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Startup Study: Entrepreneurial Activity by Harvard Business School Students

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Do Harvard MBAs make great startup founders? The school has recently come under fire for a lack of apparent entrepreneurial activity. NextView looked at capital raised, companies launched, and more.

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Startup Study: Entrepreneurial Activity by Harvard Business School Students

  1. New STARTUP Data: Entrepreneurial Activity by Harvard MBAs a study of recent classes at
  2. In February 2014, HBS grad and EverTrue founder/CEO Brent Grinna wrote a great post about HBS founders.
  3. In February 2014, HBS grad and EverTrue founder/CEO Brent Grinna wrote a great post about HBS founders.
  4. In February 2014, HBS grad and EverTrue founder/CEO Brent Grinna wrote a great post about HBS founders.
  5. In February 2014, HBS grad and EverTrue founder/CEO Brent Grinna wrote a great post about HBS founders. (You can find the article here.)
  6. In the post, Brent offers a few very valid points.
  7. In the post, Brent offers a few very valid points. Lots of people are saying Harvard MBAs aren’t good startup founders.
  8. In the post, Brent offers a few very valid points. Lots of people are saying Harvard MBAs aren’t good startup founders. Many claim these grads start “only” a small percent of Unicorn startups.
  9. In the post, Brent offers a few very valid points. Lots of people are saying Harvard MBAs aren’t good startup founders. Many claim these grads start “only” a small percent of Unicorn startups. But, um, the DATA says otherwise, so please sit back and enjoy while I lay the smack down on all the haters out there who’d claim such things.
  10. In the post, Brent offers a few very valid points. Lots of people are saying Harvard MBAs aren’t good startup founders. Many claim these grads start “only” a small percent of Unicorn startups. But, um, the DATA says otherwise, so please sit back and enjoy while I lay the smack down on all the haters out there who’d claim such things. Okay, so we may have editorialized a little bit.
  11. In the post, Brent offers a few very valid points. Lots of people are saying Harvard MBAs aren’t good startup founders. Many claim these grads start “only” a small percent of Unicorn startups. But, um, the DATA says otherwise, so please sit back and enjoy while I lay the smack down on all the haters out there who’d claim such things. Okay, so we may have editorialized a little bit. (Sorry Brent!)
  12. But still, we wondered:
  13. Do Harvard MBAs make PROLIFIC startup founders? But still, we wondered:
  14. In our experience at NextView, we’d say yes. But still, we wondered: Do Harvard MBAs make PROLIFIC startup founders?
  15. In our experience at NextView, we’d say yes. But we decided to look at the data and expand Brent’s study of the 2009 and 2010 classes to include more years. But still, we wondered: Do Harvard MBAs make PROLIFIC startup founders?
  16. And here’s the Veritas...
  17. (Get it?) And here’s the Veritas...
  18. INSIDE THE DATA Startups Founded by Harvard MBAs ClassES 2008-14 Researched by Dimitri Dadiomov (@dadiomov) HBS ’15 | MBA Associate, NextView Ventures
  19. First, a look at entrepreneurial “activity” (total companies launched and capital raised).
  20. In total, HBS classes 2008-14 exhibit the following activity:
  21. In total, HBS classes 2008-14 exhibit the following activity: •  260+ Founders •  90+ STARTUPS •  S2.5B+ RaisedI
  22. Some of the startups they founded include the following:
  23. (U.S.)   Some of the startups they founded include the following: acq. by acq. by
  24. (U.S.)   (INT’L)   Some of the startups they founded include the following: acq. by acq. by
  25. (U.S.)   (INT’L)   ( )   Some of the startups they founded include the following: acq. by acq. by acq. by
  26. CompaniesFounded DollarsRaised $1.4B $1.2B $1B $800M $600M $0 $200M $400M 33 Graduating Classes (Total Founders) 38 49 58 25 21 41 (To Date) (To Date)
  27. CompaniesFounded DollarsRaised $1.4B $1.2B $1B $800M $600M $0 $200M $400M 33 Graduating Classes (Total Founders) 38 49 58 25 21 41 It’s important to note that we’re using capital raised as a proxy for entrepreneurial activity, not a definite cause of success. (To Date) (To Date)
  28. CompaniesFounded DollarsRaised $1.4B $1.2B $1B $800M $600M $0 $200M $400M 33 Graduating Classes (Total Founders) 38 49 58 25 21 41 The Class of 2011 was the outlier, with 58 founders of 26 companies raising more than $1.15B in venture capital. (To Date) (To Date)
  29. CompaniesFounded DollarsRaised $1.4B $1.2B $1B $800M $600M $0 $200M $400M 33 Graduating Classes (Total Founders) 38 49 58 25 21 41 Prior to 2011, HBS founders raised an average of about $400M. (To Date) (To Date)
  30. CompaniesFounded DollarsRaised $1.4B $1.2B $1B $800M $600M $0 $200M $400M 33 Graduating Classes (Total Founders) 38 49 58 25 21 41 Time will tell for the more recent classes. To date, they’ve raised roughly $200M total. (To Date) (To Date)
  31. DRILLING DOWN A sampling of the companies with the most capital raised:
  32. DRILLING DOWN A sampling of the companies with the most capital raised: $S50M+I
  33. DRILLING DOWN A sampling of the companies with the most capital raised: $S50M+I
  34. DRILLING DOWN A sampling of the companies with the most capital raised: $S100M+I
  35. DRILLING DOWN A sampling of the companies with the most capital raised: $S300M+I
  36. DRILLING DOWN A sampling of the companies with the most capital raised: $S400M+I
  37. DRILLING DOWN A few key exits: EXITS
  38. DRILLING DOWN A few key exits: EXITS
  39. Next, we looked at the sectors in which these HBS classes launched their companies:
  40. Next, we looked at the sectors in which these HBS classes launched their companies: •  30% Ecommerce •  23% b2c Tech •  22% b2b Tech
  41. Ecommerce 30% Enterprise 22% Consumer 23% Cleantech 5% Health 9% Fintech 4% Education 7% Startups Founded by HBS Classes, ‘08-’14: Sector
  42. Ecommerce 30% Enterprise 22% Consumer 23% Cleantech 5% Health 9% Fintech 4% Education 7% Startups Founded by HBS Classes, ‘08-’14: Sector These HBS classes showed a relatively broad spectrum of interests in attacking problems across various sectors.
  43. Third: Harvard is a talent magnet both domestically and globally. So where did these MBAs launch their startups?
  44. •  39% East Coast U.s. (Boston & NYC) •  26% California •  22% Outside N.A. Third: Harvard is a talent magnet both domestically and globally. So where did these MBAs launch their startups?
  45. Boston 12% New York 27% California 26% Other US & Canada 13% Asia 5% Europe 6% Africa 3% Latin & South America 8% Startups Founded by HBS '08-’14: Geography
  46. Boston 12% New York 27% California 26% Other US & Canada 13% Asia 5% Europe 6% Africa 3% Latin & South America 8% Startups Founded by HBS '08-’14: Geography Heated discussion currently permeates Boston Tech regarding the city’s need to improve retention of its top students, and rightfully so according to this data.
  47. If they follow earlier classes, the more recent grads of 2012 to 2014 represent a hefty sum of investments:
  48. S1BillionI If they follow earlier classes, the more recent grads of 2012 to 2014 represent a hefty sum of investments:
  49. S1BillionI If they follow earlier classes, the more recent grads of 2012 to 2014 represent a hefty sum of investments:
  50. S1BillionI If they follow earlier classes, the more recent grads of 2012 to 2014 represent a hefty sum of investments:
  51. So we’ve seen…
  52. So we’ve seen… •  Lots of startups
  53. So we’ve seen… •  Lots of startups •  Lots of capital
  54. So we’ve seen… •  Lots of startups •  Lots of capital •  Lots of sectors
  55. So we’ve seen… •  Lots of startups •  Lots of capital •  Lots of sectors •  Lots of geographies
  56. So we’ve seen… •  Lots of startups •  Lots of capital •  Lots of sectors •  Lots of geographies •  And even some “unicorns”
  57. Now back to our 1st question… ????
  58. Do Harvard MBAs make PROLIFIC startup founders?
  59. Unquestionably. Do Harvard MBAs make PROLIFIC startup founders?
  60. Unquestionably. Unequivocally. Do Harvard MBAs make PROLIFIC startup founders?
  61. Unquestionably. Unequivocally. Undoubtedly. Do Harvard MBAs make PROLIFIC startup founders?
  62. Unquestionably. Unequivocally. Undoubtedly. Yes. Do Harvard MBAs make PROLIFIC startup founders?
  63. The Go-To SITE FOR SEED-STAGE STARTUPS Visit The View From Seed Regular blog content plus tactical, helpful resources for early-stage companies. Par t of the NextView platform of startup support. NextViewVentures.com @NextViewVC

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