By Eli Epstein originally released on

The nation’s top entrepreneurs don’t come from one place — not one Ivy, one city or one incubator. Sure, schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University have a reputation for churning out revolutionary ideas and battle-tested founders, but top-flight companies sprout from universities and entrepreneurship programs all across the country.

Case in point: Jan Koum, the co-founder of mobile messaging company WhatsApp, which recently sold to Facebook for $16 billion, isn’t an Ivy League MBA. Instead, he got his bachelor’s from San Jose State University.

To get a better feel for the college entrepreneurship landscape today, Mashable parsed through graduate and undergraduate rankings and syllabi to root out the top universities for entrepreneurship in the U.S.

The rankings we scoped judge schools on their faculty, course offerings, teaching principles and extracurriculars, and also on how many businesses they’ve helped launch and how many of those companies are still around.

The following schools are sorted alphabetically; their order does not reflect a ranking.

1. Babson College

Babson students


A group of Babson students


Business school: Babson College (Babson only offers business programs)
Entrepreneurship center: Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
Year center opened: 1999
Program: Undergraduate and graduate courses
Course sampling: “Raising Money — VC, Angels & Incubators” (undergraduate) and “Enterprise 2.0: Building Social Networks” (graduate)
Notable alumni: Michael Bastian (founder, Michael Bastian), Arthur Blank (co-founder, Home Depot), Bob Davis (founder, Lycos Inc.) and Alberto Perlman (co-founder, Zumba)

2. Brigham Young University

Kevin Rollins


Dell Inc. CEO Kevin Rollins


Business School: Marriott School of Management
Entrepreneurship center: Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology
Year center opened: 2003
Program: Undergraduate and graduate courses
Course sampling: “Fundamentals of Intellectual Property” (undergraduate) and “Mobile Application Development” (undergraduate and graduate)
Notable alumni: Dave Bateman and Ben Zimmer (founders, Property Solutions International) and Jonathan C. Coon (co-founder, 1-800 Contacts)

3. University of California, Berkeley



Indiegogo co-founders Danae Ringelmann and Eric Schell


Business school: Haas School of Business
Entrepreneurship center: Lester Center for Entrepreneurship
Year center opened: 1991
Program: Undergraduate and graduate courses
Course sampling: “Opportunity Recognition: Technology and Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley” (graduate)
Notable alumni: Gordon Moore (co-founder, Intel), Danae Ringelmann and Eric Schell (founders, Indiegogo), Marc Tarpenning (co-founder, Tesla Motors) and Steve Wozniak (co-founder, Apple)

4. University of Chicago

Matt Maloney


GrubHub co-founder Matt Maloney


Business school: Booth School of Business
Entrepreneurship center: Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Year center opened: 1998
Program: Graduate courses
Course sampling: “Innovation in Energy Markets and Opportunities in Renewable Energy” and “CleanTech Lab”
Notable alumni: Bryan Johnson (founder, Braintree) and Matt Maloney (co-founder, GrubHub)

5. Harvard University



Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna


Business school: Harvard Business School
Entrepreneurship center: Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship
Year center opened: 2003
Program: Graduate courses
Course sampling: “Entrepreneurship in Education Reform” and “Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital in Healthcare”
Notable alumni: Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna (founders, Birchbox), Jenn Hyman and Jenny Fleiss (founders, Rent the Runway), Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos), Salman Khan (founder,Khan Academy), Scott McNealy (co-founder, Sun Microsystems), Mark Pincus (co-founder,Zynga) and Ron Shaich, (co-founder, Panera Bread)

6. University of Houston

University of Houston


Business students at the University of Houston


Business school: C.T. Bauer College of Business
Entrepreneurship center: Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship 
Year center opened: 1991
Program: Undergraduate courses
Course sampling: “Intrapreneurship (a.k.a. Corporate Entrepreneurship)”
Notable alumni: Rod Canion (co-founder, Compaq Computer Corporation) and John Moores (co-founder, BMC Softwares)

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT Sloan


A conference at MIT’s Sloan School of Management


Business school: Sloan School of Management
Entrepreneurship center: The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
Year center opened: 1990
Program: Undergraduate and graduate courses
Course sampling: “Entrepreneurship in Engineering: The Founder’s Journey” (undergraduate and graduate) and “Product and Service Development in the Internet Age” (undergraduate and graduate)
Notable alumni: Colin Angle and Helen Grenier (founders, iRobot), Amar Bose (founder, Bose Corporation), Robin Chase (co-founder, ZipCar), Tom Leighton and Danny Lewin (co-founders,Akamai Technologies), Jonah Peretti (co-founder, The Huffington Post and founder, BuzzFeed) and William Porter (co-founder, Etrade)

8. University of Michigan

Five Guys Burgers


A Five Guys store in Henderson, Nev.


Business school: Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Entrepreneurship center: Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studiesand College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship 
Year center opened: 1999
Program: Graduate and undergraduate
Course sampling: “Psychology of Entrepreneurship” (undergraduate) and “Urban Entrepreneurship”
Notable alumni: David Barger (co-founder, JetBlue Airways), Bharat Desai (founder, Syntel), Brad Keywell (co-founder, Groupon), Jerry Murrell (founder, Five Guys Burgers and Fries), Larry Page (co-founder, Google) and Robert Shaye (co-founder, New Line Cinema)

9. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina


Kenan-Flagler students work in the business school’s Capital Markets Lab


Business school: Kenan-Flagler Business School
Entrepreneurship center: Kenan-Flagler Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Year center opened: 1998
Program: Graduate and undergraduate
Course sampling: “Designing and Protecting Your Startup” (graduate) and “Social Entrepreneurship Through Microfinance” (undergraduate)
Notable alumni: Ryan Allis (co-founder, iContact) and Jason Kilar (founder, Hulu)


10. University of Pennsylvania

Warby Parker


Warby Parker co-founders David Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal


Business school: Wharton School 
Entrepreneurship center: Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center
Year center opened: 1973 (named for Snider in 1985)
Program: Graduate and undergraduate
Course sampling: “Building Human Assets in Entrepreneurial Ventures” (graduate) and “Entrepreneurial Marketing” (undergraduate)
Notable alumni: Neil Blumenthal, David Gilboa, Andrew Hunt, Jeffrey Raider (founders, Warby Parker), Leonard Bosack (co-founder, Cisco Systems), Josh Kopelman (founder,, Cyrus Massoumi (founder, ZocDoc) and Elon Musk (co-founder, PayPal and co-founder, Tesla Motors)

11. Princeton University

Princeton University


Vikram Pansare, who founded Sphera Materials, presents at the Keller Center Innovation Forum.


Business school: Princeton does not have a business school, but it has entrepreneurship programs
Entrepreneurship center: The Keller Center 
Year centered opened: 2005
Program: Undergraduate courses
Course sampling: “Special Topics in Entrepreneurship: Developing Commercially Viable Technologies”
Notable alumni: Jeff Bezos (founder, Amazon) and Frank Moss (co-founder, Bluefin Labs)

12. University of Southern California



A Pinkberry store in Dubai. Pinkberry was founded by USC alum Shelly Hwang


Business school: Marshall School of Business
Entrepreneurship center: Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Year center opened: 1971
Program: Undergraduate and graduate courses
Course sampling: “The Digital Startup Launchpad” (undergraduate) and “Investing in New Ventures” (graduate)
Notable alumni: Marc Benioff (founder,, Scott Cook (co-founder, Intuit), Shelly Hwang (co-founder, Pinkberry), Paul Orfalea (founder, Kinko’s) and Andrew Viterbi (co-founder,Qualcomm)

13. Stanford University

Sergey Brin


Google co-founder Sergey Brin


Business school: Stanford Graduate School of Business
Entrepreneurship center: Stanford Graduate School of Business Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Year center opened: 1996
Program: Undergraduate and graduate courses
Course sampling: “The Spirit of Entrepreneurship” (undergraduate) and “Entrepreneur Leader-Identity Development: A Critical-Incident Approach” (graduate)
Notable alumni: Brian Acton (co-founder, WhatsApp), Rich Barton (founder, and founder,, Sergey Brin (co-founder, Google), Joe Coulombe (founder, Trader Joe’s), Reed Hastings (founder, Netflix), Reid Hoffman (founder, LinkedIn), William Hewlett and David Packard (founders, Hewlett Packard), Jawed Karim (co-founder, YouTube), Kevin Systrom (co-founder, Instagram) and Tim Westergren (co-founder, Pandora)

14. University of Texas, Austin

Tito's Vodka


Tito’s Vodka, founded by UT alum Burt Butler Beveridge II


Business school: McCombs School of Business
Entrepreneurship center: Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship
Year center opened: 2001
Program: Graduate
Course sampling: Opportunity Identification and Analysis
Notable alumni: Burt Butler Beveridge II (founder, Tito’s Vodka), Austin Ligon (co-founder,CarMax), Red McCombs (co-founder, Clear Channel Communications), William Nowlin and Dave Truchard (co-founders, National Instruments) and David Smith (co-founder, Sweet Leaf Tea Company)


15. Washington University in St. Louis

George Zimmer


Men’s Wearhouse founder George Zimmer


Business school: Olin Business School
Entrepreneurship center: The Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Year center opened: 2003
Program: Undergraduate and graduate
Course sampling: “The Basics of Bio-Entrepreneurship” (graduate) and “Creating & Building Brand Equity” (graduate)
Notable alumni: Barry Babcock and Jerald Kent (co-founders, Charter Communications) and George Zimmer (founder, Men’s Wearhouse)