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Higher ed leads to unicorn breeding grounds

Top 10 college institutions by number of unicorn founder alumni
University Business, April 2017

Higher ed institutions in the U.S. lead the world when it comes to producing graduates who go on to create unicorns—private start-up companies worth in excess of $1 billion, such as Uber, Facebook or SpaceX.

Stanford University tops the list with 51 unicorn founders as alumni, including three from LinkedIn (Allen Blue, Eric Ly and Konstantin Guericke) and two from Shazam (Avery Wang and Dhiraj Mukherjee). Harvard University comes next with 37, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg and Hulu’s Jason Kilar.

U.S. institutions account for nine of the top 15 universities for unicorn founders, with schools in India, the United Kingdom and Israel also represented. Technology sectors generate the most unicorn founders, including consumer internet (49 unicorns), software (48) and e-commerce (37).

The list was compiled by Sage on behalf of Verve Search, an international marketing research firm.

Top 10 institutions by number of unicorn founder alumni

1. Stanford University: 51

2. Harvard University: 37

3. University of California: 18

4. Indian Institute of Technology: 12

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 9

6. University of Pennsylvania: 9

7. University of Oxford: 8

8. Tel Aviv University: 7

9. Cornell University: 6

10. University of Southern California: 6

Source: Verbe Search, 2017

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