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The MBA, Entrepreneurship & Family Business Series

Should you get an MBA if you want to be an entrepreneur? What is the value of the MBA when it comes to Entrepreneurship? Whether you’re in the workforce or own your own business, it is always useful to know what’s in the market and your competitors. In this series, Jonathan Deforge will be sharing a few articles on Entrepreneurship starting with the statistics of the top 25 MBA programs producing VC-backed entrepreneurs (only one of the metrics to assess the strength of a program in entrepreneurship).

At a glance

The nature of the MBA has evolved tremendously over the last two decades. MBA graduates have successfully pursued careers ranging from Consulting, Finance, Tech and now, Entrepreneurship. As self-employment rises in popularity, business schools are currently developing new curricula to support aspiring entrepreneurs.

Since January 2006, alumni from the top 25 MBA programs producing Venture Capitalists (VC)-backed entrepreneurs have raised over US$131B. In 2017 alone, the top 25 MBA alumni have raised more than US$31.5B.

The U.S. is leading the pack

The U.S. is home to 21 out of the top 25 MBA programs worldwide. Alumni from American MBA programs have raised more than 88% of the total funds produced since January 2006. Harvard, Stanford and Wharton alumni alone have raised 36% of this same amount. California and Massachusetts provided the most funds, accounting for 52% from schools such as Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson or Babson College. This domination is reflected even more in the Unicorns count. The top 3 U.S. MBA programs have produced 36 unicorns out of 64.

European MBA programs appear to reach the American level of domination. INSEAD is ranked 4th in the number of VC-backed entrepreneurs produced and 5th in volume of funds raised by alumni. Moreover, INSEAD is ranked higher than schools such as Columbia, Haas, Booth or the MIT. INSEAD’s constant effort to embrace entrepreneurship and leverage the Tech boom is evident in France (with initiatives such as La French Tech) and Singapore (that has become South East Asia’s tech hub). Similarly, U.K. business schools are becoming more supportive of entrepreneurship. Also, LBS is not the sole U.K school to be part of the top 25 anymore, since Oxford Saïd joined its side in 2016. Not surprisingly, Tel Aviv University is one of the top 25 MBA, representing Israel. With its 8 million inhabitants, the country has already produced 2 unicorns and several success stories including the development of Waze (acquired by Google in June 2013 for $1.1B).

Top 25 MBA Programs Producing VC-backed Entrepreneurs

7501 entrepreneurs
878 female founders
6826 companies

$131Bn raised by MBA alumni of the top 25 MBA programs since 2006

The impact of International graduates

While the power of U.S. MBA to produced heavily VC-backed entrepreneurs is unquestionable, it is extremely interesting to see how Unicorns are spread around the world. Of the 31 most prominent companies chosen from the latest Pitchbook University Report, 8 are in Asia with powerhouse such as Grab, Flipkart and Lazada (recently acquired by Alibaba); 6 are based in Europe (Rocket Internet, BlaBlaCar or Deliveroo) and 18 are in the U.S. (while schools in the East Coast are leading, founders prefer the West Coast to start their company)

What's next?

Now that you have an overview of the top 25 MBA programs, you might be set on attaining a spot in one of the above-mentioned programs. You might also be questioning yourself if you should get an EMBA/MBA or could you just pursue your career as an entrepreneur straightaway. Stay tuned for our next article titled, as you might have guessed, “Should I go for an MBA or start my own company?”

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