TAU ranked 9th worldwide for start-up founders

Ranked above Yale, Princeton and UCLA in producing start-up companies that successfully raise capital

04 September 2017

What do unicorns have to do with academic degrees? Apparently, quite a lot.


According to the 2017 PitchBook report 582 entrepreneurs who did their undergraduate degree at Tel Aviv University started 486 different companies that managed to raise initial capital from investors, and have placed TAU 9th in the world, out of the top 50 universities producing successful entrepreneurs. For four years in a row, PitchBook has ranked TAU as the top university and the only one in the top 10 located outside the United States.


The data is based on information PitchBook gathers to provide analysis regarding start-up companies and venture capital for investors and service providers.


283 of the companies started by TAU graduates are in the field of software, and the rest encompass a variety of fields. TAU is ranked higher in producing entrepreneurs than famous universities like UCLA, Yale and Princeton. Other Israeli institutions are also ranked below the top 10, with the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) ranking 14th and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 35th place.


8 Unicorns and 25 Serial Entrepreneurs

The academic atmosphere at TAU and the physical location – right in the heart of the Israeli high-tech capital – give birth each year to countless ideas for start-up companies among students, researchers and alumni. TAU fosters and encourages the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, and gives its students the necessary tools and connections in the high-tech industry, through many programs and initiatives. Among them is StarTau, an entrepreneurship center originally started by TAU students that has grown exponentially in scope and influence since 2009.


Among TAU’s MBA graduates who’ve become entrepreneurs, TAU is ranked 13th in the world and first in Israel, with 178 companies founded since 2010, and 2.36 million dollars in capital raised, per company. This year, 8 MBA graduates from TAU are considered “unicorns”, with start-up companies that are estimated to be worth over a billion dollars. Additonally, 10 graduates of a bachelor’s program and 15 graduate of a master’s program at TAU are considered “serial entrepreneurs”, meaning they’ve successfully raised capital for two or more companies, and 8 graduates of a bachelor’s program have “exited” their companies, meaning sold them successfully to a larger corporation.


Prof. Joseph Klafter, president of Tel Aviv University, said he “sees this ranking as a badge of honor for Israel in general and TAU in particular. The entrepreneurial spirit of the Israeli “start-up nation” is fed by our students and alumni, for whom chasing the unknown is a way of life. The toolkits our professors are able to pass on to our students has a lot to do with that success as well.” Prof. Klafter also added that the “the new Entrepreneurship Center we’re expanding currently will be the bedrock from which even more start-up companies will grow.”

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