This Is What It's Like At Stanford University, Tech's Most Fertile Startup Generator

Some of the tech industry’s most famous tech entrepreneurs got their start at Stanford University.

And that’s not by accident.

Whether it’s through programs like StartX, an accelerator that offers students the help of different mentors and experts in the industry, or through the classes they take, it’s almost a sure bet that if you’re reading about a successful tech startup, its founders got their start at Stanford University.

Stanford University's gorgeous campus is in Palo Alto, California, which is about an hour south of San Francisco. It's on what Bay Area folks call 'the Peninsula.'

The road leading to the university is called Palm Drive.

And there's a mall nearby, almost on the campus itself, called the Stanford Shopping Center.

Stanford's campus is beautiful. It's also where several tech startups were born. Or where the people who created them met.

Ren Ng, the founder and executive chairman of Lytro, earned a bachelor's degree in mathematical and computational science in 2001, a master's in computer science in 2002, and a doctorate in computer science in 2006 -- all from Stanford University. Lytro is developing consumer light-field cameras based on research he did while at Stanford.

Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom graduated from Stanford in 2006. He was in the Sigma Nu fraternity. Lucas Duplan was also a member of Sigma Nu. He started payment company Clinkle and raised $US25 million. And Rainer Castillo, who founded men's shorts line Chubbies, was also in this fraternity.

Here's the Kappa Sigma fraternity, which Snapchat cofounders Evan Spiegel and Snapchat CTO Bobby Murphy belonged to.

Stanford University's Kappa Sigma fraternity house

Kimball Hall is an Arts Theme residence hall on the east side of campus. It's also where Reggie Brown and Evan Spiegel once lived and where Brown first shared his billion-dollar idea, Snapchat, with Spiegel. Brown was ousted from the company and is now suing Spiegel, Murphy, and all of their investors.

Evan Spiegel first heard the idea for Snapchat in Stanford University's Kimball Hall, where he was a resident.

People use bikes to get across the huge campus, including to some of the off-campus apartments. Trulia founders Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen met in the Graduate School of Business. They were frustrated by the lack of resources online to help them find apartments in the Silicon Valley. So they built Trulia to help ease the frustration of finding an apartment online.

This is the Physics and Astrophysics building. Tesla's Elon Musk went to Stanford to get a doctorate in energy physics, but dropped out after two days to start his first company, Zip2 Corp.

Up in the hills behind Stanford University, you'll find this company ...

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