Securing funding is key for startups. According to a new study, Tel Aviv University graduates have what it takes to attract big American funding even although they’re half way across the world.

In a list of the 16 universities that produce the most startups founded with US venture capital, TAU is the only non-American institution and 15th on the list, just below Princeton University and tied with Duke University.

TAU President Prof. Joseph Klafter welcomed the findings, saying, “They are a testament to the innovation and entrepreneurship that permeates TAU culture.”

The numbers come from CrunchBase, the online database behind the popular TechCrunch technology business websites. They were analyzed and published by blogger Max Woolf of Minimaxir, who covers startups, technology and blogging with a statistical bent.
After TAU, the highest ranked Israeli university is the Technion Institute of Technology at 27th, followed by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at 67th.

On another list, published as part of the same Minimaxir story, TAU ranks an impressive fourth place in the average American funding won by graduates in the first round. TAU graduates that secure such funding reportedly get an average of $5.5 million at this stage, more than graduates of Harvard or Stanford Universities.

Companies founded by TAU graduates also ranked among the global elite in total American funding raised — attracting $882 million overall (16th place) and $227 million (14th place) in the first round.

“There is a general spirit that exists on campus that provides the right atmosphere for such achievements,” said Prof. David Mendalevich of TAU’s School of Electrical Engineering, which has helped start companies that have raised more than $50 million from around the world and works to connect the university and its students to commercial opportunities. “Partially it is our location, but partially it is that we give students the tools they need to come up with good ideas and go on to establish their own companies.”

Companies with TAU-graduate founders included in the data are Waze (bought by Internet giant Google in June for $1.03 billion), 5min Media, Kontera, Palo Alto Networks, and Contendo.

Photo by