List of companies founded by Stanford University alumni

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This is a list of companies founded by Stanford University alumni, including attendees who enrolled in degree-programs at Stanford but did not eventually graduate. This list is not exhaustive, as it only includes notable companies of which the founding and development history is well recorded by reliable sources. In particular, subsidiaries are listed with their owners in parentheses.

Stanford University is one of the most successful universities in creating companies, attracting funding, and licensing its inventions to existing companies.[1][2][3][4] It is often held up as a model for technology transfer.[5][6] Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for commercializing developments.[7] The university is described as having a strong venture culture in which students are encouraged, and often funded, to launch their own companies.[8]

According to PitchBook, from 2006 to 2017, Stanford produced 1,127 company founders as alumni or current students, more than any other university in the world; and these founders created 957 companies, second only to UC Berkeley in the world.[9][10] In addition, according to a Stanford alumni survey conducted in 2011, some 39,900 companies founded by Stanford alumni were active, and companies founded by Stanford alumni altogether generated more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue and had created 5.4 million jobs, roughly equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world (2011).[11][12][13]

In this list, founders of a company which merged with other companies to form a new company are counted as founders of the new company. However, founders of a company which later dissolved into several successor companies are not counted as founders of those successor companies; this same rule applies to spin-off companies. Finally, a defunct company is a company that had stopped functioning completely (e.g., bankrupt) without dissolving, merging or being acquired.

Top companies by revenues[edit]

Fortune Global 500 (2017)[edit]

This list shows companies in Fortune Global 500 founded or co-founded by Stanford alumni. The cut-off revenue for 2017 Fortune Global 500 companies is $21,609M in 2016.[14]

Company Region Fortune Global 500

(2017)[14]

Revenue in US$ Millions

(2016)[14]

Type Category Year Founded Comments
1 Alphabet Inc. United States 65 90,272 Public Conglomerate 2015 [Note 1]
2 Cisco Systems, Inc. United States 187 49,247 Public Hardware 1984
3 HP Inc. United States 194 48,238 Public Technology 1939
4 Nike United States 331 32,376 Public Athletic Equipment 1964
5 TSMC Taiwan 369 29,388 Public Semiconductor 1987
6 Capital One United States 395 27,519 Public Finance 1988

Fortune 1000 (2017)[edit]

This list shows companies in Fortune 1000 (only for companies within the U.S.) founded or co-founded by Stanford alumni. The cut-off revenue for 2017 Fortune 1000 companies is $1,791M in 2016.[15]

Company Fortune 1000

(2017)[15]

Revenue in Millions

(2016)[15]

Type Category Year Founded Comments
1 Alphabet Inc. 27 90,272 Public Conglomerate 2015
2 HP Inc. 61 48,238 Public Technology 1939
3 Cisco Systems, Inc. 60 49,247 Public Hardware 1984
4 Nike 88 32,376 Public Athletic Equipment 1964
5 Capital One 100 27,519 Public Finance 1988
6 Gap Inc. 178 15,516 Public Clothing/Accessories 1969
Trader Joe's* 208 13,300 Private Grocery 1958 Equivalently[16]
7 Micron Technology 226 12,399 Public Semiconductor 1978
8 PayPal** 264 10,842 Public Financial Services 1998 (Confinity)

1999 (X.com)

9 Netflix 314 8,831 Public Entertainment 1997
10 Expedia 317 8,774 Public Travel 1996
11 Charles Schwab Corporation 357 7,644 Public Finance 1971
12 Nvidia 387 6,910 Public Technology 1993
13 NetApp 468 5,546 Public Technology 1992
14 Yahoo!*** 498 5,169 Acquired Technology 1994
15 Intuit 527 4,831 Public Software 1983
16 Electronic Arts 556 4,396 Public Video Game 1982
17 Akamai Technologies 851 2,340 Public Internet/Technology 1998
Bain & Company**** 864 2,300 Partnership Consulting 1973 Equivalently[16]
18 Cypress Semiconductor 959 1,923 Public Semiconductor 1982

*: Trader Joe's does not reveal its annual revenue. Its revenue is given as an estimate by Supermarket News.

**: Merger of different companies, at least one of which was founded by Stanford alumni.

***: Yahoo! was acquired by Verizon in 2017 and is no longer an independent company.[17] However, it is still listed in Fortune 1000 by Fortune for 2017.

****: Bain & Company are not listed in Fortune 1000. Its revenue is provided by Forbes.

Former Fortune-listed Companies[edit]

For each company, only the latest rankings (up to three years) are shown in this list.

Company Fortune Global 500 Fortune 1000 Type Category Year Founded
1 Google 162 (2014) 189 (2013) 277 (2012)[18] 46 (2014) 55 (2013) 73 (2012)[19] Subsidiary Technology 1998
2 Sun Microsystems - - - 204 (2010) 187 (2009) 184 (2008)[20] Acquired Technology 1982
3 Atari - - - 400 (1989) 483 (1988)[21] - Acquired Video Game 1972
4 Silicon Graphics - - - 876 (2003) 738 (2002) 625 (2001)[22] Defunct Technology 1981
5 LinkedIn - - - 945 (2015)[23] - - Acquired Social Media 2002
6 Fairchild Semiconductor - - - 984 (2008) 963 (2007) 886 (2005)[24] Acquired Semiconductor 1957

Timeline[edit]

Index[edit]

This index also contains companies listed in section "Notable defunct & dissolved".

Year Companies Founded
2016 The Boring Company
2015 Alphabet, Inc. Draper James OpenAI
2013 Robinhood
2012 Coursera Omaze
2011 Snapchat Stitch Fix
2010 Instagram Obihai Technology
2009 Ginkgo Bioworks WhatsApp
2008 Cloudera Yammer
2007 Bonobos Glassdoor Sunrun
2006 Youku Zillow
2005 Eye-Fi Founders Fund Loopt TechCrunch Workday, Inc. YouTube
2004 Palantir Technologies Redfin Trulia
2002 Clarium Capital Coverity LinkedIn SpaceX
2001 OkCupid Two Sigma
2000 Pandora Radio StubHub
1999 SparkNotes Viking Global Investors X.com (PayPal)
1998 Akamai Technologies Confinity (PayPal) Google VMware
1997 Netflix
1996 Alta Partners Expedia Extreme Networks
1995 WebEx
1994 Cycorp Yahoo!
1993 Nvidia
1992 NetApp
1991 3DO IDEO
1990 iRobot
1988 Capital One D. E. Shaw & Co.
1987 TSMC
1986 Farallon Capital Pixar
1984 Bain Capital Cisco Systems, Inc. Hellman & Friedman
1983 Intuit Lattice Semiconductor
1982 Cypress Semiconductor Electronic Arts Sun Microsystems
1981 Logitech Silicon Graphics
1978 Micron Technology
1973 Bain & Company
1972 Atari Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
1971 Charles Schwab Corporation
1969 Gap Inc.
1965 Dolby Laboratories
1964 Nike
1958 Trader Joe's
1957 Fairchild Semiconductor
1948 Varian Associates
1939 HP Inc.

(Hewlett-Packard)

1932 Draper Laboratory

Year 2000 - Present[edit]

Company Type Stock Category Year Founded Total Founders Founder/Co-founder from Stanford
Alphabet, Inc. Public NASDAQ: GOOGL Conglomerate 2015 2[25]
  1. Larry Page (M.S)[26]
  2. Sergey Brin (M.S)[27]
Bonobos (NYSE: WMT) Apparel Retail 2007 2[28]
  1. Andy Dunn (M.B.A)[29]
  2. Brian Spaly (M.B.A)[30]
Clarium Capital Private Finance 2002 2[31]
  1. Co-founder Peter Thiel (B.A, J.D)[32]
Cloudera Public NYSE: CLDR Software 2008 4[33]
  1. Co-founder Amr Awadallah (PhD)[34]
Coursera Private Technology/Education 2012 2[35]
  1. Co-founder Daphne Koller (PhD)[36]
Coverity (NASDQ: SNPS) Security/Technology 2002 3[37]
  1. Co-founder Andy Chou (PhD)[38]
  2. Co-founder Seth Hallem (B.S)[39]
Draper James Private Clothing 2015 1[40]
  1. Reese Witherspoon (Undergraduate Attendee)[41]
Eye-Fi Private Computer Hardware 2005 4[42]
  1. Co-founder Yuval Koren (M.S)[43]
Founders Fund Private Finance 2005 3[44]
  1. Co-founder Peter Thiel (B.A, J.D)[32]
Ginkgo Bioworks Private Biotechnology 2009 5[45]
  1. Co-founder Austin Che (B.S)[46]
Glassdoor Private Online Review 2007 3[47][48]
  1. Co-founder Robert Hohman (M.S)[47]
  2. Co-founder Rich Barton (B.S)[49]
Instagram (NASDAQ: FB) Social Media 2010 2[50]
  1. Kevin Systrom (B.S)[51]
  2. Mike Krieger (B.S, M.S)[52]
LinkedIn (NASDAQ: MSFT) Social Media 2002 5[53]
  1. Co-founder Reid Hoffman (B.S)[54]
  2. Co-founder Allen Blue (B.A)[55]
  3. Co-founder Eric Ly (B.S)[56]
  4. Co-founder Konstantin Guericke (B.S, M.S)[57]
Loopt Private Mobile Services 2005 3[58]
  1. Sam Altman (Undergraduate Attendee)[59]
  2. Nick Sivo (On-leave)[60]
  3. Alok Deshpande (Undergraduate Attendee)[61]
Palantir Technologies Private Technology 2004 5[62][63]
  1. Co-founder Peter Thiel (B.A, J.D)[32]
  2. Co-founder Alexander C. Karp (J.D)[64]
  3. Co-founder Joe Lonsdale (B.S)[65]
  4. Co-founder Stephen Cohen (B.S)[66]
Obihai Technology (NASDAQ: PLCM) Communication 2010 2[67]
  1. Co-founder Jan Fandrianto (M.S)[68]
OkCupid (NASDAQ: IAC) Dating Service 2001[69] 4[70]
  1. Co-founder Sam Yagan (M.B.A)[71]
Omaze Private Fund Raising 2012 2[72][73]
  1. Ryan Cummins (B.A)[74]
  2. Matt Pohlson (B.A)[75]
OpenAI Non-profit Technology 2015 2[76]
  1. Elon Musk (Graduate Attendee)[77]
  2. Sam Altman (Undergraduate Attendee)[59]
Pandora Radio Public NYSE: P Music Streaming 2000 3[78]
  1. Co-founder Jon Kraft (B.A)[79]
  2. Co-founder Tim Westergren (B.A)[80]
Redfin Public NASDAQ: RDFN Real Estate 2004 3[81]
  1. Co-founder David Selinger (B.S)[82]
Robinhood Private Financial Services 2013 2[83][84]
  1. Baiju Prafulkumar Bhatt (B.S, M.S)[85][86]
  2. Vlad Tenev (B.S)[87]
Snapchat Public NYSE: SNAP Social/Technology 2011 3[88][89]
  1. Evan Spiegel (Undergraduate Attendee)[90]
  2. Bobby Murphy (B.S)[91]
  3. Reggie Brown (B.A)[92]
SpaceX Private Aerospace/Technology 2002 1[93]
  1. Elon Musk (Graduate Attendee)[77]
Stitch Fix Public NASDAQ: SFIX Retail/Styling 2011 2[94]
  1. Katrina Lake (B.S)[94]
  2. Steve Anderson (M.B.A)[94]
StubHub (NASDAQ: EBAY) Ticket Exchange 2000 2[95]
  1. Jeff Fluhr (M.B.A Attendee)[96]
  2. Eric Baker (M.B.A)[97]
Sunrun Public NASDAQ: RUN Solar Energy 2007 3[98]
  1. Co-founder Lynn Jurich (B.S, M.B.A)[99]
  2. Co-founder Edward Fenster (M.B.A)[100]
TechCrunch (Oath Inc.) Online Publisher 2005 1[101]
  1. Michael Arrington (J.D)[102]
The Boring Company Private Technology 2016 1[103]
  1. Elon Musk (Graduate Attendee)[77]
Trulia (NASDAQ: Z) Real Estate Database 2004 2[104]
  1. Pete Flint (M.B.A)[105]
  2. Sami Inkinen (M.B.A)[106]
Two Sigma Private Finance 2001 3[107]
  1. Co-founder John Overdeck (B.S, M.S)[107]
WhatsApp (NASDAQ: FB) Social Media 2009 2[108]
  1. Co-founder Brian Acton (B.S)[109]
Workday, Inc. Public NASDAQ: WDAY Software 2005 2[110]
  1. Co-founder Aneel Bhusri (M.B.A)[111]
Yammer (NASDAQ: MSFT) Social Networking 2008 3[112]
  1. Co-founder David O. Sacks (B.A)[113]
Youku

—> Youku Tudou

—> (NYSE: BABA) (Merged) Online Video 2006 (Youku) 1 (Youku)[114]
  1. Victor Koo (M.B.A)[115]
YouTube (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Video Hosting Services 2005 3[116]
  1. Co-founder Jawed Karim (M.S)[117]
Zillow Public NASDAQ: Z Real Estate Database 2006 2[118]
  1. Rich Barton (B.S)[49]
  2. Lloyd Frink (B.A)[119]

Year 1980 - 1999[edit]

Company Type Stock Category Year Founded Total Founders Founder/Co-founder from Stanford
Akamai Technologies Public NASDAQ: AKAM Internet/Technology 1998 4[120]
  1. Co-founder Jonathan Seelig (B.S)[121]
Alta Partners Private Venture Capital 1996 4[122]
  1. Co-founder Guy P. Nohra (B.S)[123]
Bain Capital Private Investment Management 1984 3[124]
  1. Co-founder Mitt Romney (Undergraduate Attendee)[125]
  2. Co-founder T. Coleman Andrews III (M.B.A)[126]
Capital One Public NYSE: COF Finance 1988 2[127][128]
  1. Co-founder Richard Fairbank (B.A, M.B.A)[129]
Cisco Systems, Inc. Public NASDAQ: CSCO Hardware 1984 2[130][131]
  1. Leonard Bosack (M.S)[130]
  2. Sandy Lerner (M.S)[130]
Confinity & X.com

—> PayPal

—> Public (Merged) NASDAQ: PYPL Financial Services 1998 (Confinity)

1999 (X.com)

5[132]
  1. Co-founder Elon Musk (Graduate Attendee)[77]
  2. Co-founder Ken Howery (B.A)[133]
  3. Co-founder Peter Thiel (B.A, J.D)[32]
Cycorp Private Artificial Intelligence 1994 1[134]
  1. Doug Lenat (PhD)[135]
Cypress Semiconductor Public NASDAQ: CY Semiconductor 1982 1[136][137]
  1. T. J. Rodgers (M.A, PhD)[137]
D. E. Shaw & Co. Private Finance 1988 1[138]
  1. David E. Shaw (PhD)[138]
Electronic Arts Public NASDAQ: EA Video Game 1982 1[139]
  1. Trip Hawkins (M.B.A)[140]
Expedia Public NASDAQ: EXPE Travel 1996 1[141][49]
  1. Rich Barton (B.S)[49]
Extreme Networks Public NASDAQ: EXTR Networking/Technology 1996 3[142]
  1. Co-founder Stephen Haddock (B.S, M.S)[143]
Farallon Capital Private Investment Management 1986 1[144]
  1. Tom Steyer (M.B.A)[145]
Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Technology 1998 2[146]
  1. Larry Page (M.S)[26]
  2. Sergey Brin (M.S)[27]
Hellman & Friedman Private Private Equity 1984 2[147]
  1. Co-founder Tully Friedman (B.A)[148]
IDEO Private Design 1991 3[149]
  1. Co-founder David Kelley (M.S)[150]
Intuit Public NASDAQ: INTU Software 1983 2[151]
  1. Co-founder Tom Proulx (B.S)[152]
iRobot Public NASDAQ: IRBT Technology 1990 3[153]
  1. Co-founder Rodney Brooks (PhD)[154]
Lattice Semiconductor Public NASDAQ: LSCC Semiconductor 1983 3[155]
  1. Co-founder Rahul Sud (PhD)[156]
Logitech Public NASDAQ: LOGI Technology 1981 3[157]
  1. Co-founder Daniel Borel (M.S)[158]
  2. Co-founder Pierluigi Zappacosta (M.S)[159]
NetApp Public NASDAQ: NTAP Technology 1992 2[160][161]
  1. Co-founder James K. Lau (M.S)[162]
Netflix Public NASDAQ: NFLX Entertainment 1997 2[163][164]
  1. Co-founder Reed Hastings (M.S)[165]
Nvidia Public NASDAQ: NVDA Technology 1993 3[166]
  1. Co-founder Jensen Huang (M.S)[167]
Pixar (NYSE: DIS) Computer Animation 1986 2[168]
  1. Co-founder Alvy Ray Smith (PhD)[169]
SparkNotes (NYSE: BKS) Publisher 1999 4[170][171]
  1. Co-founder Sam Yagan (M.B.A)[172]
Sun Microsystems (NYSE: ORCL) Technology 1982 4[173]
  1. Co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim (PhD)[174]
  2. Co-founder Scott McNealy (M.B.A)[175]
  3. Co-founder Vinod Khosla (M.B.A)[176]
TSMC Public NYSE: TSM Semiconductor 1987 1[177]
  1. Morris Chang (PhD)[177]
Viking Global Investors Private Hedge Fund 1999 1[178]
  1. Ole Andreas Halvorsen (M.B.A)[179]
VMware Public NYSE: VMW Technology 1998 5[180][181]
  1. Co-founder Scott Devine (M.S, PhD)[182]
  2. Co-founder Edouard Bugnion (M.S, PhD)[182]
WebEx (NASDAQ: CSCO) Telecom 1995 2[183]
  1. Co-founder Min Zhu (M.S)[184]
Yahoo! (NYSE: VZ) Web Service 1994 2[185]
  1. Jerry Yang (B.S, M.S)[186]
  2. David Filo (M.S)[187]

Year 1960 - 1979[edit]

Company Type Stock Category Year Founded Total Founders Founder/Co-founder from Stanford
Atari (EPA: ATA) Video Game 1972 2[188][189]
  1. Nolan Bushnell (M.B.A Attendee)[190]
Bain & Company Partnership Consulting 1973 Unknown
  1. Co-founder Patrick F. Graham (M.B.A)[191]
Charles Schwab Corporation Public NYSE: SCHW Finance 1971 1[192]
  1. Charles R. Schwab (B.A, M.B.A)[192]
Dolby Laboratories Public NYSE: DLB Audio Electronics 1965 1[193]
  1. Ray Dolby (B.S.E.E.)[193]
Gap Inc. Public NYSE: GPS Clothing/Accessories 1969 2[194]
  1. Co-founder Doris F. Fisher (B.A)[195]
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Private Finance 1972 4[196]
  1. Co-founder Brook Byers (M.B.A)[197]
Micron Technology Public NASDAQ: MU Semiconductor 1978 4[198]
  1. Co-founder Ward Parkinson (M.S)[199]
Nike Public NYSE: NKE Athletic Equipment 1964 2[200]
  1. Co-founder Phil Knight (M.B.A)[201]

Before 1960[edit]

Company Type Stock Category Year Founded Total Founders Founder/Co-founder from Stanford
Draper Laboratory Non-profit Defense & Security 1932 1[202]
  1. Charles Stark Draper (B.A)[202]
Fairchild Semiconductor (NASDAQ: ON) Semiconductor 1957 8[203]
  1. Co-founder Victor Grinich (PhD)[204]
HP Inc./Hewlett-Packard Public NYSE: HPQ Technology 1939 2[205]
  1. William R. Hewlett (B.A, PhD)[206]
  2. David Packard (B.A, M.S)[207]
Trader Joe's Private Grocery 1958 1[208]
  1. Joe Coulombe (M.B.A)[209]

Notable defunct & dissolved[edit]

Company Type Stock Category Year Founded Total Founders Founder/Co-founder from Stanford
3DO Defunct (Bankrupt) Video Game 1991 1[210]
  1. Trip Hawkins (M.B.A)[140]
Silicon Graphics Defunct (Bankrupt) Technology 1981 Unknown[211]
  1. Co-founder Kurt Akeley (M.S, PhD)[212]
  2. et al
Varian Associates Defunct Technology 1948 4[213]
  1. Co-founder Russell Varian (B.S, M.S)[214]
  2. Co-founder W. W. Hansen (B.A, PhD)[215]
  3. Co-founder Edward Ginzton (PhD)[216]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Alphabet Inc. was created through a corporate restructuring of Google, Inc in 2015. Google, Inc. itself was founded in 1998. Google currently is an LLC subsidiary company of Alphabet.

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