Best Illinois Schools for Entrepreneurs

Best Illinois Schools for Entrepreneurs
Students from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management meet on the Evanston campus. Photo: Chris Walker / Chicago Tribune / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

PitchBook Financial Database released its annual report top 50 list colleges for business starters last week, and the University of Illinois and Northwestern made the Top 25.

Why is this important: Good Founding Schools attract potential entrepreneurs who start new businesses that add to Chicago’s first-class startup community.

Between the lines: This is a national list, but we wanted to zoom in and find out more about the best business schools in our area. We spoke to experts and here is the list we made:

North West : Kellogg School of Management

  • If you are completing postgraduate work, Kellogg continues to be one of the best in the country. And they do it without a ton of students, enrolling fewer than 1,300 full-time students per year.

The University of Chicago: Booth School of Business

  • The U of C did not make the top 50 list, but much higher scores when you are exploring only MBAs. In recent data, Stand graduated 51 founders who each raised over $ 1 million in seed funding; Kellogg had 47.

The University of Illinois: Geis Business College

  • It is perhaps the best university in Illinois for undergraduate business studies. The Geis Business College was ranked # 7 this year by US News and World Report for public undergraduate business programs.

ITI: The Kaplan Institute

DuPage College

Honorable mentions: The DePaul Driehaus School of Business, The Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business and Lake Forest College.

The other side: You may not need college to become an entrepreneur.

  • “The training course of a founder is less important for us than his knowledge of the sector in which he operates” Lindsay Knight of Chicago Venture said Axios.
  • “It usually has less to do with formal education and more to do with real world experience.”


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