Artificial Intelligence, Education, and Entrepreneurship

78 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2019 Last revised: 4 Jan 2021

See all articles by Michael Gofman

Michael Gofman

Simon Business School

Zhao Jin

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business

Date Written: October 26, 2020


The scarcity of the human capital needed for R&D in Artificial Intelligence (AI) created an unprecedented brain drain of AI professors from universities in 2004-2018. We exploit this brain drain as a source of variation in students’ domain-specific knowledge and provide causal evidence that domain-specific knowledge is important for startup formation, seed funding, round A funding, and funding growth rate. The effect is the largest for top universities, PhD students, and startups in the area of deep learn- ing. These results contribute to the entrepreneurial finance literature and challenge the current view that entrepreneurs are jacks-of-all-trades, master of none (Lazear 2004).

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, entrepreneurial finance, human capital, innovation, education, deep learning

JEL Classification: L26, O33, O31, I23, J24

Suggested Citation

Gofman, Michael and Jin, Zhao, Artificial Intelligence, Education, and Entrepreneurship (October 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Michael Gofman (Contact Author)

Simon Business School ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States


Zhao Jin

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business ( email )

1 East Chang'an Ave.
Beijing, Beijing 100005

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