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Sequencing the Startup DNA - @mrogati's talk at StartupFest 2011
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Sequencing the Startup DNA - @mrogati's talk at StartupFest 2011

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What makes entrepreneurs different, and where do they come from? Are they born or taught? Are they unusually mobile in their careers? Does geography play a role? Do mentors and relationships …

What makes entrepreneurs different, and where do they come from? Are they born or taught? Are they unusually mobile in their careers? Does geography play a role? Do mentors and relationships matter?

Numerous studies explore these questions by surveying hundreds of entrepreneurs. At LinkedIn, we take a different approach, on a different scale. By sifting through more than 120 million public profiles, we can analyze tens of thousands startup founder# profiles - and find common threads linking their careers.

(make sure you follow along w/ the speaker notes; my slides are minimalist.)

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • @mrogati Monica, do you guys plan on updating this year to year like US News does? Always knew USN was off, but tidbits like likelyhood of starting a company or from what companies most founders come from are very interesting. Hopefully new finds like these year to year?
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  • Loved the slide titles, tried to recognize every song...
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  • Video of this talk : http://box.onvii.com/video/228
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  • Title : Sequencing the Startup DNABy: MonicaRogati – data scientist at LinkedIn. This presentation was given at 4:20PM – the perfect time for having hippie songs as my slide titles.
  • There are many studies out there looking into what makes entrepreneurs different – whether they are born or taught, where they go to school, whether it’s about relationships or whether geography plays a role.The best ones (by GEM, Kauffman foundation, the Startup Genome Project and Ernst and Young) are based on surveys of 600 or so entrepreneurs; these are high precision, in depth studies, measuring numerous variables. But the number of data points is still very small.Can we get more data?
  • Yes! There are >100 million people on LI
  • LinkedIn profiles allow us to explore entrepreneurs’ backgrounds – education, past careers, connections – and attempt to answer these questions about entrepreneurs.
  • How do we define an entrepreneur, or a startup founder?We look for companies with at least Using these rough guidelines, we came up with about 13K entrepreneurs, 2% of which are serial entrepreneurs.
  • What’s the entrepreneur age distribution? In the LinkedIn data, entrepreneurs skew older. But is this selection bias? Don’t LinkedIn members skew older in general?That’s true – so, for all future data, we’re going to look at what characteristics are *over-represented* among entrepreneurs vs. the rest of the people on LI?…According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, people over the age of 35 mad\\e up 80 percent of the total entrepreneurship activity in 2009. That same year,\\ the Kauffman Foundation conducted a survey of 549 startups operating in "high-\\growth" industries -- including aerospace, defense, health care, and computer a\\nd electronics -- and found that people over 55 are nearly twice as likely to l\\aunch startups in these industries.
  • Here are two memorable images to explain – and help you remember- the concept of over-represented and under-represented.Babies are UNDER-represented in prison: fewer of them there vs. the overall population.What are a few animals over-represented on geeky t-shirts? Wolves, elefants and pigs.
  • What schools are they coming from? The Princeton Review put together a ranking of the best business schools for entrepreneurs – based on surveys, shown on the left. We’ve put together our own ranking, on the right, based on business schools OVER-represented among entrepreneurs.
  • What are other over-represented schools among entrepreneurs, other than the business schools (in blue)? There are a few technical schools (in orange), and a few general schools (in green) , some of which skew technical.
  • Are entrepreneurs unusually mobile in their career? They switch jobs every 2.5 yrs before becoming founders, In general, it’s 4.4 years cf. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Which companies are over-represented in founders’ histories?
  • What industries do people STAY when they do a startup?
  • What industries are hard to break into? (i.e. founders have previous industry experience before doing a startup): Law, semiconductors, PharmaceuticalsEasy: retail, consumer goods, leisure & travel, professional trainingMost academic startups: nanotech, biotech, medical devices
  • Does geography matter? Yes! Most over-represented regions among entrepreneurs are SF, NYC (which is half as over-represented as SF) and Boston (which is half as over-represented as NYC)
  • Founders are disproportionately connected to VCs, online publishing, people in the internet industry and recruiters
  • Startup GATTACA Leave banking & move to California Go to Stanford BS and major in entrepreneurshipConvince your IIT graduate co-founder to leave YahooConnect with VCs and bloggers on LI
  • It’s about Location, experience, relationships
  • Transcript

    • 1. @mrogati
    • 2. Born to be wild?
    • 3. I’ve seen all good people…
    • 4. Who are you
    • 5. Don’t let me be misunderstood
      #define startup founder
      US companies
      … founded after 2000
      … 2-200 employees
      … with 1+ .*founder.*
      Out
      LLCs
      HR, Real Estate, consulting,
      PR, legal
    • 6. Fire Starter
      13K founders 2% “serial entrepreneurs”
      Entrepreneur Age Distribution
    • 7. We can work it out
      UNDER-represented
      OVER-represented
    • 8. We don’t need no education …
      Most entrepreneurial
      majors
      Entrepreneurship
      Computer engineering
      Computer science
      Physics
      Electrical engineering
      Theology
      Civil engineering
      Pharmacy
      Education
      Social work
      Human resources
      Administration
      Nursing
      Theology
      Civil engineering
      Pharmacy
      Education
      Social work
      Human resources
      Administration
      Nursing
      Least entrepreneurial
      majors
    • 9. Takin’ care of business
      1.
      1.
      2.
      2.
      3.
      3.
      4.
      4.
      5.
      5.
      6.
      6.
      7.
      7.
      8.
      8.
      9.
      9.
      10.
      10.
    • 10.
    • 11. t’s a long way to the top
      Founder career histories on LinkedIn
      Average position length: 2.5 years
    • 12. Cisco kid
      Where are founders coming from?
      Under-represented
      Over-represented
    • 13. Should I stay or should I go?
      you work in
      internet
      computer games
      biotech
      software
      advertising
      medical devices
      banking
      research
      edu management
      non-profit
      investment banking
      automotive
      you want to do a startup
      you will likely
      Go
      Stay
    • 14. Are you experienced?
      Law practice
      Semiconductors
      Pharmaceuticals
      Retail
      Leisure & Travel
      Professional Training
      Nanotech
      Biotech
      Medical Devices
    • 15. California Dreamin’
      Boston
      New York City
      San Francisco
    • 16. With a little help from my friends
    • 17. Start me up
    • 18. The End
      @mrogati