25 Best Colleges for Entrepreneurship (2024)

Find out the best universities for students interested in entrepreneurship.
February 19, 2024
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top 25 universities for entreprenuership featuring Stanford, Cal, Harvard, MIT, and Penn

I looked at several variables, including capital raised, notable alumni, and programs and resources available, to determine which colleges are best for entrepreneurship.

I also interviewed several faculty and student leaders to inform my opinion better.

Startup count and capital raised provided by Pitchbook.

Full List

1. Stanford University

streetside view of Stanford campus tower and building

Location: Stanford, California

Startup Count: 1,297

Capital Raised: $73.5 billion

Notable Alumni: Sam Altman (OpenAI), Phil Knight (Nike), Sergey Brin (Google), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Evan Spiegel (Snapchat), Garry Tan (Y Combinator), Peter Thiel (PayPal), Keith Rabois (Founders Fund), Jerry Yang (Yahoo), Mamoon Hamid (Kleiner Perkins), Katrina Lake (Stitch Fix)


Entrepreneurship Programs:

  • Galvanizer: A student-led 8-week virtual accelerator program for female founders. (full interview)
  • Stanford ASES: A student-led global entrepreneurship society. (full interview)
  • Stanford SENSA: A student-led organization that backs social entrepreneurs. (full interview)
  • Stanford BASES: The business association of Stanford entrepreneurial students.
  • StartX: A non-profit dedicated to helping tech and medtech startups tap into the Stanford University alumni network.
  • Launchpad: A 10-week incubator program for ten companies led by Stanford professor Perry Klebah for Stanford students.
  • Cardinal Ventures: A student-founder community. They run an accelerator program, deeptech fellowship, and the College Ventures Network.

2. University of California, Berkeley

aerial view of the campanile and UC Berkeley's campus

Location: Berkeley, California

Startup Count: 1,305

Capital Raised: $47.5 billion

Notable Alumni: Ali Ghodsi (Databricks), Tony Xu (DoorDash), Ryan Petersen (Flexport)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

3. Harvard University

Harvard Business School sign with Harvard building behind it

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Startup Count: 1,086

Capital Raised: $51.8 billion

Notable Alumni: Mark Zuckerberg (Meta), Alfred Lin (Sequoia Capital), Parker Conrad (Rippling), Sarah Tavel (Benchmark), David Weiden (Khosla Ventures)


Entrepreneurship Programs:

4. MIT

Aerial of MIT campus with waterfront and city in the background

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Startup Count: 959

Capital Raised: $46 billion

Notable Alumni: Patrick Collison (Stripe), Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures), Nat Friedman (AI Grant), Drew Houston (Dropbox)


Entrepreneurship Programs:

5. University of Michigan

University of Michigan law school building with trees infront

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Startup Count: 736

Capital Raised: $25.3 billion

Notable Alumni: Larry Page (Google), Jeff Lawson (Twilio), Brad Keywell (Groupon), Frederic Latta Smith (General Motors)

Entrepreneurship Programs: 

  • UpRound Ventures: A student-led VC firm. (full interview)
  • V1 Product Studio: A product studio designed to help Michigan students build software products.
  • Shift Creator Space: A community of designers, hackers, artists, and entrepreneurs. 
  • Desai: A university-led 7-month accelerator program for companies with at least one founder who is an upcoming graduate or alums of the University of Michigan
  • StartUM: A student-run incubator for Michigan students.
  • TechArb: A university-led student accelerator program.
  • goblue.vc: Leveraging Michigan alumni to invest in startups.

6. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania housing and dining buildings - looks like England

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Startup Count: 933

Capital Raised: $34 billion

Notable Alumni: Elon Musk (Tesla), Andy Rachleff (Wealthfront), Josh Kopelman (First Round Capital)

Entrepreneurship Programs: 

7. USC

USC fountain and building in the background

Location: Los Angeles, California

Startup Count: 564

Capital Raised: $28.8 billion

Notable Alumni: Aaron Levie (Box), Marc Benioff (Salesforce), Max Mullen (Instacart)

Entrepreneurship Programs: 

  • Spark SC: An accelerator for 5 USC startups each semester with advisors from USC faculty. (full interview)
  • Viterbi Startup Garage: A one-year incubator for USC-affiliated startups focused on deep technology, machine learning, and AI-enabled companies.
  • TroyLabs Accelerator: A student-run 8-week accelerator program for USC-affiliated startups that provides the necessary education, network, and resources to get started.
  • USC Rossier Education Technology Accelerator: A university-led education tech accelerator that does not require USC affiliation.
  • Marshall Grief Incubator: An incubator for startup teams with at least one USC student, alum, or faculty member.
  • Incubate USC: Offers several incubator and accelerator programs to showcase USC's startup ecosystem.

8. Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University with campus logo sculpture

Location: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Startup Count: 692

Capital Raised: $26.3 billion

Notable Alumni: Shlomo Kramer (Cato Networks), Ronni Zehavi (HiBob), Emanuel Timor (Vertex Ventures Israel)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

  • Coller Ignite: Helping students at Tel Aviv University explore the entrepreneurship path.
  • TAU Ventures: Tel Aviv University’s venture capital fund that provides pre-seed and seed funding to Israeli tech companies.
  • Ramot: Tel Aviv University’s tech transfer company.
  • jumpTAU: A four-month accelerator program for Tel Aviv University students and recent alums.
  • Dan Launchpad: A venture-enhancement program.
  • Coller Startup Competition: A competition to win $100,000 for startups in DeepTech, Online, and Foodtech. 

9. Cornell University

Aerial view of Cornell campus at night time with building lights on

Location: Ithaca, New York

Startup Count: 807

Capital Raised: $30 billion

Notable Alumni: Paul Graham (Y Combinator), Josh Wolfe (Lux Capital), Scott Belsky (Adobe), Jenny Lee (GGV Capital)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

10. Yale University

People walking around in Yale University courtyard

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Startup Count: 594

Capital Raised: $24.0 billion

Notable Alumni: Michael Seibel (Y Combinator), Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate), Justin Kan (Twitch), Jonathan Swanson (Thumbtack), Joseph Tsai (Alibaba), Ben Silbermann (Pinterest), Anne Wojcicki (23andMe), Kevin Ryan (MongoDB), Max Rhodes (Faire)


Entrepreneurship Programs:

11. Princeton

Princeton building with trees in front

Location: Princeton, New Jersey

Startup Count: 571

Capital Raised: $30.4 billion

Notable Alumni: Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Sridhar Vembu (Zoho), Joseph Lubin (Consensys), Mark Caputo (US Renal Care), Geoff Yang (Redpoint Ventures), Evelyn Rusli (Yumi), Fabrice Grinda (FJ Labs), Jack Altman (Lattice)


Entrepreneurship Programs:

12. Duke University

Duke University - cathedral type church building with susn

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Startup Count: 506

Capital Raised: $17.4 billion

Notable Alumni: Tim Cook (Apple), Fred Ehrsam (Coinbase), Howard Lerman (Yext)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

13. Brown University

Brown University courtyard during the fall with yellow-brown leaves falling on students walking

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Startup Count: 487

Capital Raised: $31.5 billion

Notable Alumni: Dylan Field (Figma), Andrew Hunt (Warby Parker), Evan Stites-Clayton (Teespring), Irving Fain (Bowery Farming)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

14. University of California, Los Angeles

Students walking to class at UCLA

Location: Los Angeles, California

Startup Count: 615

Capital Raised: $17.2 billion

Notable Alumni: Travis Kalanick (Uber), Mike Morhaime (Blizzard Entertainment), Todd Mackey (GoGuardian)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

  • Bruin Entrepreneurs: A student-led organization to support student entrepreneurship. (full interview)
  • Bruin Ventures: A student-led venture capital and technology club. 
  • UCLA Ventures: A community-built venture fund to support UCLA startups.
  • UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator: A university-led accelerator initiative to support UCLA-affiliate startups with grant funding through various programs (Activate, Accelerate, Showcase, Advisory Program).
  • UCLA Health TechQuity Accelerator: An accelerator for UCLA-affiliated teams working on healthcare solutions regarding prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and community impact.
  • Startup UCLA: A 10-week summer accelerator for UCLA-affiliated startups.
  • Scale LA Aerospace Accelerator: An aerospace accelerator for pre-seed and seed-stage companies in collaboration with UCLA Samueli School Of Engineering.

15. New York University

New York street with NYU flag hanging above sidewalk

Location: New York, New York

Startup Count: 513

Capital Raised: $16.8 billion

Notable Alumni: Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Robert Kalin (Etsy)

Entrepreneurship Programs: 

  • NYU SVS: A student-led venture capital and tech club. (full interview
  • NYU EEG: A student-led entrepreneurship, tech, and venture capital club. (full interview
  • Stern Venture Fellows: A 10-week fellowship that provides each fellow a $10,000 non-dilutive personal stipend and access to up to $5,000 in prototyping expenses for NYU entrepreneurs.
  • Summer Launchpad: A 9-week accelerator providing $10,000 in non-dilutive funding for scalable startups led by NYU students and researchers. 
  • NYU Startup Sprint: A two-week program for NYU students and faculty to receive skill-building workshops, grant funding, and peer support.
  • Biomedical Entrepreneurship Program: An accelerator program to help accelerate the commercialization of biomedical discoveries and inventions made at NYU

16. University of Chicago

aerial view of University of Chicago campus

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Startup Count: 232

Capital Raised: $12.3 billion

Notable Alumni: Evan Sharp (Pinterest), Chris Maguire (Etsy), Matthew Prince (Cloudflare)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

17. Columbia University

Students walking to class in Columbia University courtyard

Location: New York, New York

Startup Count: 569

Capital Raised: $19.3 billion

Notable Alumni: Robert Reffkin (Compass), Jon Oringer (Shutterstock), Ben Horowitz (a16z)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

18. Northwestern University

Location: Evanston, Illinois

Startup Count: 444

Capital Raised: $18 billion

Notable Alumni: Gary Beasley (Roofstock), Jon Soberg (MS&AD Ventures), Jay Hoag (TCV)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

  • The Garage: Northwestern’s base for student entrepreneurs and home to 1,500+ startups. (full interview)
  • Student Holdings: A student-run holdings company that manages a portfolio of four businesses. 

19. University of Texas at Austin

View of UT Austin campus with fountain in the front and tower in the back

Location: Austin, Texas

Startup Count: 677

Capital Raised: $15.8 billion

Notable Alumni: Michael Dell (Dell), Bill Gurley (Benchmark)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

  • Austin Technology Incubator: An incubator affiliated with UT Austin for its students and alums.
  • SEAL Summer Accelerator: A 9-week summer accelerator run in partnership with the Austin Technology Incubator.
  • The LaunchPad at UT Austin: A hub for UT Austin undergraduate and graduate students to explore and scale their ventures with the chance to win up to $5,000 in grant funding.
  • Texas Venture Labs Accelerator: A zero-cost, zero-equity 14-week startup accelerator for Texas startups that want to work with UT Austin graduate students.
  • Texas Momentum: A student-led 10-week accelerator program for UT Austin student startups.

20. University of Notre Dame

Students walking to class at the University of Notre Dame in the snow. Golden dome in the background.

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

Startup Count: 234

Capital Raised: $5.1 billion

Notable Alumni: Joe Schmidt IV (Andreessen Horowitz), Patrick O'Shaughnessy (Invest Like The Best), Joe Montana (Liquid 2 Ventures)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

21. California Institute of Technology

Flat water with sculpture in the front with Caltech building in the back

Location: Pasadena, California

Startup Count: N/A

Capital Raised: N/A

Notable Alumni: Shaun Maguire (Sequoia Capital), Ilya Fushman (Kleiner Perkins), Adam D'Angelo (Quora)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

22. Georgetown University

Garden view of Georgetown University

Location: Washington, DC

Startup Count: 341

Capital Raised: $9.3 billion

Notable Alumni: Katherine Boyle (a16z), David Wehner (CSO at Meta), Chris Sacca (Lowercarbon Capital)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

23. Carnegie Mellon

Overpass walkway at Carnegie Mellon university

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Startup Count: 439

Capital Raised: $16.5 billion

Notable Alumni: Lucy Guo (Scale AI), Sohail Prasad (Forge), Brian Olsavsky (CFO at Amazon)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

24. University of Illinois

University of Illinois in the winter

Location: Champaign, Illinois

Startup Count: 552

Capital Raised: $20.8 billion

Notable Alumni: Marc Andreessen (a16z), Max Levchin (Affirm), Scott Banister (IronPort Systems)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

25. University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo sign with building in the background with pretty sunset and snow on the ground

Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Startup Count: 428

Capital Raised: $17.0 billion

Notable Alumni: Chamath Palihapitiya (Social Capital), Matei Zaharia (Databricks)

Entrepreneurship Programs:

  • Velocity: An incubator that supports founders from idea to Series A.
  • EntSoc: Helping students find entrepreneurial organizations on and beyond campus.
  • Tech+ UW: A student-led inclusive tech community.
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