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New research reveals the universities that produce the most start-up businesses

The research, carried out by the UK’s leading business financial platform Tide, revealed the universities that have produced the most graduate start-ups, including sole traders, since 2014/15.  

Interestingly, it wasn’t a Russell Group university or a business school that produced the most start-ups, but actually, the Royal College of Art.

The fact that the Royal College and other arts universities produced so many businesses is likely due to the fact that a large number of artists and people in creative industries are self-employed.

The top 10 universities that have produced the most start-up businesses

RankHE providerRegionGraduate start-ups since 2014/15
1Royal College of ArtLondon1,655
2Kingston UniversityLondon1,630
3Falmouth UniversitySouth West1,135
4University of BedfordshireEast of England870
5The University of Central LancashireNorth West851
6University of the Arts, LondonLondon783
7Solent UniversitySouth East780
8Conservatoire for Dance and DramaLondon641
9The Manchester Metropolitan UniversityNorth West608
10The University of LincolnEast Midlands594

Another London university was close behind in second, with Kingston University producing 1,630 start-ups since 2014/15, with start-ups from Kingston benefiting from investment from a partnership with Santander.  

The university with the most grad start-ups outside of London is Falmouth, located in Cornwall. Falmouth is primarily a creative university and provides support via its Launchpad programme, which has a specific focus on helping students to bring their ideas into the market.  

Further Insights: 

  • The university with the greatest income from the intellectual property of its students was the University of Oxford, standing at an incredible £213 million in just the last five years.
  • The university with the third-highest income from the ideas of its students is Sheffield, at £64 million.
  • Oxford students had over 3,000 patents granted in the last five years, landing it the top spot as the higher education provider with the most patents granted
  • Students from the University of Cambridge have been responsible for 1,377 patents that have been granted in the last five years, placing it in second place, behind Oxford.

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