Michigan Wins March Bracket Challenge! (For Having Most Venture-Capital Backed Student Entrepreneurs)


The NCAA basketball title may not have come home to Ann Arbor this year, but the University of Michigan has another reason to celebrate: U-M placed first in PitchBook’s 2019 VC Founders Bracket.

The unconventional bracket challenge evaluated universities based on the number of undergraduate student entrepreneurs who have received venture capital funding between 2006 and 2018, according to PitchBook’s recent Universities Report.

U-M placed solidly in first with the Wolverines having 712 VC-backed entrepreneurs, bringing in more than $12 billion in capital across 638 companies. See the full results from PitchBook.

Several recent Michigan Ross graduates have raised funding for their start-ups in the last year or so, including:

  • Austin Rief, BBA ‘17 and Alex Lieberman, BBA ‘15 for their company Morning Brew;
  • Cavan Canavan, MBA ‘12 and Grant Hughes, MBA ‘13 for Focus Motion;
  • Michael Thompson, MBA ‘17 for Neurable;
  • Jordana Schrager, Business Minor ‘16 for By Jordana;
  • Shelly Sahi, MBA ‘16 for SAHI Cosmetics; and,
  • Allyson Stewart, MBA ‘17 for Mindwell Snacks.

This is the most recent accolade for entrepreneurship programs at U-M. The Princeton Review recent ranked Michigan as the #1 undergraduate program for entrepreneurship.

The ranking looked at school’s academics, faculty, alumni venture outcomes, co-curricular entrepreneurship offerings, funding available for students, and competitions hosted by the school or program.

The graduate-level program at U-M was also ranked in the top ten by The Princeton Review.

From starting their own business to investing in others, Michigan Ross offers students many opportunities to gain real experience in entrepreneurship, with seven student-led investment funds.

Check out the Zell Lurie Institute at Ross for entrepreneurship resources, funding opportunities, events, mentorship, and more.

Zell Lurie Institute at Michigan Ross

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