Which colleges produce the most successful entrepreneurs? Every year, PitchBook sheds light on that question by ranking undergraduate and MBA programs by the number of venture capital-backed founders among their alumni.

Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley topped the list of undergraduate programs—no surprise since they're squarely inside the Bay Area's startup scene. Harvard took the third-place spot, displacing MIT from last year's rankings. Founders from those three schools were also behind three of the largest IPOs in the past year: Robinhood (Stanford), DoorDash (Stanford and UC Berkeley) and Coupang (Harvard).

Foreign universities made up some of the fastest risers. The University of Toronto leapt six spots, while Tsinghua University in Beijing climbed five spots. The University of British Columbia and Israel's Ben-Gurion University also moved up in the undergraduate rankings.

For MBA programs, the IE Business School, located in Madrid, made an appearance for the first time as one of the most entrepreneurial universities in Europe.

In terms of the best undergraduate programs for female founders, perennial sources like Stanford, Harvard and Berkeley take the top spots. Columbia University and Boston University were some of the fastest climbers, jumping four and five spots in the rankings respectively.

The full list of rankings is below, broken out by undergraduate and MBA programs, as well as female-founded companies. Read about our methodology below.

Select the ranking you wish to view from the dropdown below.
 
 

Methodology

The 2021 university rankings are based on the number of founders whose companies received a first round of venture funding between Jan. 1, 2006 and Oct. 31, 2021. Given the cumulative nature of the data and the length of the timeframe, year-to-year changes in the rankings tend to be modest.

The data on entrepreneurs, companies and capital raised come from the PitchBook platform. Data on founders' educational background is collected from publicly available and primary sources.

Since companies can have more than one founder, and founders could have attended multiple schools, it is possible for the same company to count toward multiple universities.

For any feedback or questions, please contact press@pitchbook.com.

Featured image by Mara Potter/PitchBook News

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