Home Report Examines Relationship Between Gender, Education, and VC Funding

Report Examines Relationship Between Gender, Education, and VC Funding

The private investment research firm CB Insights has released Part 2 of its Venture Capital Human Capital Report. Known for its quarterly report on investment deal and dollar trends, CB Insights has published this research – the first of its kind undertaken by the firm – to shed light on the demographics of the founding teams who’ve received VC funding during the first two quarters of 2010.

Part 1 of the report, released last week, examined race, age, and experience of the founders, along with the number of founders per company. Today’s report looks at the gender composition of venture-backed startups, as well as the education of the founding teams.


According to the report, only 8% of founders nationwide are women. Of the three big states – California, New York, and Massachusetts – the latter has the highest percentage of female founders: 27%. Nationwide, 87% of companies have all-male founding teams, with only 3% of teams in California and New York being all-female.

While all-female and all-male teams raised similar funding rounds, the report finds that mixed gender teams raised larger amounts of money.

Education: Where Did Founders Get Their Undergrad Degrees?

Undergraduate institutions in 5 states spawned 47% of founders, with New York being the top destination. Cornell and Stanford tied for being the schools that graduated the most founders. And India was the leading location for those founders educated overseas.

Education: Where Did Founders Go to Grad School?

Not surprisingly, the geographic location of grad schools was quite concentrated, with a significant portion of founders graduating from Massachusetts (24%) and California (21%) schools. Harvard graduates the most founders, followed by Stanford, and Ivy League schools appear less frequently on this list than on the list of undergraduate institutions.

And while the majority of these VC-funded teams have at least one member who holds a Master’s or PhD, the report finds little connection between median funding and level of education.

Education: Science or Business?

Does an MBA matter? While some question the necessity or desirability of an MBA, the Venture Capital Human Capital report finds that MBAs make up 40% of those founders with advanced degrees. Statistics from California and Massachusetts echo this, with New York having a higher percentage than the other states of founders with law degrees.

Not only are teams whose members have MBAs the majority, but these teams also receive the highest median funding.

The strength of founding teams is often touted as being a key factor in funding decisions. As such, the demographics of these teams makes for a very interesting look into venture capital.

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