Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982. Over two decades later, the company’s name--an acronym for Stanford University Network--could also apply to the investing practices of venture firms and angel investors. From Instagram and LinkedIn to Google and Yahoo, Stanford churns out an more alums that wind up with venture funding than other universities.
Between 2007 and 2011, Information services group CB Insights recorded that alumni from six major U.S. universities raised a collective $12.6 billion in angel financing or venture funding in more than 559 financing transactions. Of these, Stanford alumni-led companies amassed $4.1 billion across 203 transactions. These numbers outpaced others by millions of dollars and nearly 100 transactions. And, before you Harvard alums get nitpicky, the study also included dropouts as alumni--but Mark Zuckerberg still wasn't enough to beat Stanford.
The report--The University Entrepreneurship--is a first-of-its-kind effort to track funding activity from top university alumni. The other universities included in the report were University of California at Berkeley, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The study also looked at each university’s financing deal activity over the years. Again, Stanford remained on top, while Harvard and NYU alumni showed a steady increase in the deals its graduates made. In the last year, U Penn, UC Berkeley, and MIT alumni founders have shown a slight decrease in deal activity. Across all of the universities, most of the companies that received funding were in the tech industry.
Of all of the universities studied, Stanford alums were most likely to remain near their alma mater to start their businesses--and with good reason. Stanford is just a few miles from Sand Hill Road, which is still the epicenter of Silicon Valley's venture capital.