How Stanford's 9 Most Successful Startups Were Created

Original author: Madeline Stone
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Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford University is considered one of the best American universities, and at the same time, the most expensive. For example, one year of undergraduate study costs a student $ 50-70 thousand, and a two-year MBA program at Stanford costs $ 200 thousand in total costs.

Instagram: Michael Krieger (first left), Kevin Systrom (third left)

However, this does not scare away those who want to get higher education in an institution where the highest percentage of teachers in the world (for 6 students - 1 teacher) and 16 of them are Nobel laureates, and 4 more are Pulitzer Prize winners. Lectures come here by Bill Gates and former Hewlett Paccard CEO Carly Fiorina. Steve Jobs, who had not been graduated from nearby Palo Alto, was an honorary professor at Stanford University.

In addition, thanks in large part to proximity to major technology companies in California (both geographically and through their graduates), Stanford University has become a kind of staff incubator for Silicon Valley. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, Google’s founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Len Bosak and Sandy Lerner, who founded Cisco Systems, president of Yahoo! Marissa Mayer and PayPal creator Peter Thiel.

Actually, the valley itself is built on land belonging to Stanford. In the 50s, the university, which today earns more than a billion dollars a year, experienced financial difficulties, although it had vast unused land, which it was not allowed to sell according to the will of its founder Leland Stanford. Then the university leadership found a Solomon solution, deciding to lease land for long-term lease to high-tech companies. The first at Stanford Technology Park was Varian Associates. Soon, Eastman Kodak, General Electric, Lockheed, Hewlett-Packard and many others followed suit.

The author of Business Insider, Madeline Stone, in her article highlighted some of the most successful startups that the world owes to Stanford over the past two decades.

Instagram The creators of the famous photo service Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger met through a network of Stanford graduates.

After graduating from college in 2006 with a degree in science and technology management, Kevin Systrom began developing a location-based photo-sharing application. When he realized that he needed a cofounder, he turned to a network of graduates and found a native of Brazil, Mike Krieger, who completed his studies two years after Systrom.

“When they say that a college is not worth the money that you have to pay for it, I definitely do not agree with this,” Systrom once said in an interview with Forbes. “The study experience and the knowledge gained during it, which at the moment may seem optional, will ultimately come in handy again and again.”
In April 2012, Sistrom and Krieger sold Instagram to Facebook for $ 1 billion.

Trulia Co-founders of the popular real estate service Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen met during classes at the Graduate School of Business.

As often happens, the idea was born as the fruit of one’s own searches. Flint and Inkinen decided to create Trulia when they encountered difficulties in renting housing in Palo Alto. The US-leading online real estate aggregator was developed over two semesters in Stanford's Startup Garage.
The following Monday after graduation, Flint and Inkinen had a series of meetings with potential investors. As of June 2014, 54 million users visit Trulia every month. In July of this year, Trulia was bought by Zillow for $ 3.5 billion.

StubHub.The idea of ​​an online event ticket market was presented at a Stanford business plan competition.

Eric Baker and Jeff Flora met at Stanford Graduate School of Business. It turned out that both had experience selling tickets online. After some time, Flour and Baker submitted an application for a service business plan called for a competition of business plans. After the plan reached the final, they recalled it from the competition, and in 2000, Flur left his studies to devote himself entirely to the project. The site StubHub, which was developed by them in the computer labs at Stanford, after a while became one of the major players in the market for ticket sales for sports and entertainment events. In 2007, the company was bought by eBay for $ 300 million.

Loopt.The popular geosocial service was founded by three Stanford sophomore

students Sam Altman, Nick Sivo and Elok Deshpandi thought up the concept of the future Loopt for the second year of study together. Shortly after the application was developed, all three dropped out of college. In 2012, Loopt was acquired by Green Dot Corporation for $ 43.4 million, and Altman is now known as president of the most promising technology incubator Y Combinator. This year, he returned to Stanford as the head of the How to Create a Startup class, taught by Paul Graham (Viaweb), Peter Thiel (PayPal), Mark Andreessen (Netscape), Ron Conway (angel investor, Google early stages and many others) and CEO Yahoo! Marissa Mayer.

Bonobos.Brian Spali and Andy Dunn invented their online men's trouser store at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Legend has it that Spali sewed the first Bonobos trousers, which became the prototype, in the house where the co-founders lived on the university campus. Sleeping later became a Trunk Club stylist, while Dunn remained CEO of Bonobos, who raised $ 55 million in a recent round of funding.

Snapchat. Co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy lived in the same cottage community of Kappa Sigma

“We were not cool,” Murphy told Forbes, “But we worked to become one.” Today, Snapchat has more than 100 million registered users and is close to completing a $ 20 million round of financing with Lytro valued at $ 10 billion

.Ren Ng developed Lytro camera technology when he was writing a doctoral dissertation at Stanford.

Ng received a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Stanford University, which was based on the light field technology, which was then successfully used to create the Lytro camera. On the anniversary of the Department of Computer Science, Ng met with the founder of K9 Ventures and the same graduate, Manu Kumar, as a result of which Lytro received a powerful impetus for development.

Pulse. The creators of the service only entered the computer design department when the first iPad was released. Seeing in his appearance scope for activity, they set to work

Ankit Gupta and Akshay Kotari began the development of their news aggregator on the day Apple introduced its tablet computer to the world, and a few months later at WWDC Steve Jobs noted Pulse as one of the best iPad apps. In April 2013, LinkedIn acquired Pulse for $ 90 million.

Coursera. Largest online educational platform founded by two Stanford professors

Duffy Koller and Andrew Ng have long been colleagues at Stanford's Department of Computer Science. Coursera's idea grew out of the department’s extremely popular computer-teaching class, where Ng taught in 2011. 104,000 people entered it via the Internet, more than 46 thousand completed at least one homework, 13 thousand of them received a certificate of attendance. Today, Coursera offers users more than 600 free courses, seven million students are registered on the service. Ng recently became Baidu's leading research specialist, Koller remains President of Coursera to this day. The platform continues to operate successfully and attract millions of investments.

Due to many factors, Stanford University dominates among the leading higher educational institutions in the United States by the number of successful entrepreneurial careers that its graduates and students have made. Three years ago, CB Insights, a research firm, came to this conclusion by comparing six higher schools — Stanford, Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Significantly higher at Stanford and investment activity.

And the point here is not only in the favorable geographical location in the middle of Silicon Valley and the high density of business angels per square meter. The Stanford campus is the right place to create a new successful company, with its first-class engineering and business programs, an extensive database of graduates known for their corporate commissures not inferior to Harvard, and their own business accelerators (StartX Fund spends $ 1.2 million annually on startup investments in which at least one of the founders is a student at Stanford).

In Russia, unfortunately, there is no analogue of such an educational institution, with all due respect to leading domestic universities. Startups essentially boil in their juice in a much less comfortable environment. Our collective investment platform VCStartto the best of its ability, it helps IT startups to find financing and, as a result, take a qualitative step in their development. Register your projects, find investors, create and develop. Welcome!

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