What makes Israel the Startup Nation? It’s a combination of Israeli ingenuity and thinking out-of-the-box, a robust venture capital ecosystem, mandatory army service that provides young Israelis with leadership experience far beyond their years, and world-class universities that seamlessly intersect with the startup scene.

The role of the latter received outside validation by Startup Genome,  a policy advisory and research firm focusing on high tech, which placed Tel Aviv University fifth in the world in terms of the level of involvement of its alumni in entrepreneurship.

That puts TAU just behind Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley and Harvard, which claimed the top four spots. It’s the only non-American school in the Startup Genome’s top 10, which also includes Cornell, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University.

According to Startup Genome, about 1,300 TAU alumni have founded active startups over the last few decades.

Startup Genome notes that some 40 companies launched by TAU alumni have attained the status of “scaleup” – that’s an industry speak for firms worth $50 million or more. TAU’s ranking here was seventh in the world, just after Stanford and ahead of the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi.

Finally, in terms of universities that have attracted the highest amount of funding for their graduates, TAU came in 13th place.

“This is a very significant achievement for both Tel Aviv University and the State of Israel,” noted Moshe Zviran, dean of the Coller School of Management and chief entrepreneurship and innovation officer at TAU.

In a separate Startup Genome list, the city of Tel Aviv ranked as the seventh hottest location worldwide for entrepreneurship.  That’s a slight decrease from 2020’s list, which tied Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for sixth place.

Another organization, PitchBook,  regularly places TAU in its top 10 institutions producing venture capital-backed entrepreneurs and companies.

TAU placed ahead of Yale and Princeton in PitchBook’s latest ranking, which lists five large companies founded by TAU graduates: Exaware, Varo, BlueVine, Houzz and Generate Capital. TAU is also the only non-American university in PitchBook’s top 10 as well.