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IIT Tops, Outside the U.S. in the Unicorn Nursery Founders Rankings

Startup companies can come in all forms and sizes. This week a report by Sage, a U.K-based accounting and payroll software firm said Indian Institutes of Technology were ranked fourth for educating students who went on to create unicorn startups in the world. Stanford University tops the ranking as it was the source of the 51 unicorn founders across the world. Harvard University acquired second rank with 37 unicorn founders followed by the University of California with the 18 unicorn founder in the report.

This is a great news for Indian Institute which has nurtured some of the biggest names in tech, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai to the Binny Bansal co-founders of Flipkart, India’s answer to Amazon. A unicorn founder is named for the person who is founder of a company that has been valued more than $1 billion by the investors.

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So what is the secret at the IITs? Out of 130,000 people that take the IIT entrance exam every year, only around 10,000 are accepted. An impossibly competitive entrance exam that weeds out all but the most brilliant and hard-working students are selected. IIT’s learning methodologies to mold the students for working hard to get to the top and achieve broader vision with proper planning and team. Launching a startup includes lot of research, team building, finances, patience, etc. 


According to the Sage report, 12 out of 189 founders of billion-dollar startups, known as unicorns, went to one of India’s 23 IITs. Despite the success of their graduates in the business world, IITs rarely make it into the top of global university rankings, even when compared to other emerging market institutions. In the Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies University Rankings of 2017, for example Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, was 26th.

READ Too: ISB Ranked Above IIMs, INSEAD World’s Best B School In FT Global MBA Ranking 2017

An IIT student learns multiplicity of skills, applied knowledge, converting theory into practice, how to solve complex problems by breaking them down into smaller problems, highly transferable skills which allow many IIT graduates to pass on high-paying corporate jobs and to work at startups.

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In 2016, fourteen people of Indian origin ran unicorn startups in the U.S., putting the South Asian nation top of the list followed by Canada and the U.K., which contributed eight entrepreneurs each, the report said.

Last year, India topped a global ranking of 21 countries as the source of the most immigrant founders of billion-dollar startups in the United States, a National Foundation for American Policy report said.


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