You always have to start somewhere. In the case of many a successful startup founder, that means working a day job before they’re ready to strike out and start their own new business.
So, where are the best places to work for future founders? Multiple big-name companies top the list, according to a new report from small-business lending platform OnDeck, which examined large U.S. companies with high rates of former employees launching their own businesses.
Those big names include like management consulting giant Bain & Company, financial services behemoth 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 alumni of Bain & Co. who went on to entrepreneurial success include Zynga founder Mark Pincus and Intuit co-founder Scott Cook.
Here’s the top five:
- Bain & Company: 8.13% of former employees have gone on to found their own business.
- Oliver Wyman: 7.93%
- McKinsey & Company: 7.75%
- Strategy&: 7.44%
- Universal Music Group: 7.39%
To determine its rankings, OnDeck started with a list of the 100 biggest 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 those companies across the U.S. to determine how many had gone on to launch their own businesses as either a sole founder or co-founder.
The top four companies on OnDeck’s list all hail from the consulting world, which isn’t surprising: Consultants at those companies are often tasked with helping clients hone their management and business strategies.
Should they ultimately decide to put those skills to work for their own startup, their connections to investors and other deep-pocketed clients can give them a leg up when accessing the funding necessary to launch and grow a new venture.
Twitter is the list’s highest-ranked tech firm, with 6.17% of former employees going on to launch their own business. Having a big-name tech company on your resume is one way to get the attention of potential investors, and you’ll meet other talented tech workers who you can potentially hire down the road.
Some of the tech workers who left — whether by layoff or choice — amid Musk’s takeover of Twitter are already launching microblogging rivals, like Spill. The company’s history of producing entrepreneurs even goes back to its own founders: Jack Dorsey launched payments platform Square 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. This was the case for billionaire Jeff Bezos, who left his job at Wall Street hedge fund D.E. Shaw in 1994 to move to Seattle and launch an e-commerce business that became Amazon, OnDeck noted.
Goldman Sachs leads the way among financial services companies on OnDeck’s rankings, with 5.92% of former employees becoming founders. Those notable alumni include private equity billionaire Robert Smith, the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, and Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam.
By focusing primarily on large companies, OnDeck’s report doesn’t provide a comprehensive list. Working at a startup before launching one yourself can offer invaluable experience in what it takes to get a new business off the ground.
Indeed, entrepreneurs like Y Combinator’s Michael Seibel advise aspiring founders to first work for other startups in their industry of interest before striking out on their own.
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