The 17 best colleges for startup founders

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Linda Cicero via Facebook/stanford

While Peter Thiel is famous for paying wanna-be entrepreneurs not to go to college, there are still thousands of founders who do go to college and go on to form well-funded companies.

But there are some schools who tend to churn out more venture-backed founders than others.

In its 2016 report, PitchBook analyzed 10 years of startup data to determine which schools produce the most startup founders who go on to raise money from investors.

The data only takes into account whether the entrepreneur attended a school – so college drop outs are included in the count. (After all, it’s a popular Silicon Valley thing to do).

Here are the 17 schools that spawned the most VC-backed founders over the last decade, ranked:


17. Carnegie Mellon University

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Carnegie Mellon University Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)/Facebook

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Entrepreneur count: 378

Company count: 324

Capital raised: $4.6 billion


16. Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

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Technion / Israel Istitute of Technology

Location: Haifa, Israel

Entrepreneur count: 379

Company count: 323

Capital raised: $4.8 billion


15. University of Southern California (USC)

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Neon Tommy/Flickr

Location: Los Angeles, California

Entrepreneur count: 381

Company count: 341

Capital raised: $3.5 billion


14. University of Wisconsin

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Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Entrepreneur count: 397

Company count: 350

Capital raised: $2.6 billion


13. Princeton University

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Princeton University/Facebook

Location: Princeton, New Jersey

Entrepreneur count: 408

Company count: 382

Capital raised: $7 billion


12. Yale University

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Students in the Timothy Dwight courtyard
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Michael Marsland / Yale University

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Entrepreneur count: 421

Company count: 379

Capital raised: $7.5 billion


11. UCLA

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UCLA/Facebook

Location: Los Angeles, California

Entrepreneur count: 432

Company count: 379

Capital raised: $7.5 billion


10. University of Illinois

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Engineering at Illinois/Facebook

Location: Champaign, Illinois

Entrepreneur count: 451

Company count: 415

Capital raised: $5.5 billion


9. Tel Aviv University

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Shlomi Fish/Flickr

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Entrepreneur count: 515

Company count: 429

Capital raised: $5.1 billion


8. University of Texas

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The University of Texas at Austin/Facebook

Location: Austin, Texas

Entrepreneur count: 561

Company count: 511

Capital raised: $4.8 billion


7. University of Michigan

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Facebook/universityofmichigan

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Entrepreneur count: 607

Company count: 546

Capital raised: $7.8 billion


6. Cornell University

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Cornell University/Facebook

Location: Ithaca, New York

Entrepreneur count: 635

Company count: 585

Capital raised: $10.8 billion


5. University of Pennsylvania

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University of Pennsylvania/Facebook

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Entrepreneur count: 724

Company count: 648

Capital raised: $9.5 billion


4. Harvard University

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Harvard Facebook

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Entrepreneur count: 762

Company count: 673

Capital raised: $17.2 billion


3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

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Flickr/nasa-jpl

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Entrepreneur count: 813

Company count: 695

Capital raised: $12.9 billion


2. University of California, Berkeley

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Berkeley Engineering/Facebook

Location: Berkeley, California

Entrepreneur count: 997

Company count: 881

Capital raised: $14.2 billion


1. Stanford University

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Linda A. Cicero/Stanford University/Facebook

Location: Stanford, California

Entrepreneur count: 1,006

Company count: 850

Capital raised: $18.2 billion