Stanford: Incubator with Dorms?

Scott Francis
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Steve Blank recently asserted that Stanford is basically “an incubator with dorms“.  That sounded a bit contentious until I read the article.  He’s right.

There are 145 entrepreneurship courses offered at Stanford today.  That’s unbelievable. There might not have been any when I attended Stanford in the 90’s.  But the raw materials and foundations were there, and the ecosystem around Stanford was there.  Now, connect those 145 classes full of students with the ecosystem of companies, funding, vendors, and enablers, and you can understand the appeal of attending Stanford in the 2010’s.

In a very real sense, the analogy of an incubator with dorms is fairly true.  The alumni who have started businesses and had massive financial successes have turned around and donated vast sums of charitable funds to the university, securing its financial future in lands, facilities, endowments, and reputation.  The business model has a long gestation period, but it seems to be working beyond anyone’s expectations or dreams.