from the September 2016 issue

PitchBook Universities Report

PitchBook Universities Report ranked universities by startup activity: Three Israeli universities were the only ones outside North America in the top 50.

Tel Aviv University has been ranked ninth in the PitchBook Universities Report, which ranks universities according to the number of graduates who founded venture-capital-backed startups. The Technion, Israel Institute of Technology was ranked 16th and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was ranked 33rd. Tel Aviv University is the only non-US university in the top 10.

PitchBook is a consultation company maintaining a comprehensive database on startups and financing rounds, mainly in the US.

The list is headed by Stanford University, California's Berkley University, followed by MIT, Harvard, and University of Pennsylvania. A university which is not from the US or Israel appears only in 20th place (Canada's Waterloo University). Other than the three Israeli universities listed above, there are no universities outside North America among the top 50 universities.

The report methodology was to count all entrepreneurs in companies which received any venture capital investments in 2006-2016 and calculate the number of companies against the overall investment received. For example, there were 1,006 entrepreneurs from Stanford during this period, who founded 850 companies that have so far raised over $18 billion. 515 entrepreneurs which graduated from Tel Aviv University founded 429 companies and have raised over $5 billion.

Tel Aviv University was ranked eighth among universities whose graduates founded companies that managed to make large exits, a total of $5 billion exits during this period.

This ranking does not reflect the universities' commercialization efforts, the number of companies established by universities or the number of inventions developed in universities and commercialized by other entities, but only their success in nurturing students who turn into successful entrepreneurs after graduation.

The companies which helped Stanford top the list are Snapchat, Flipboard, SunRun, Solyndra and Okta. Tel Aviv earned its place thanks to Houzz, Zerto, ironSource, Kaltura and Stratoscale. The Technion reached 16th place due to Better Place, BeatMed, Gusto, Kaminario and Modu (the inclusion of Better Place and Modu, two companies which failed and closed, shows that the companies' success was irrelevant for inclusion in this ranking, but only fund raising from a venture capital fund).

The report includes the ranking of the business management faculties with the largest number of graduate entrepreneurs. Harvard leads the list, followed by Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University and the first European representative, INSEAD.

In addition, PitchBook ranked the universities with the largest number of female entrepreneurs. No Israeli universities appear on this list, topped by Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, Berkley, Harvard and New York University. In terms of MBA programs, programs offered by Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania and MIT had the largest number of female graduates who turned entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, the company issued a separate report ranking the universities according to the number of entrepreneurs who managed to found 'unicorn' companies, companies which were valued at over $1 billion during fund raising from venture capital funds. Here the first Chinese university, Zhejiang University, appears on the list. Tel Aviv University is mentioned, as two of its graduates had helped found two unicorns. Tel Aviv is also ranked 11th on the list of universities producing serial entrepreneurs.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report September 2016

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