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4 Israeli universities named among top 50 producers of entrepreneurs

Tel Aviv, Technion, Hebrew U and Ben-Gurion University churn out high number of founders of venture capital-backed companies, in lineup compiled by PitchBook

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Students at the Tel Aviv University on the first day of the new academic year, October 14, 2018 (Flash90)
Students at the Tel Aviv University on the first day of the new academic year, October 14, 2018 (Flash90)

Four Israeli universities are listed in PitchBook’s 2020 ranking of 50 leading global undergraduate programs.

In the ranking, Tel Aviv University is situated at 8th place, unchanged from last year, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology ranks 12th, up two places from the 2019 listing, Hebrew University of Jerusalem ranks 32nd, up two places vs last year, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ranks 46th, up three places from 2019.

The 2020 ranking is for the university programs that produce the most entrepreneurs who go on to obtain venture funding.

Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) nabbed first, second and third place respectively, followed by Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania. All of these top five have maintained their 2019 rankings.

For the ranking, PitchBook tracked founders of companies that received a first round of venture funding between January 1, 2006, and August 31, 2020. All rankings are based on data solely within that timeframe, PitchBook said in a statement.

The undergraduate programs at Tel Aviv University have helped create 807 founders, who have set up 673 companies and raised a total of $16.1 billion in the relevant period, the statement said.

The programs at the Technion have generated 602 founders, who have set up 509 companies and raised a total of $12.4 billion.

The programs at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have generated 401 founders, who have set up 353 companies and raised a total of $7.9 billion. Ben-Gurion University has created 285 founders who have set up 251 companies and raised $4.5 billion.

Stanford University has created 1,448 founders, who have created 1,258 companies and raised a total of $47.8 billion.

Harvard University, Stanford University and University of Pennsylvania top the ranking for the top 25 MBA programs, where Tel Aviv University ranks 13th, unchanged from last year, with its MBA program generating 306 founders who have set up 286 companies that have raised $6 billion in the period. There is no other Israeli university in this category.

Tel Aviv is among the top 25 university undergraduate programs that have led to the most female founders – ranking 21st, up five places from last year. The undergraduate program has fostered 53 female founders who have set up 50 companies and raised $717 million in the period. Stanford University leads this category with 208 female founders that have set up 197 companies and raised a total of $3.4 billion for the period.

Tel Aviv’s MBA program is also among the top 25 MBA programs for female founders, ranking 15th out of 25. The program has generated 20 female founders who have set up 20 companies and raised $390 million. Harvard University tops this list, with its MBA programs helping create 285 founders of 266 companies that raised $17.1 billion.

PitchBook Data is a company that delivers data and research covering mergers and acquisitions, VC and private equity funds.

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