17 Companies You Didn't Know Were Founded By MIT Grads

When it comes to star entrepreneurs in tech, Harvard and Stanford are the first two schools that come to your mind.

We all know that Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in a dorm room at Harvard. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a well-known Harvard dropout.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page were Ph.D students at Stanford when they founded Google. Yahoo co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo also developed their site while at Stanford.

But there’s a school that deserves equal, if not more, recognition for its top talent in tech: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

MIT has built a strong research and engineering culture since its founding in 1861, producing 80 Nobel laureates along the way. Its engineering and business programs, in particular, are considered some of the best in the world.

We took a look at some of the tech companies founded by MIT graduates, and the results are quite impressive.

Intel - Robert Noyce

Robert Noyce was one of the Intel co-founders. He got his Ph.D in physics from MIT, where he was nicknamed, 'Rapid Robert,' for his quick mind. Before Intel, he also co-founded Fairchild Semiconductors.

He's done so much for Silicon Valley and the tech industry in general that he's often called 'The Mayor of Silicon Valley.'

Buzzfeed - Jonah Peretti

Buzzfeed, one of the hottest media companies these days, often calls itself a technology company.

Its tech roots trace back to its founder, Jonah Peretti, who studied educational technology at the MIT Media Lab, the school's research lab devoted to independent tech/media projects. Peretti was also one of the founders of Huffington Post.

Buzzfeed raised $US50 million in funding at a $US850 million valuation last week.

Hewlett Packard - Bill Hewlett

Most people associate Hewlett-Packard co-founder Bill Hewlett with his undergrad alma mater, Stanford University. But he actually got his master's in electrical engineering from MIT in 1936.

Hewlett and David Packard founded Hewlett-Packard in 1939 in a garage in Palo Alto. Over the years, HP grew into a multi-billion dollar company, with products in semiconductor, electronics, and computing.

Bose Corporation - Amar Bose

Bose Corporation, the audio equipment manufacturer, was founded by Amar Bose in 1964.

Amar received his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from MIT. He also joined the school's faculty in 1956 and served as a professor for 45 years.

Dropbox - Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi

Dropbox founder Drew Houston

Drew Houston constantly lost his USB drive as an undergrad at MIT, so he decided to create a cloud storage service called Dropbox.

Another computer science major, Arash Ferdowsi, joined Houston to co-found Dropbox in 2007.

Houston graduated with a bachelor's degree, but Ferdowsi, the current CTO, dropped out in his last year of school. Dropbox is currently valued at $US10 billion, according to reports.

Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, & Byers (KPCB) - Tom Perkins

Tom Perkins

KPCB, arguably one of the most influential venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, has made a lot of tech investments over the years.

The 'Perkins' in its name comes from one of its co-founder, Tom Perkins, who, earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT.

Akamai - Danny Lewin

Danny Lewin was the co-founder of Akamai Technologies, an Internet routing and security company.

In 1996, he joined MIT as a Ph.D student, and met applied mathematics professor F. Thomson Leighton, who co-founded Akamai in 1998.

Unfortunately, Lewin was one of the passengers on the American Airline Flight on 9/11 and died in the attacks. Last year, Akamai recorded $US1.6 billion in sales.

Harmonix (Developer of Guitar Hero) - Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy

Harmonix, best known for developing games like Guitar Hero and Rockband, was founded by two MIT grads, Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy.

The two met while doing research at the MIT Media Lab for a master's degree. Rigopulos majored in music and theatre arts as an undergrad while Egozy got his B.S. in computer science and electrical engineering.

Harmonix was acquired by Viacom for $US175 million in 2006, but was later sold again to an investment management firm in 2010.

Khan Academy - Salman Khan

Salman Khan, the founder of the online educational organisation, received B.S. degrees in mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering at MIT, before going on to finish a master's in electrical engineering and computer science as well.

He launched Khan Academy in 2006, under the idea of providing 'a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere.'

Currently, more than 10 million students take courses on Khan Academy, where more than 440 million lessons (4 million problems completed per day) have been delivered so far.

iRobot - Colin Angle and Helen Greiner

iRobot, the famous maker of the Roomba vacuum cleaner, was founded in 1990 by two MIT students, Colin Angle and Helen Greiner, and an MIT professor, Rodney Brooks. The three were working at MIT's Artificial Intelligence Lab.

iRobot has sold over 10 million home robots and delivered 5,000-plus defence & security robots worldwide. The company went public in 2005 and had a little over $US400 million in revenue last year.

Qualcomm - Irwin Jacobs

Irwin Jacobs co-founded Qualcomm with Andrew Viterbi in 1985.

He earned his Ph.D in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. He was also assistant and associate professor of electrical engineering at MIT for 7 years before starting Qualcomm.

In 2007, he donated $US30 million to MIT for fellowships in electrical engineering and computer science.

Alexa - Brewster Kahle

Brewster Kahle received his computer science and engineering degree at MIT in 1982. He was involved in many influential web-related products before launching Alexa, the site that provides web traffic data, in 1996. Alex was acquired by Amazon in 1999 for about $US300 million.

Brewster is also the founder of the nonprofit, Internet Archive, a site dedicated to archiving Internet data, under the mission of 'creating an Internet library for researchers, historians, and scholars.'

IDG - Patrick McGovern

Patrick McGovern co-founded the tech research and publishing firm, IDG, in 1964 with Fred Kirch. IDG is a research firm and the publisher of popular tech publications like Computerworld and PC World.

Before IDG, McGovern was a biology and life sciences student at MIT. He won a scholarship to MIT by inventing an 'unbeatable tic-tac-toe algorithm.' In 2000, he donated $US350 million to MIT to create the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

3Com (and inventor of the Ethernet) - Robert Metclafe

Robert Metcalfe is the founder of network company 3Com (which was later acquired by HP), and the co-inventor of the Ethernet, the solution to connect computers. He graduated from MIT in 1969 with degrees in electrical engineering and industrial management.

Metcalfe is currently a general partner at Polaris Partners, and a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He's a living legend, according to NetworkWorld, and one of the most influential Internet pioneers.

Fairchild Semiconductors - Sheldon Roberts and Jay Last

The so-called 'Traitorous Eight' formed Fairchild Semiconductors, and some of them come from MIT. Sheldon Roberts earned his master's and Ph.D in electrical engineering, while Jay Last received his Ph.D in physics.

Intel co-founder Robert Noyce, who's also an MIT grad, was one of the 'Traitorous Eight' as well.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) - Morris Chang

TSMC is one of the largest silicon foundries in the world. Its founder, Morris Chang, finished his bachelor's and master's program in mechanical engineering at MIT. Chang is considered to have invented the foundry concept back in 1987.

For his achievements, Chang enjoys a stature of a national hero back in his home in Taiwan. Last year, TSMC did roughly $US20 billion in revenue.

E*Trade - William Porter

E*Trade, the electronic stock trading platform, was founded by William Porter, who earned his MBA degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

In 1999, he donated $US25 million to the school. E*Trade had $US1.7 billion in revenue last year.

Now that you've seen MIT's tech rock stars...

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