You always have to start somewhere. In the case of many successful startup founders, that means working a day before they’re ready to jump in and start their own business.
So what are the best places to work for would-be founders? Several large companies top the list, according to a new report from small business lending platform OnDeck, which looked at large US companies with high rates of former employees starting their own businesses.
These big names include management consulting giant Bain & Company, financial services giant Goldman Sachs and even Twitter, the social media platform recently acquired by Elon Musk.
Boston-based Bain tops the list with 8.13% of former employees going on to become founders, the highest of any company in OnDeck’s analysis. Notable Bain & Co. alumni who achieved entrepreneurial success include Zynga founder Mark Pincus and Intuit co-founder Scott Cook.
Here are the top five:
- Bain & Company: 8.13% of former employees have created their own company.
- Oliver Wyman: 7.93%
- McKinsey & Company: 7.75%
- Strategy&: 7.44%
- Universal Music Group: 7.39%
To determine its ranking, OnDeck started with a list of the top 100 employers in each state, based on data from job search website Zippia. OnDeck then analyzed the LinkedIn profiles of more than 228,000 employees who had previously worked at these companies across the United States to determine how many of them had started their own companies as a sole founder or co-founder.
The top four companies on OnDeck’s list all come from the consulting world, which isn’t surprising: consultants at these companies are often tasked with helping clients fine-tune their management and business strategies.
If they ultimately decide to put those skills to work for their own startup, their relationships with investors and other deep-pocketed clients can give them a head start when they access the funding needed to launch and grow a new venture. business.
Twitter is the highest-ranked tech company on the list, with 6.17% of former employees starting their own business. Having a big-name tech company on your resume is one way to catch the eye of potential investors, and you’ll meet other talented tech workers you can potentially hire later.
Some of the tech workers who left — whether by layoff or by choice — amid Musk’s takeover of Twitter are already launching microblogging rivals, like Spill. The company’s history of producing entrepreneurs goes back even to its own founders: Jack Dorsey launched the Square payment platform and Evan Williams founded Medium, both after Twitter.
If you work on Wall Street, you can connect with potential investors who could back future ventures. Such was the case with billionaire Jeff Bezos, who quit his job at Wall Street hedge fund DE Shaw in 1994 to move to Seattle and start an e-commerce business that became Amazon, OnDeck noted.
Goldman Sachs leads the financial services companies in OnDeck’s ranking, with 5.92% former employees turned founders. Notable alumni include private equity billionaire Robert Smith, Vista Equity Partners founder and CEO, and Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam.
Focusing primarily on large companies, OnDeck’s report does not provide an exhaustive list. Working at a startup before launching one yourself can provide invaluable experience on what it takes to launch a new venture.
Indeed, entrepreneurs like Michael Seibel of Y Combinator advise aspiring founders to first work for other startups in their industry of interest before going it alone.
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