is what particulars of their programs enable such continued success.

Many of these universities are consistently rated as the best by publications from The Princeton Review to Forbes to Time magazine. Many of the undergraduate schools of fer elite programs in engineering and computer science, and produce classes f i l led with students showing significant academic potential.

But there are other factors too, such as location. Stanford and UC Berkeley are located in the hear t of the venture capital industry. Having Silicon Valley just a few steps away provides founders easy access to investors, and more investors means more opportunities to receive funding. The same can be said for Harvard, MIT, NYU, the University of Texas, and many others; these universities are located within shouting distance of major VC hubs. The network effect in VC is a significant driver of activity on all s ides of investment.

Alma Mater Rank

Stanford had roughly 7,000 undergraduates enrolled during the 2016-2017 year. Compare that to, say, the University of Washington (UW), which had a total undergraduate enrollment of more than 31 ,400 at its Seattle campus alone last year, and Stanford’s seems a small figure. Yet since 2006, Stanford has produced more than 3x the number of founders UW has. Especially in earlystage investing, where ideas and opportunity may be a founder ’s pitch more so than a product, investors of ten can only make decisions based on the founder and their potential. Interpersonal relationships are in some ways as much a par t of venture as ideas and capital . Many of these universities cultivate entrepreneurial networks, bridging gaps that exist between current students and alumni .

There is another significant characteristic that many of the universities in this ranking have in common: investment funds, or affiliations with local VCs. Stanford deploys capital through its Star tX fund, helping founders receive not only capital to launch their business, but mentoring and support from its network of investors and professionals. Other university-backed vehicles include UCLA VC Fund (UCLA), NYU Innovation Venture Fund (NYU) and Triton Technology Fund (UCSD). These funds may not solely invest in student or alumni-founded startups, but the access to capital and mentoring in such close proximity undoubtedly has an effect on the number of students that pursue their ambitions to star t a company of their own.

Alma Mater Rank

Read the full article here by PitchBook