26 WOMEN FOUNDERS
The number of women-founded companies fell slightly, 26 in 2022 compared to 28 in 2021 and 29 in 2020.
This year also breaks a three-year streak in which women-founded companies topped our list: Divvy Homes (2021), Guild Education (2020), and Branch Metrics (2019). All three also happen to come from Stanford MBAs.
The top five women founded or co-founded ventures on our list include Harvard’s Habi (No. 3 on our list) and Kocomo (No. 22), founded by Graciela Arango, a real estate startup that has raised $56 million.
Stanford claims three of the top five women founders including:
- Yada Piyajomkwan, founder of Ajaib (No. 6) with classmate Anderson Sumarli, both named a Forbes 30 Under 30 for their zero-commission investing platform for millennial investors in Indonesia. Ajaib has raised $245 million to date.
- Emily Yudofsky, creator of Found (No. 16) which has raised $132 million
- And, Huang’s Osmind (No. 21), the fourth highest women-founded company on our 2022 list.
For Huang, one of the most valuable aspects of Stanford’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is its network: Being at a school with so many startups, you never know who you might meet just by walking into a room. Huang not only met her Osmind co-founder in class, they later met their first round lead investor, Katherine Boyle, through a GSB classmate.
“Even now, nearly every investor we speak with has a senior GSB person who is a partner,” Huang tells P&Q. “Being an entrepreneur is hard enough, and it’s nice to not have to worry about not being able to find an intro to an investor or partner, because there’s almost a guarantee that someone in the GSB network is connected.”
After studying chemistry at Yale University, Huang wanted to apply her STEM background to improve lives. She realized the way to make impact at scale was through business. She earned a certificate in public management and social innovation along with her Stanford MBA, and social impact remains a central principle of her work with Osmind. Her company works with scientists to gather and analyze real-world data to improve psychiatric care. Research from its Osmind platform is already helping to set new standards for mental health interventions, Huang says.
Osmind recently teamed up with Stanford University to publish the largest real-world analysis of ketamine infusion therapy (KIT) and is working on its second paper with the university.
“What also makes us unique is that Osmind is a public benefit corporation” Huang says. “Our commitment as a public benefit corporation is to value the voices of our physician, patient, and researcher stakeholders and to be transparent about supporting advances in the treatment of mental health conditions.”
INSEAD’S ENTREPRENEURIAL MAGIC
INSEAD’s curriculum has a robust offering of entrepreneurship courses and electives built in, all aimed at helping students become new venture founders or startup investors, Zemsky tells P&Q. That includes more than 10 specialized electives such as Crypto Entrepreneurship, Digital Entrepreneurship, Scaling Start-ups, New Business Ventures, and others. There are also two capstone options, Accelerating Growth and/or New Venture.
“There are many more INSEAD entrepreneurship courses than a student can possibly attend during the MBA program because we believe that everyone should have the freedom to choose their own customized paths,” he says.
At the The Rudolf and Valeria Maag INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship (ICE), students can take advantage of start-up bootcamps, venture competitions with a chance to win seed funding, and the Entrepreneurs in Residence program with over 160 experienced entrepreneurs and investors to coach students on how to move forward with entrepreneurial venture. There’s also the INSEAD LaunchPad – the first alumni startup accelerator located inside the world’s largest startup campus, STATION F in Paris.
This year, Sifted, a European news outlet for entrepreneurs, rated INSEAD as the top European unicorn university with 18 current unicorn ventures and 25 likely future unicorns. It also ranks fifth in the world for ventures founded by recent graduates who receive sizable venture capital funding – the highest rank for any school outside the U.S. In 2021, Pitchbook named INSEAD a top school for startup founders. https://www.insead.edu/newsroom/2021-insead-named-a-top-school-for-startup-founders-in-pitchbook-2021-ranking.
“Our entrepreneurial ecosystem, courses and the techniques used to teach entrepreneurship shapes our students interest in this area and contribute to making INSEAD one of the best and most unique places to study entrepreneurship in the world,” Zemsky says.
“Europe is leading the way in terms of more attention to tech for good, especially on sustainability and green. This plays to INSEAD’s overall focus on promoting business as a force for good.”
NEXT PAGE: The top MBA startups for 2022
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