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WHU is Europe’s Most Efficient School for Entrepreneurs
05/29/2024

New Study: WHU is Europe’s “Most Efficient” School for Entrepreneurs

A new survey from venture capital firm Redstone sees WHU reach pole position in Europe

In its recent report, the “Redstone University Startup Index – Europe’s Trillion Euro Opportunity,” venture capital firm Redstone confirms that WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management is Europe’s “most efficient university” for entrepreneurship. The study sees WHU reach #1 across Europe for the number of start-ups founded per €100M of its budget.

“We are very excited about these figures. These impressive results reflect our focus on entrepreneurship,” noted Professor Dries Faems of WHU’s Chair of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technological Transformation. “We have made it our goal to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit at WHU. And that spirit helps young people make a positive contribution to a more sustainable world with the companies they found. The fact that we are so pro-active is what makes WHU so strong.” 

Over the past one-and-a-half years, the authors behind the study analyzed the budgets of 457 schools and research institutes and the entrepreneurial ecosystems of 34 countries across Europe. Redstone matched roughly 7,500 of all start-ups founded in 2023 to the study’s pool of institutes through entrepreneurial alumni connections or their being direct university off-shoots.

WHU’s success, as well as its steadfast dedication to offering courses that will help prepare young people for a career as managers and promising entrepreneurs, is also reflected elsewhere in the results of the study. For example, how efficient universities are in relation to the founding of start-ups varies wildly. Some institutes with a €2M budget achieve similar results to those with a budget of €200M. Per €100M in budget, there are, on average, 16.6 start-ups founded with roots at the continent’s top 100 universities—a noticeable jump over the total average of 6.6. The study considers the founding of a business to be a concrete way of measuring a school’s entrepreneurial efficiency. 

The study also underscores the economic potential in founding a start-up. By optimizing the process, European universities could generate more than 157,000 start-ups over the course of the next ten years—equal to 6.1 million new jobs, €400B in additional taxes, €2.6T in additional GDP, and €3.2T in additional equity value. These developments would lead to a significant economic boost in Europe. 

In the first episode of the new AlpMomentum – Innovate, Educate, Elevate podcast, hosted by Redstone.vc founding partner and co-author of the study Michael Brehm, Professor Faems speaks about the entrepreneurial spirit and the approach to academics taken at WHU. “That we have placed first shows how wide-reaching, robust networks and a targeted education in entrepreneurship make all the difference.”

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