Who Are You? Part 2: Gender and Education Backgrounds of Venture-Backed Internet Startups

8/10/10Follow @bvbigelow

As we reported last week, there wasn’t much to surprise the sociologists of innovation in Part 1 of the data CB Insights gleaned about the race, age, and experience of the founders at 165 Internet startups that raised venture capital funding during the first half of 2010. But there are some interesting, and perhaps unexpected, demographic findings in Part 2, which is being released today and focuses on the gender and education of Internet founders.

For example, women have a room of their own for Internet startups in Massachusetts, which has a far higher proportion—27 percent—of female founders than the national average (8 percent), California (6 percent), or New York (7 percent). With discretion being the better part of valor, I’m leaving it to Xconomy Boston Editor Greg Huang to explain this in a separate post for Boston.

Some other factoids also stand out in terms of education: Nearly half (47 percent) of the 165 venture-backed Internet founders received their undergraduate education in one of five states (guess which ones—read on for list). And of the 17 percent of the total who were educated overseas, India makes up the largest percentage, accounting for nearly a third of that group.

I have more details on all of this below.

CB Insights, the New York data services company that tracks the innovation economy, explains that its report on the demographics of Internet startups was prompted by the importance that venture capitalists place on the “people” part of the successful startup equation. Yet, as the CB Insights team puts it, “there is a dearth of data-driven insight and information about the entrepreneurs and founders behind these companies.”

As with Part 1, the methodology that CB Insights used to determine the gender of startup founders is also worth a caveat: “Our determination of gender is driven algorithmically by data CB Insights has created [for names]. In cases where gender was not conclusively provided by … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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