Tel Aviv University ranked 8th in the world in producing entrepreneurs with an undergrad degree from the university and went on to found startups that raised significant capital, according to a recent report by Pitchbook, a research company covering private capital markets.
The report ranks multiple university programs across categories such as undergrad, MBA, exits, and unicorns, in reference to companies valued at over $1 billion. The data was gathered between 2006 and June 2018, spanning some 12 and a half years.
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According to Pitchbook, some 640 entrepreneurs emerged from Tel Aviv University’s undergraduate programs, starting 531 companies that raised almost $8 billion in funding over the years.
In the same category ranking the top 50 undergrad programs, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology ranked 14th, producing 468 entrepreneurs who have gone on to found 395 companies raising $7.2 billion. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem came in 35th, with 304 entrepreneurs, 268 companies and $4.31 billion in raised capital.
But TAU was the only non-American university in the top 10. The top spot went to Stanford University (with 1,178 entrepreneurs) followed by the University of California, Berkeley, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania closed out the top five.
Pitchbook went on to name the top five Israeli companies, by capital raised, founded by entrepreneurs with an undergraduate degree from TAU: Houzz, the Israeli-American interior design company said valued at over $4 billion; Signifyd, the San Jose-based company that developed enterprise-level fraud detection tech and has raised $185 million in capital; BlueVine, a company that developed payment solutions tech for small businesses and has raised almost $600 million; Trax Image Recognition, which leverages computer vision for retail tech, raising almost $300 million; and Next Insurance, which provides entrepreneurs with online insurance and has raised over $130 million.
In the top 25 MBA programs category, Tel Aviv University came in 13th with 233 entrepreneurs and 221 companies. The top five Israeli companies by venture capital raised in this category were Houzz, BlueVine, IronSource, a market leader in app monetization and distribution valued at $1.5 billion, Stratoscale, a Herzliya-based cloud computing startup that has raised close to $70 million, and Gigya, the customer identity tech firm acquired last year for $350 million by SAP, Europe’s largest software company.
In the unicorns category, TAU ranked 9th in the top MBA programs with two companies by Israeli entrepreneurs valued at over $1 billion (Houzz, IronSource).
The university also came in 19th for producing serial entrepreneurs with an undergrad degree from TAU. Pitchbook defined a serial entrepreneur as “an entrepreneur who founded two or more separate companies that garnered a first round of venture financing within the timeframe.”
For the number of exits category, TAU ranked 8th for alumni with an undergrad degree who exited (118 entrepreneurs) and 11th for alumni with an MBA who exited. The Technion ranked 11th for producing entrepreneurs who sold their companies or had them acquired.
Pitchbook explained that networks developed while at university “remain a key component” in the professional and personal realm.
“Tapping networks remains perhaps the most trusted recourse to finding not only the right people with whom to launch a new venture, but also the right providers of needed capital,” the research firm said in its report.
The largest university in Israel
With over 30,000 students, half of whom are in master’s or doctoral programs, Tel Aviv University is the largest in Israel. The public research university boasts nine faculties, 17 teaching hospitals, 18 performing arts centers, 27 schools, 106 departments, 340 research centers and 400 laboratories.
In 2017, TAU was ranked among the top 10 colleges worldwide that have graduated the most founders of unicorns, according to British business management firm Sage, which ranked the Israeli institution at number eight.
That same year, the university was among three Israeli universities ranked in Reuters’ 100 World’s Most Innovative Universities.