Poets&Quants’ Top MBA Startups Of 2022

An INSEAD MBA startup tops this year’s list of the 100 Best-Funded MBA Startups of 2022, the first time a school outside the United States has topped the list. courtesy photo

If it weren’t for the culture of interdisciplinary collaboration at Stanford University, Lucia Huang might never have met her co-founder.

Huang, Stanford Graduate School of Business Class of 2020 MBA, met Stanford medical candidate Jimmy Qian in a class that mixed with students from the university’s prestigious business, medical and engineering schools. They shared their mutual dismay at the lack of innovation in the mental health field, despite the fact that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. So they decided to work on the problem.

Lucy Huang

Together they founded Osmind — electronic health record software for mental health providers to help manage, monitor and analyze the use of innovative psychiatric drugs and treatments. The company has raised $57.2 million in four funding rounds since its founding two years ago and is ranked #21 on our annual list of top MBA startups. It is one of 26 companies on this year’s list with a female founder or co-founder.

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“With our collective background in science, medicine and healthcare, and our personal passion and investment in improving mental health for all, we recognized that innovation in mental health was long overdue,” says Huang Poets & Quanta.

“Stanford excels at supporting entrepreneurship. Healthcare is such a complex industry that collaborating with multidisciplinary team members is vital. Stanford does a great job of promoting cross-pollination between the different schools and facilitating connections.”


As we have done every year since 2014, Poets & Quanta asked startups from the world’s top MBA programs to create a list based on a single metric: how much funding a startup has raised, the most accessible apples-to-apples comparison. (See our list for 2021 here.)

To qualify for this year’s list, a startup had to be founded between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2021 and have had at least one MBA founder during the same period. Poets & Quanta solicited nominations from top business schools and checked numbers on Crunchbase.com. The numbers verified at the time of reporting were used to create the list.

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It takes a lot to oust Stanford from the top spot for the best-funded MBA startup. Since we started the list in 2014, the best MBA founders have come from Stanford every year except for two (and a half). 2018, Harvard Business School MBAs Charles Baron and Amol Deshpande #1 with her company Farmer’s Business Network, which brought in $193.9 million. Wharton School MBAs William Shu and Greg Orlowski topped the list in 2017 with Deliveroo, raising $474.6 million. And in 2014, the top spot was shared by the Harvard and Stanford MBA founders of Wildfire.

The best-funded MBA startup this year is Gorillas, a company co-founded by INSEAD MBA Sukru Dagdelen, with a truly staggering figure: $1.335 billion.

It’s the second-highest amount for an MBA startup since we compiled the list — behind Sofi’s 2016 figure of around $300,000. It’s also a notable climb for the French business school, whose highest startups last year, Forecast and Zenyum, landed at No. 42 with $15.1 million each.

France’s INSEAD is the first international business school to top our list of funded MBA startups of the year. courtesy photo

Gorillas is an on-demand grocery delivery service that promises food to your door within 10 minutes of ordering through its app. The company raised $1 billion in a Series C round involving 18 investors in October 2021. It has had four funding rounds since its inception in 2020, with the second largest coming in March 2021 at $290 million, according to Crunchbase. It differs from other leading grocers in that it uses ‘drivers’ – full-time employees with benefits who deliver groceries on bikes in most European metropolitan areas.

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At seven, INSEAD also had more MBA startups than any other international business school on this year’s list.

“INSEAD was founded as an entrepreneurial company and has grown into an internationally recognized business school for the world. Over 50% of the school’s MBA graduates become entrepreneurs or engage in entrepreneurial activities during their careers – it’s in our DNA,” Professor Peter Zemsky, Associate Dean and Dean of Innovation, told Poets&Quants.

“We select outstanding business students who have demonstrated their ability to manage across cultures and diversity. It turns out that this has enabled us to attract high caliber talent who also make up a very impressive and successful group of entrepreneurs.”

NEXT PAGE: Harvard, Stanford still rule the startup roost


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