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"Academic Majors of Unicorn Founders"

Values show the number of unicorn (co-)founders who have a particular major. Majors with at least 10 founders are shown. Data covers 531 US companies that became unicorns (+$1 billion valuation) between 1997-2019.


Data by Ilya Strebulaev and his team at Stanford GSB Business Venture Capital Initiative identified academic degrees earned by 1,263 of 521 US unicorns.


  • 236 founders (19%) have an MBA degree.
  • 217 founders (17%) have Master’s degrees other than MBAs.
  • 39 people have a dual Master’s degree, including an MBA.
  • 286 founders (23%) earned doctoral degrees, such as Ph.D. and MD.
  • 15 people have an MBA and a doctoral degree.
  • And 56 founders dropped out of college (many in order to start their companies).

#startups #founders #majors #education


Source: Ilya Strebulaev, Venture Capital Initiative, Stanford GSB


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alex Alex Damianou

I wonder what Peter Thiel thinks of this given he believes college is waste of time and has started a $100,000 fellowship to entice young adults to not pursue higher education (despite the fact that he himself has a bachelors and a law degree). Even Elon Musk has two degrees.


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patrick Patrick Russo

And 56 dropped out - that would be number 8 on the list if it was a category!