Stanford University has cultivated more founders of VC-backed startups than any other institution in the world. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has also been home to the greatest number of female founders, according to data from the most recent PitchBook Universities Report.
Since 2006, 146 VC-backed companies have been founded or co-founded by females who attended Stanford; Harvard and UC Berkeley come next in line with 115 each. Here’s a closer look at the top 10 undergraduate programs for female founders:
Gator Financial Partners letter to investors for the first half of the year ended June 30, 2022. Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dear Gator Financial Partners: We are pleased to provide you with Gator Financial Partners, LLC’s (the “Fund” or “GFP”) 1st Half 2022 investor letter. This letter reviews the Fund’s 1st Read More
Several highly valued startups have come out of the schools sitting at the top of the rankings. Here’s a roundup of notable VC-backed companies founded by women who’ve attended the top three undergraduate schools:
HQ: San Francisco | VC funding: $60 million | Valuation: $200 million (July 2017)
Sarah Nahm founded Lever in 2012 as a recruiting platform. The startup, which provides software to help companies grow their teams, has raised funding from backers including Adams Street Partners and Matrix Partners. Nahm (pictured) received a bachelor’s degree in product design and mechanical engineering from Stanford, then worked at Google for several years before starting her own company.
Harvard: Rent the Runway
HQ: New York | VC funding: $176 million | Valuation: $750 million (Dec. 2016)
Rent the Runway, a designer clothing and accessory rental service, is one of the most well-known female-founded startups. The company was co-founded and is currently led by Jennifer Hyman, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 2002 and completed her MBA from Harvard Business School in 2009. The startup’s other founder, Jennifer Fleiss, attended Yale (No. 9 on the undergraduate list). Hyman (pictured) and Fleiss launched Rent the Runway out of Harvard Business School, which has more female founders than any other MBA program.
UC Berkeley: Millendo Therapeutics
HQ: Ann Arbor, MI | VC funding: $81 million | Valuation: $96.5 million (Dec. 2015)
In the years before she co-founded Millendo Therapeutics, Julia Owens (pictured) earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and molecular & cellular biology from UC Berkeley, then went on to receive a PhD in biochemistry from UC San Francisco before working for a few different pharmaceutical companies. Millendo is a biotech focused on developing treatments for endocrine diseases. The startup has raised funding from investors including NEA, Altitude Life Science Ventures and Roche Venture Fund.
For more information on the schools that produce the most VC-backed entrepreneurs, check out the 2017-2018 PitchBook Universities Report. And here’s more on women in VC.
Article by Dana Olsen, PitchBook