The 10 best universities for successful startuppers in Europe

Where did the founders of high-growth unicorn startup companies study or graduate? The ranking of the 10 European universities that have formed the most successful young startuppers.

The unicorn startups grow in Europe and around the world, but who their founders, which course of study they did and where they are formed?

Using the data from Dealroom, the information site specialized in startups and fintechs Sifted has compiled the ranking of the universities from which the most founders of unicorn companies in Europe have come out or who have founded startups that are heading towards unicorn status , i.e. those with a valuation between $ 200 million and $ 800 million and recent funding rounds.

After seeing which are the best degrees to work abroad and the ones that earn the most , here’s where to study if you have the goal of becoming a successful founder.

University of Cambridge

The prestigious British university has the highest number of unicorn founders among its alumni, including the founders of neobank Starling , and has also educated the founders of more future unicorns, such as Bulb , the fastest growing startup in Europe. and the healthcare app Ada.


According to the Financial Times’ MBA Ranking, Insead is the best Business School in the world . The university, based in France and Singapore, has also managed to oust Harvard. More than 200 scaleup founders have come out of here: it boasts fintech talents such as Taavet Hinrikus of Wise , the founders of Oda and Sennder among his students who launched unicorns, and those of Dott and Curve , companies to keep an eye on for the future. unicorn ratings.

TUM (Technical University of Munich)

Ranked as the best German university according to QS for 7 consecutive years and as the best public university, TUM welcomed the founders of Lilium and Monzo into its classrooms , as well as the makers of future unicorns such as the Kaia Health digital health platform and for control of the climate Tado have studied here.

London School of Economics and Political Science

55 heads of state, 18 Nobel laureates and well-known bankers studied at LSE, which is the English university with the highest percentage of university students. Among his students there are also 200 startup founders , including 7 unicorns and 10 future unicorns. These include the founders of the French ManoMano , the English OakNorth , the Norwegian Oda and the German Sennder .

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

According to the QS World Ranking 2022 , LMU is one of the best universities in Germany, without considering that Munich is one of the most important hubs for fintech and insurtech startups in Germany. LMU counts among its former students some of the main founders of mobility and fintech startups in Europe: Trade Republic , Monzo , Tier, Sennder just to name a few. The university also has the best ratio of founded startups to created unicorns, with about 1 in 14 of companies founded by alumni reaching the valuation of one billion.

University of St. Gallen

The Swiss university tutored the founders of the German neobank N26 , the SumUp electronic payment system , the GetYourGuide travel booking technology and the GoStudent mentoring platform . There is no shortage of who have founded startups that are heading towards unicorn status, which according to Dealroom are Carvolution and McMakler .

WHU – Otto Beisheim School of management

The youngest university on this list, which has campuses in both Vallendar and Dusseldorf in Germany, counts among its alumni the founders of the logistics scaleup Forto, FlixBus and SumUp . According to Dealroom, 6 startups founded by WHU alumni, including German solar provider Enpal and robo-advisor Clark , are heading towards unicorn startup status.

University of Oxford

The oldest college in the Anglo-Saxon world is a hotbed of fintech innovators. The founders of Monzo , the GoCardless payments scaleup and the Lendable online lending platform received their education here. To the list could soon be added the alumni founders of Smart Pension , a platform that helps companies create pension plans, the Beamery recruiting software and the 10x fintech which, according to Dealroom, are on the path of unicorn evaluation.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

The Royal Institute of Technology of Stockholm has been the cradle of hundreds of entrepreneurs and counts among its former students founders of unicorns such as the healthtech startup Kry , and of post-IPO scaleups such as the developers of Sinch , which provides a software platform through which companies can contact customers launched in Stockholm in 2008, and of King , the gaming company that launched Candy Crush Saga.

London Business School

Consistently ranked among the5 top MBA programs in the world, the LBS closes the top 10 but it is not unlikely that it will climb the rankings in the months and years to come. The London university trained the founders of HelloFresh, Glovo and fintech WorldRemit.