Whatever one’s race, ethnicity or gender, if the goal is to lead a venture-backed U.S. startup, attending Stanford, Harvard or MIT seems to greatly increase the odds of success.
This is the oft-repeated conclusion from an ongoing series of Crunchbase data dives analyzing the most popular colleges and universities among startup founders and CEOs. Earlier this month, we analyzed the best schools for female founders. In previous articles, we have analyzed all founders,as well as CTOs and CEOs.
For this latest effort, we focused on CEOs of U.S. startups who identify as racial or ethnic minorities, a group categorized under the acronym BIPOC. It was a comparatively small data set, with only 687 BIPOC CEOs of companies funded in the past two years, according to Crunchbase data. And of those, many did not have a university affiliation in their profile.
However, the small sample size largely reflected the same trends we’ve seen in previous analyses. That is, the most common schools for BIPOC CEOs are the most prestigious and selective research universities in the country. Think Ivy Leagues, elite West Coast schools, and large public and private research institutions.
Below, we chart the top schools by number of BIPOC CEO-funded graduates:
There were some notable distinctions between this list and previous research we’ve done on startup and university leaders. One is that for the BIPOC cohort, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) outperformed Harvard. Another is that the University of California at Berkeley ranked higher than MIT, which has not been the case for previous cohorts we have analyzed.
Given that the BIPOC analysis presented a small sample size, it is probably best not to make too many of these distinctions. There is an element of randomness, and with few CEOs on the list, a small number of graduates can change the rankings quite dramatically.