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

8/10/10Follow @bvbigelow

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founders surveyed. The schools filling out the rest of the top six: Stanford (12); MIT (11); Emory University (3) Northwestern University (3); and NYU (3).

—Throughout the country, more startup companies are headed by founders with MBAs (55 percent) than by MS degrees (32 percent) or law degrees (9 percent). In New York, almost two-thirds of the startups surveyed have founders with MBAs—while the founders of 29 percent have law degrees. Throughout the country, the survey shows that founding teams with only MBA degrees (58 percent) received the highest median level of venture funding, at $2.8 million. Still, there were some interesting differences among the three biggest states (see chart).

MBA MS and Funding

MBA MS and Funding

—As for advanced degrees, nearly two-thirds of the startup companies have founding teams that include at lease one member with a master’s or doctorate. Among the states, Massachusetts makes the strongest showing for startup teams with advanced degrees, with 73 percent having at least one member with a master’s or doctorate. New York has the most founding teams in which the highest level of education is an undergraduate degree or less. In terms of venture capital raised, the founding teams in California with the highest level of education got a higher median level of funding, but there was such relationship between funding and education in New York and Boston.

What does it all mean? Perhaps some venture-backed Internet founders will give us their perspective in the comment section below.

Founders' education and funding

Founders' education and funding

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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