Thanks in part to its proximity to nearly every major tech company you could think of, Stanford University has become a sort of incubator for Silicon Valley itself. 

Some of tech's most important figures have attended classes here, from Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard to Marissa Mayer and Peter Thiel. 

But Stanford's campus is also known for being a great place to launch a new company, with top-notch engineering and business programs, an extensive alumni network, and even university-affiliated accelerator programs. Most of the Valley's most successful companies have some roots here, including Google, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, and Yahoo.

It makes sense that the California school was named the Best College In America. 

We've highlighted some of the most successful startups to be born on Stanford's campus in the last two decades. 

Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger met through the Stanford alumni network.

After graduating in 2006 with a degree in management science and engineering, Kevin Systrom started developing a location-based photo-sharing app. When he realized he needed a cofounder, he turned to the Stanford network and found Mike Krieger, a Brazilian native who graduated with a degree in symbolic systems two years after Systrom. 

"When people say that college isn’t worthwhile and paying all this money isn’t worthwhile, I really disagree," Systrom said to Forbes. "I think those experiences and those classes that may not necessarily seem applicable in the moment end up coming back to you time and time again."

Systrom and Krieger sold Instagram to Facebook for $1 billion in April of 2012.



Trulia cofounders Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen met during class at the Graduate School of Business.

Flint and Inkinen were inspired to create Trulia when they saw how difficult it was to find a place to live in Palo Alto. They developed their real estate aggregation site during two semesters in Stanford's competitive "Startup Garage" class.

The Monday after graduation, they had lined up meetings with several VCs interested in funding their company. 

As of June 2014, Trulia had 54 million monthly active users. Trulia was bought by Zillow for $3.5 billion in July. 



The idea for StubHub came out of a business plan competition at Stanford.

Eric Baker and Jeff Fluhr met in a class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. After sharing stories of the problems they had had selling event tickets online, they entered a competition with the business plan for a company they called needaticket.com. After the plan made the final round, they pulled out of the competition, and in 2000, Fluhr dropped out of school to work on the company full-time.

Baker and Fluhr used Stanford computer labs and classrooms to build their site, now a major player in secondary ticket sales for sports and entertainment events.

The company was bought by eBay for $300 million in 2007. 



Loopt was founded by three Stanford sophomores.

The location-based app was created by Sam Altman, Nick Sivo, and Alok Deshpande, who met during their second year in school. They left Stanford soon after to get to work building their app.

Loopt was bought by Green Dot Corporation for $43.4 million in 2012, and Altman now works as president of top tech incubator Y Combinator.

He'll be returning to Stanford this fall, leading a class called "How to Start a Startup", with big-name tech executives like Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway, and Marissa Mayer joining for weekly lectures.




See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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