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Which Schools Graduated the Most Founders of Top PH Startups?

Leading local universities aren’t just good in athletics but in innovative entrepreneurship too
By Pauline Macaraeg |


Only four local universities – the so-called “Big Four” that includes Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), University of Santo Tomas (UST) and University of the Philippines (UP) – graduated more than two-thirds of the country’s leading startup founders.


This was one of the findings of a report released by iPrice Group, a Kuala Lumpur-based online shopping aggregator that runs the Asia-wide price comparison site in the Philippines.


The study looked at the college courses and schools of 49 founders and co-founders of more than 30 leading startups in the Philippines that have received Series A funding from a venture capital firm. (The study examined records of 54 entrepreneurs but some of them did not provide information on the schools they graduated from.)


ADMU leads the list with 12 startup founders who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the school.  Among the most well-known graduates are Nix Nolledo of Xurpas; Peter Cauton and Paulo De La Fuente of Storm Tech; Myla Villanueva and Ray Espinosa of Wolfpac Mobile; and Bansan Choa and Ben Tiu of I-Remit.


DLSU follows with nine graduates, which include Raymond Racaza of Xurpas and Xeleb Technologies; Jay Fajardo of Airborne Access; and Wilson Damarillo of Morphlabs.


UST comes third with six graduates, with Alexandra Roxas of Chikka as its most prominent startup founder. UP is fourth with five graduates, including Maria Ressa of Rappler; RJ David of; and Tony Abello of Airborne Access.


Only 17 of the leading startup founders in the iPrice list studied abroad for their bachelor’s degrees, mostly from prominent American schools. New York University leads with six, with Yoram Heller of Morphlabs as its most prominent founder, followed by Harvard University at three, including Dennis Mendiola of Chikka Asia.


However,  most preferred to pursue higher education in international universities. “While there are more founders and co-founders who finished their Bachelor’s degree in Philippine universities, international universities dominated for the most number of MS and MBA,” iPrice said.


The study only included the original founders and co-founders of the companies, and did not take into account those designated by acquisition.





Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg

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