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The list of companies that have the largest number of alumni who have gone on to become founders of European tech companies is dominated by established tech companies, such as Google and Microsoft, as well as large consulting firms, such as The Boston Consulting Group and Accenture.

Top 10 companies by number of alumni who have founded companies

European universities are important sources of founder talent, especially the leading technical and business universities. Notably, Harvard and Stanford also feature amongst the top 20 academic institutions with the largest number of alumni who have founded European tech companies.

Top 10 institutions by number of alumni who have founded companies

Europe's leading universities are important sources of entrepreneurial talent.

Source of talent

#1
The University of Cambridge is the top source of founders of European venture-backed startups

The biggest reservations that hold back students when considering entrepreneurship are the overall perceived risk, lack of funding, lack of ideas and an inability to find a co-founder to join them on the journey. These concerns are generally felt equally across students of both genders, except for access to funding, which is cited significantly more frequently by female students.

Selecting any that apply, what are the main reservations you have when considering whether to become an entrepreneur?

Legend

  • Female
  • Male
Note:
Student respondents only

Creator Fund is...building a community where potential founders or people interested in starting a business meet other people like them. They realise that entrepreneurship is viable, and that there will be people to support them.

Entrepreneurship might feel riskier to students because they think they can’t find the funding. Second, students see their friends taking a job at a large corporation or going into a law firm and therefore by comparison it feels risky to break out and start their own thing. I think Creator Fund is changing that by building a community where potential founders or people interested in starting a business meet other people like them. They realise that entrepreneurship is viable, and that there will be people to support them.

Jamie Macfarlane

Creator Fund

The structural imbalance in access to funds for female entrepreneurs is evident in the reservations that female students have when considering entrepreneurship.

Barriers to entrepreneurship for students

63%
Female students cite access to funding as their main reservation when considering whether to become an entrepreneur, versus just 40% of male students

If Europe's tech ecosystem is to benefit from an increased number of its next generations of students entering into entrepreneurship, it should explore ways to better educate students about tech entrepreneurship and expose them to relevant, practical experiences from which they can learn.

Stated briefly, what could be done to better support students to move straight into entrepreneurship?

Legend

  • % of respondents
Note:
Student respondents only. Based on respondents that gave explicit responses only.

Each student should think about and use their Edge, what is their competitive advantage against other founders? Particularly if you're technical, this is a must.

It's never been easier for students to start companies both while at university and upon graduating. That said, we still see students focus on small markets and small problems when this needn't be the case. Each student should think about and use their Edge, what is their competitive advantage against other founders? Particularly if you're technical, this is a must.

Alice Bentinck

EF

A new generation of VCs is emerging in Europe to pioneer a model of running a fund by students that is investing in students

Campus Capital

Campus Capital

United Kingdom

First Momentum Ventures

First Momentum Ventures

Germany

Oxford Seed Fund

Oxford Seed Fund

United Kingdom

The Creator Fund

The Creator Fund

Pan-European

UCL Entrepreneurs VC Fund

UCL Entrepreneurs VC Fund

United Kingdom

Wave Ventures

Wave Ventures

Finland