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Tel Aviv University Number Two Worldwide in Making Unicorns


Tel Aviv University in Israel ranked second overall on a list of the most successful universities around the world to produce new unicorns. A unicorn is defined as a new firm that is still classified as a startup and already has a valuation of one billion dollars or more.

The survey was compiled by Stanford University Business School Professor Ilya Strebulaev. And it makes sense that the survey came out of Stanford as it leads the world by far in unicorns established at 310. While Tel Aviv University came in second, it was a very distant second with just 43, or 267 fewer than Stanford. Oxford University came in third on the list with just 33.

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The news should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following Israel Startup Nation. The country has been churning out unicorns like a rabbit making new rabbits.

Here are just a few examples: Wiz is an Israeli unicorn that offers an API security platform. Armis is an Israeli internet of things IoT unicorn and so is API security company Salt Security.

In May, Vesttoo, an Israeli insurtech startup, that has developed technology in the field of risk management, hit as much as a $2 billion valuation after a Series D round of funding. Liquidity Group, an Israeli fintech startup that offers technologies that make it easier for people to handle investments, reached unicorn status with a valuation of $1.4 billion in February.

The city of Tel Aviv is itself one of the world’s biggest high-tech hubs along with Silicon Valley and the Seattle area in the U.S., and a world leader in unicorns A report issued in March by TechAviv and Dealroom, a provider of data on global tech ecosystems, found that despite a slowing global market Tel Aviv is constantly finding new ways to grow. The city is ranked the fifth highest producer of unicorns worldwide, and over-indexing security tech above the global average. Unicorns are high-tech startups that reached a valuation of at least $1 billion.

In response to the news, Moshe Zviran, Professor and Chief Entrepreneurship and Innovation Officer at Tel Aviv University, was not surprised by his school’s ranking. He told Calcalist, that TAU recruits the best and gives them “the best education, and we are trying to focus them on their entrepreneurial skills. It is not something that has happened now, but a product of something that has happened throughout the years. Tel Aviv University has been the hub of entrepreneurship for many years: since 2006 we are always ranked among the top 10 universities around the world that produce the largest number of entrepreneurs who have recruited money from VCs.”



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