Waterloo ranks top university in Canada for entrepreneurs
2022 PitchBook university ranking places Waterloo 21st in the world for founders
2022 PitchBook university ranking places Waterloo 21st in the world for foundersBy Stephanie Longeway University Relations
The University of Waterloo once again ranks in the first spot amongst its Canadian peers for producing the most successful entrepreneurs with undergraduate degrees according to the 2022 PitchBook university rankings. Waterloo also moves up one spot from last year to 21st in the world for founders.
PitchBook says their annual university ranking attempts to answer the question of which colleges and universities do the best job educating entrepreneurs. The ranking compares schools by tallying up the number of alumni entrepreneurs who have founded venture capital-backed companies.
The 2022 results show that Waterloo has produced 494 founders with undergraduate degrees who have gone on to raise $19.4 billion. The University also ranks in the top 100 for graduate degree founders with 149 entrepreneurs hailing from Waterloo and raising $4.1 billion in capital.
Waterloo develops talent and supports budding entrepreneurs through unique entrepreneurial programs. Waterloo alum have gone on to become some of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs and have founded unicorn companies like Super (formerly Snapcommerce), Faire, Instacart and Clearco. Velocity, Waterloo’s flagship entrepreneurship program, has played a key role in scaling influential companies like Vidyard, Embark and ApplyBoard.
“The growth in Waterloo student-founded companies is a testament to the strength of the innovative spirit here at the University. Students come here to make a difference in the world and their efforts are solving important global problems while strengthening the Canadian economy. Velocity's role is to provide the resources and spaces our future entrepreneurs need and help them build out their ideas at an early stage — from ideation to Series A,” says John Dick, director of Velocity Campus.
The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is the fastest growing startup ecosystem in Canada, and is among the fastest in North America behind Silicon Valley and New York City. The Pitchbook ranking demonstrates the immense impact of Waterloo alum in powering this growth.
“Over the past 14 years Velocity has grown to become its own ecosystem of founders supporting founders. It's exciting to see student founders evolve into career entrepreneurs building venture-backed startups upon graduation and working out of our free off-campus facility in Kitchener, where they can gain investment, scale and then ultimately move to their own facility and continue growing,” says Dick.
The PitchBook ranking is based on an analysis of more than 144,000 VC-backed founders. View the 2022 Pitchbook rankings for the full list and methodology.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.