Harvard, MIT, top postgraduate choices for founders of Millionaire West African Startups

by | Oct 8, 2020

When it comes to postgraduate education, West African tech entrepreneurs have a penchant for attending the world’s top universities. According to data from Techpoint Africa’s West African Startup Decade Report, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are the top destinations for founders.

The report contains information on Millionaire West African Startups (MWAS) — startups that have raised at least a million dollars cumulatively within the last ten years.

A few observations from the report show that most West African founders have sought knowledge, experience, and most likely connections with postgraduate degrees in foreign universities.

Of the founders with a postgraduate degree, 98.2% got their postgraduate degrees abroad, while 1.8% got them in their home country. However, all the founders obtained their MBAs abroad.

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Harvard and MIT, two of the world’s top universities, have trained the most founders of Millionaire West African Startups at the postgraduate level — either in Masters and PhD or an MBA.

Both schools combined to train 12 of the 24 founders that schooled abroad at the Masters and PhD level, and 8 of them for their MBAs.

Havard MIT graph 2

Harvard, MIT, dominate postgraduate destinations for founders of Millionaire West African Startups. Source: Techpoint Africa’s West African Startup Decade Report

Between 2010 and 2019, these founders operated in various sectors such as financial services, education, and online retail among others. They have also raised the most funding from investors.

Does postgraduate education aid funding? Is there a clear bias by investors for prestigious institutions?

Beyond the allure of a postgraduate degree from some of the world’s most prestigious universities, the strength of these school’s alumni networks might be a major selling point.

Graduates of these universities are in some of the world’s largest companies and could easily be reached for assistance if needed.

Which of these founders attended Harvard and MIT? How much have they raised? Which other schools do founders of Millionaire West African Startups attend? Could a postgraduate degree abroad mean more funding for your startup?

Find out more in Techpoint Africa’s West African Startup Decade Report.

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Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul

Writer and Narrator.  Tech, business and policies fills my head. Looking to chat? Catch up with me (@eruskkii) on Twitter or send a mail to emmanuel@techpoint.africa

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