Financial Times Ranks UVA’s Darden No. 3 in the World for Entrepreneurship


On Monday, Financial Times ranked the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business the No. 3 MBA program in the world for entrepreneurship.

The ranking recognizes the success of entrepreneurs from within the Darden community and the support that Darden and its global alumni network provide them. 

“Darden has built one of the leading entrepreneurial ecosystems in all of graduate business education,” Darden Dean Scott Beardsley said. “The combination of Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the school’s outstanding faculty and committed alumni, and the impact of the University of Virginia – with its strongholds in business, law, engineering, medicine and life sciences – is a powerful one for fostering remarkable entrepreneurial leaders.” 

The Financial Times entrepreneurship rankings methodology considers each school’s entrepreneurial activity and successes and the level of support provided both by the school and its alumni. This is the publication’s second annual ranking; Darden was not ranked last year.

Darden received high marks for helping entrepreneurs start, finance and recruit talent to their ventures. Darden’s alumni also ranked near the top for helping entrepreneurs access a network that enabled them to advance their startups.

“Darden’s commitment to inspiring entrepreneurial thinking and action among its students rests on a foundation of world-class faculty, vast curricular and co-curricular entrepreneurship offerings, access to a worldwide network of advisers and deep engagement with the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the University and beyond,” said Sean Carr, executive director of Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “We are very proud of this recent recognition of our global standing, and it energizes us to do even more to help activate the next generation of entrepreneurs from Darden.”

Darden’s entrepreneurial programs offer:

  • Merit-based scholarships for entrepreneurially oriented students from around the world;
  • Leading-edge faculty, whose work in entrepreneurship and innovation includes breakthrough ideas on effectuation and design thinking;
  • 24 entrepreneurship-related MBA courses and ongoing curricular innovation
  • Venture incubation and acceleration, hosted by Darden at the W.L. Lyons Brown III i.Lab at UVA;
  • A venture internship program, supporting MBA students to join startups or venture capital firms;
  • Support for University-wide competitions, research partnerships and conferences;
  • Online courses
  • Tight linkages with entrepreneurial hubs in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.;
  • and Global Business Experiences for students in Stockholm (with a view on sustainability) and Barcelona (for strategy as design, inspired by artists such as Antoni Gaudí).

“The Darden School’s mission is to improve the world by developing and inspiring responsible leaders who are both global and entrepreneurial, and this latest ranking signals that we are meeting that challenge,” Beardsley said.

The Financial Times ranking follows the announcement earlier this year by the National Venture Capital Association naming Charlottesville the fastest-growing venture capital ecosystem in the nation, driven by investments secured by several Darden-supported ventures.

Media Contact

Sophie Zunz

Director of Media Relations Darden School of Business