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One in Three Startup Founders Have Built More Than One Company


Updated on Apr 15, 2024
Published on Apr 04, 2023
data digest on company founders by coresignal

There isn’t one definite answer to the question of what makes someone ready to start a new company. However, analysis of public web data on company founders shows that they have some similarities when it comes to work experience and entrepreneurship.

With the help of startup data, we’ve examined some interesting data about company founders who have founded a new business in the past two years.

For this analysis, we used public web data records from one of the largest professional networks and other online sources. In total, this analysis included over 150,000 company founders.

One in three founders are serial entrepreneurs

For 35% of people who have founded a new company from 2021 to 2023, this isn’t their first one. Analysis shows that one in three founders has established more than one company.

serial entrepreneurs

However, founders are likely to focus on one business at a time, as only 2.6% of them have founded more than one company in the course of 2 years.

While most company founders are open about what they’re working on, at least 2.8%, or a little over 4,300, of the founders we included in this analysis operate in secrecy, commonly known as stealth mode. Founders working on secret projects have stealth startups or call themselves stealth founders.

Unicorn experience helps in creating new unicorns

Almost 40,000 of the 150,000 founders of new companies we included in our analysis are based in the United States. 2.5% have graduated from Ivy League schools, such as Harvard, Cornell, or Princeton.

Analysis of experience patterns among new company founders from around the world showed that 6.8% have previously worked in unicorn startups—companies that exceed $1B in evaluation.

professional experience of company founders

Experience working for tech giants also correlates with entrepreneurship, as 6.3% of 150,000 new company founders are former employees of the largest tech companies (ranked by market cap), such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.