LinkedIn Takes A Deep Data Dive On Startup Founder Profiles

LinkedIn has taken a number of deep data dives on the profile information of its 120 million members to highlight trends. The company has compared men and women networkers, professional names and more. Today, the company has focused on examining the profiles of entrepreneurs, and sifted through its millions of public profiles, to analyze tens of thousands startup founder profiles on the site.

Here’s how LinkedIn evaluated and separated the data. Linkedin considered professionals as Startup Founders if they identified themselves as founders (or co- founders) of U.S. companies created after 2000, with a LinkedIn company profile, and that currently have between 2 – 200 employees. LinkedIn excluded small law, consulting and real
estate firms, as well as LLCs (the pool ended up with over 13,000 entrepreneurs). LinkedIn then compared founders them with the average LinkedIn member and highlighted characteristics that disproportionately appear among startup founders.

As you can see from the infographic, the data shows that the most represented business schools amongst founders are Stanford, Harvard and MIT Sloan taking the top spots. In particular, the most popular subjects entrepreneurs chose to study in college were technical majors (except civil engineering), with nursing and administration as the least popular areas of study.

According to LinkedIn, founders of semiconductor and pharmaceutical startups usually have previous industry experience, while founders of retail, consumer goods, leisure & travel and professional training companies don’t. Most the founders who had academia in their work history founded startups in the nanotech, biotech and medical device industries.

In terms of the distribution of founders’ age at their first startup, LinkedIn’s data shows that 65% of entrepreneurs are 30 and older and only 2% are serial entrepreneurs. The top regions where startup founders are based are New York, California, Utah and Colorado.

The companies that are most likely to appear on founders’ profiles aren’t too surprising and include Adobe, Apple, eBay (including PayPal), Electronic Arts, Google, Microsoft, SGI and
Yahoo. In terms of LinkedIn network connections, founders are also disproportionately connected to venture capitalists, bloggers and recruiters.