5th year! Olin tops P&Q entrepreneurship ranking

  • November 1, 2023
  • By Kurt Greenbaum
  • 2 minute read

For the fifth consecutive year, WashU Olin was ranked first in Poets & Quants’ global ranking of MBA entrepreneurship programs—a clean sweep since the ranking began.

The first-place ranking came on the strength of the percentage of Olin MBAs involved in startups and the number of startup mentors per MBA student.

Ranking organizers said it was close this year, with Olin edging out second-place finisher ESMT Berlin.

 "This fifth consecutive top ranking further affirms our commitment to the critical role innovation plays in our economy and to the entrepreneurial spirit of our students, alumni, faculty and staff," said Mike Mazzeo, WashU Olin's dean. "It's gratifying to be part of a school where this spirit is built into our DNA and part of everyday conversations."

Courses at Olin, including the League of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, provide a platform to grow and scale companies. The course, taught by Doug Villhard, director of Olin’s entrepreneurship program, is a recent innovation in WashU Olin's entrepreneurship curriculum, having welcomed its second cohort of students this year.

"We've worked hard to take our program to the next level by increasing our budget, adding advanced courses, diversifying guest speakers, engaging record numbers of alumni as mentors, hosting a national $50,000 pitch competition, offering five full-ride entrepreneurial fellowships, and recruiting exceptional faculty, staff and students," Villhard said.

"However, the biggest impact on the rankings has been the success of our graduates in terms of starting companies, raising money, becoming venture capitalists, and earning entrepreneurial roles in large corporations," he said. "Our students, always, are the real heroes of Olin's ranking success."

Olin was also a strong finisher in several other dimensions of the ranking, including MBAs creating startups after graduating; the percentage of MBAs taking innovation-focused electives; and the ratio of funding for MBA startups. In fact, these are the categories where WashU Olin ranked in the top five:

  • MBAs who created startups within three months of graduation (five-year average), rank: third with 20.6%
  • Percentage of MBAs taking an entrepreneurship/innovation-focused elective, rank: fifth with 89%
  • Incubator/accelerator ratio: fourth
  • Entrepreneurship-in-residence ratio: fifth
  • VC/private equity ratio: fourth
  • Mentor hour ratio per MBA: second, 19.40
  • Ratio of funding for MBA startups: fourth

"We tell our students entrepreneurship is a team sport. This is a great example of teamwork paying off," said II Luscri, managing director of the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship. "The energy at the entrepreneurship platform kickoff Doug hosted in the Skandalaris Center is proof of how we are getting the message out to MBA applicants."

Top Ranked MBA Programs in Entrepreneurship in 2024

Exclusive interview with Poets&Quants Editor-in-Chief, John A. Byrne, and our #1 ranked program.

Learn More

About the Author

Kurt Greenbaum

Kurt Greenbaum

As communications director for WashU Olin Business School, my job is to find and share great stories about our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I've worked for the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management as communications director and as a journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sun-Sentinel in South Florida and the Chicago Tribune.

Contact Us

For assistance in finding faculty experts, please contact Washington University Public Affairs.

Monday–Friday, 8:30 to 5 p.m.

Sara Savat, Senior News Director, Business and Social Sciences


Kurt Greenbaum,
Communications Director

Twitter: WUSTLnews