No, but on average, it’s definitely a big plus.
There are two, and importantly, different reasons.
The first is de-risking in seed and angel investing. Angel and seed investors want to invest in the smartest, most driven founders possible. A simply, if crude, way to give an IQ test is MIT-Stanford-etc.
The second is de-risking in scaling. Other VCs generally believe Hard Problems are only solved by The Very Smartest. They want 10 Googlers, 5 Palantir-ians, and 3 Stanford PhDs in the founding team. And. They are willing to pay for it. There’s a lot of data suggesting this isn’t a terrible approach.
Personally, I don’t care. I’m looking instead for founders more driven, and more intense, and more committed, than I was. That’s just a different university, I guess. A University of Get S**t Done.