They are reliable breeding grounds for startup talent.

By Claire Zillman
September 1, 2017
September 01, 2017

Stanford University has again topped the list of universities for female entrepreneurs. The college’s undergraduate programs have churned out 154 entrepreneurs who’ve founded 146 companies with some $1.68 billion in capital raised since 2006, according to M&A, private equity, and venture capital database Pitchbook.

Some of the most notable female entrepreneurs among the school’s graduates are Alison Pincus of One Kings Lane, Elizabeth Hollenberg of Everspring, and Minnie Ingersoll of Shift Technologies.

While Stanford is a repeat No. 1, Harvard is a newcomer at No. 2, climbing two spots from last year’s list with 119 female entrepreneurs and 115 companies founded—Gilt, Nextdoor, and Rent the Runway, to name a few. Altogether, they’ve raised $2.74 billion in capital.

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Here is the full top 10:

Pitchbook, which also ranks universities based on their overall entrepreneurial output (regardless of a founder’s gender), points to a few factors that make these colleges such reliable breeding grounds for startup talent: their elite engineering and computer science programs; their geographical proximity to technology hubs like Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York City; the universities’ alumni networks; and colleges’ in-house investment funds or their affiliations with local VCs. Stanford, for instance, deploys capital through its StartX fund, which provides funding and mentorship to company founders.

But despite these universities’ stellar track records for producing female entrepreneurs, Pitchbook’s university data reveals the stark disparity between female founders and their male counterparts—one that plagues the entire VC community. While Stanford’s data on female founders is impressive compared to peers—154 entrepreneurs, 146 companies, $1.68 billion in capital raised—the figures represent a small fraction of Stanford’s entrepreneurial output overall—1127 entrepreneurs, 957 companies, and $22.63 billion in capital raised.

A Fortune analysis from March showed that venture capitalists invested a total of $58.2 billion in companies with all-male founders in 2016, while just $1.46 billion in VC money went to women. Rather than improving last year, that massive disparity—due to differences in the number of deals and the average deal size by gender—actually got worse.

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