New York’s startup scene has had explosive growth over the course of a decade, along with a rise in venture capital for funding tech startups with a growth of startup successes in a variety of industries, unclusing Kickstarter, Etsy, Shutterstock, Tumblr, and many more.
Lately, New York has seen a rise in Fintech, which plays into the cities strengths being the financial center of the world.
Health tech is another trend that has taken off in New York with several health focused startup incubators popping up around the city, and Edtech continues to rise in popularity.
Recruiting and Development:
NYC has a vast startup community, and Underdog.io has created a two-sided marketplace that helps jobseekers looking for startup jobs in NYC get in front of venture-backed startups, and helps growing startups find exceptional candidates at a fraction of the cost a traditional recruiting firm would charge.
Underdog.io launched in 2014, and within the first 7 days had 6,746 unique views and 495 job-seeking applicants. Candidates submit a resume and basic information, Underdog.io reviews and ranks candidates, and then sends out curated weekly batches of qualified applicants to their hiring network who contact candidates directly.
Startups pay $350/month to receive a weekly batch of 25+ hand-picked technical and business candidates. The startup is planning to expand and serve 10+ other technology hubs in the U.S
Imperative applies the science of purpose with technology to develop and empower people in their jobs each day. They have combined academic research with career coaching expertise to build a patent pending purpose assessment tool.
The Imperative system enables people to uncover what uniquely motivates them and brings them to their best in their job, and then applies these insights to improve the way they work.
Imperative boosts employee engagement and fulfillment at work, enhances the way they engage their colleagues, and allows them to build more meaningful customer relationships.
Imperative has partnered with leading companies including LinkedIn, PwC, Allstate, MetLife and Workday, and is now piloting the system with new partners.
CultureIQ is a company culture management software. This startups provides a SaaS solution to help companies measure, understand, and strengthen their company culture through research-driven and flexible employee surveys, actionable analytics, communication tools, and culture resources.
CultureIQ helps to both quantify and humanize corporate culture so that human resources professionals and company stakeholders can make data-driven decisions, and connect with their workforce.
CultureIQ was founded by veteran entrepreneur and NYU Stern Business School professor, Greg Besner, who has a notable history of implementing successful culture initiatives.
The startup raised their seed round of funding in February 2014 from a group of successful business leaders including investment from the VegasTechFund.
Pymetrics is a neuroscience-based recruiting platform that uses objective data to replace the resume, which is often biased and embellished. Think of a LinkedIn meets OkCupid, where companies and candidates are matched for jobs in the same manner that people are matched for dates.
Pymetrics uses a series of 12 quick, fun neuroscience games to develop your personalized trait profile, and then recommends compatible industries and functions based on your strengths. Companies then come to pymetrics to hire best-fit candidates based on the results.
Their clients range from huge financial firms (such as Fidelity) to tiny 6 person startups (like Tripda), and they have a presence in more than 150 universities internationally.
Cognotion saw an opportunity in the 500 billion dollar corporate training space. They created cloud-based workforce solutions that combine technology with research in cognitive science for the Fortune 1000 to improve performance and retention amongst entry-level, low skill, and high turnover workers.
Cognotion combines great cinema with the rigor of learning science to produce real behavioral changes. The platform uses 3D simulation, game play, and interactive cinema components to provide screening and predictive analytics for new hires, on boarding training, and reinforcement training throughout the employee lifecycle.
Cognotion raised over $2.1M, and had revenues over $5.3M in the first six months of sales. They are currently building industry specific solutions for healthcare, oil and gas, retail, hospitality, and call centers.
Need help figuring out where to invest your money? Betterment is a “robo advice” automated platform offering smart and personalized financial advice through technology and algorithms to investors.
The automated application does not push users towards risk, but rather provides smart guidance that eliminates the normal complexities and time of a traditional investment account.
Users choose an investment goal, are shown screenshots of accounts and performance, and based off of the goals the app invests money in a combination of stocks and bonds.
Betterment charges a fee of 0.15 to 0.35 percent of the money that it manages annually. Betterment partnered with industry giant Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services last year to launch a new product.
Venmo is a mobile payment application that creates an easy and fun way to make and share payments with friends and family.
Venmo allows you to pay anyone instantly using money you have in the app or in a linked bank account or debit card instantly.
Users receive money right away and unlike Paypal, can transfer funds from the app to their bank account in one business day. In 2014, Venmo handled $2.4 billion in transactions.
If employees are allowed to fly business class and stay in four-star hotels, why wouldn’t they? Rocketrip is a fast-growing tech startup that saves companies 30% or more off existing travel spend.
Rocketrip sets real-time budgets for each trip which are generated by algorithms that take trip parameters, market pricing, and travel policy into account, and rewards employees for beating them.
Employees keep half of everything they save, which motivates them to go above and beyond to save the company money. Rocketrip was founded in 2013and is backed by Canaan Partners, Genacast Ventures, and Y Combinator.
BillGuard is an app that uses crowdsourced analytics to help consumers quickly detect fraud to any of their accounts, billing errors, and unwanted (and often undetected) charges on their credit and debit cards.
The personal finance app tracks where you’ve shopped, when a card is used away from you, alerts you of suspicious charges, and wrongful charges.
The app aggregates, mines, and normalizes data from its own reports and millions of users. BillGuard helps retrieve money from wrongful charges in just a few taps, and also helps users save by sending coupons for items that will lower bills based on spending patterns.
Betterment has raised $13M to date from widely known investors such as the founders of Google, Paypal, Verisign, and Sun Microsystem.
SmartAsset is an advocate for the everyday consumer that provides the web’s best answers to the most commonly asked personal finance questions.
Through a combination of proprietary software and data, SmartAsset is able to provide automated but deeply personalized advice on home ownership, retirement, and life insurance among many other topics.
Their free-to-use platform brings transparency to complex decision making. Utilizing over 130 different data sources and partnerships, along with patent pending modeling technology, users are able to get accurate, free, and actionable advice on important personal finance decisions.
This startup is backed by some impressive investment from companies such as Y Combinator, Javelin Venture Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, Quotidian Ventures, Peterson Ventures, and others with investment totaling close to $10M.
SmartAsset continues to see dramatic growth in its user base, currently serving 500,000+ people per month.
Many of us have experienced the dreaded delayed or cancelled flight while traveling. Most air passengers don’t realize they may be entitled up to $800 in compensation in these situations.
AirHelp lets passengers easily check if they’re eligible for compensation, and request AirHelp to handle the claim on their behalf on a no win, no fee deal.
If the claim is successful, AirHelp will keep 25% of the compensation amount. To date, AirHelp has worked with 45,000 passengers to get their money back.
The company graduated from Y Combinator in the the spring of last year and recently relocated its headquarters to New York City.
Who loves expense reports? No one! Abacus allows users to streamline the way their business handles expenses, giving them better insight and control over reimbursements, and at the same time removing the frustrations for their employees.
This platform makes spreadsheets, email chains, and piles of receipts a thing of the past, because everything is handled through the mobile app or website. Abacus completely eliminates the need for an expense report, by changing the process to a realtime feed of information.
A user submits an expense on the platform, then an administrator approves it, and Abacus pays it and handles the bookkeeping. Abacus announced its seed funding in October 2014 for $3.5M which was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, and General Catalyst.
They also recently announced a new feature allowing companies to have greater clarity and management over their corporate credit cards.
Picture if Siri had a cousin with an MBA, and you have Kasisto. Kasisto enables companies worldwide to integrate their own branded virtual personal assistants within apps that navigate consumers via their mobile smartphones through complex tasks by using a conversational artificial intelligence program.
With financial services as their first vertical, Kasisto’s conversational artificial intelligence is redefining mobile banking, blending the personal, in-bank experience with the convenience of mobile.
Kasisto is the most recent spin off venture from SRI International (the creator of Siri), Nuance, and Tempo. SRI has licensed to Kasisto the key components of its deep portfolio of Automatic Speech Recognition, Natural Language Processing, and Artificial Intelligence technologies.
Kasisto won the 2014 Fintech Innovation Lab in NYC, and plans to expand to other enterprise verticals in 2016.
14. General Assembly
For those of you who already did the college thing before the era technical skills became a tool for career advancement, and don’t want to commit to hefty tuitions to learn these skills, General Assembly can solve your problem.
Seen as the professional school for 21st century skills, this startup which initially launched as a co-working space in 2011 is the leading global educational institution offering a wide range of courses and workshops from their community of industry experts in technology, design and business.
Courses are available both online and offline, geared towards practical skills which give students the tools to enhance their career, start a new career, or launch a business. Since 2013, General Assembly has expanded into 13 different cities, and has held more than 850 full and part-time programs.
Fun fact: their students range from ages 18 to 66, which proves it is never too late to learn to code!
Skillshare is a learning community designed so that anyone can teach, and anyone can learn. Skillshare offers hundreds of classes taught from everyday people to industry experts like Seth Godin and Simon Sinek, on topics from marketing and web design, to sewing and crafting.
The startup pivoted last year from an a la carte flat fee per class business model, to a subscription-based model allowing students to take any classes on the platform for $9.95 per month.
The platform allows users to create and share their own project-based class (ideal to build a portfolio), and students are able to work at their own pace.
To date the startup has raised just shy of $11M in funding, and has 180,000+ students in 188 countries.
Fedora allows entrepreneurial teachers and companies to create their own powerful, payment-ready online courses. Users can connect the course to their own site, and maintain complete control over their brand, content, pricing, and student relationships.
Fedora allows users to grow their audience in a profitable way through the ability to charge subscriptions, create coupon codes, affiliates, multiple currencies, and utilize marketing and analytics tools. Fedora makes it easy for anyone to teach or sell courses online.
Teachers range from a person who’s trained 60+ Grammy Award winners, to publishers like TheNextWeb, NYT Best Sellers, and everyday people. Fedora has raised $2M in financing to date, and work with a growing community of 5,000+ users.
17. Open Assembly
Open Assembly is a platform for collaborative and open learning in blended and online environments. The platform is optimized for microlearning, and is currently in Beta being used by educators and students at colleges such as New York University.
Open Assembly simplifies co-teaching and co-learning with open educational resources. This allows the opportunity for educators to be learners, and learners to be educators.
The platform allows users to create their own personal learning environment (or teaching environment) to define goals, manage learning content, and collaborate with others.
Health and Wellness
Docphin is a mobile solutions provider for doctors helping to accelerate the practice of evidence-based medicine at the point of care. Their technology connects doctors with relevant medical research and content, which is curated and personalized based on practice area.
Members can discover and share trending articles, and leverage changing research to help them stay current on the most up-to-date information.
Docphin is being utilized by medical professionals from 500+ hospitals spanning 20 countries, and in early 2015 partnered with StatRef to help drive sales of Docphin’s institutional products in hospitals and training programs nationwide.
The product enables institutions to leverage Docphin to circulate clinical guidelines, hospital-specific protocols, and other references.
Healogram is a telemonitoring solution that helps providers reduce the cost and inconvenience of wound care by helping them effectively and efficiently measure, monitor, and manage their wound patients through the concept of “virtual check-ins”.
Healogram gives providers a centralized, real-time reporting dashboard with a comprehensive view of each wound patient. Patients are monitored from the comfort of their home, and schedule in-person appointments when necessary.
Clinical photography to date has involved either expensive systems, or clunky (often non-HIPAA compliant) processes. Healogram enables convenient, hi-res photo documentation via ubiquitous smartphones to be seamlessly transmitted in a safe, HIPAA compliant manner.
Healogram’s computer vision tools enable providers to capture real surface area with a simple digital trace. With wound care as just the beginning, the team is building a remote monitoring library that will allow clinical workflows currently happening in-clinic to happen anywhere.
Do you love having to leave your comfortable couch to go to an appointment? Really, you don’t?
Realizing that physical presence is often not necessary for mental health therapy, iCouch developed a SaaS for the behavioral health industry that helps therapists manage both their online and in-person practice, which includes a fully HIPAA compliant system and a secure browser-based video platform allowing online therapy sessions with patients.
Recently part of the Blueprint Health startup accelerator and raising their seed round, iCouch relaunched in early March and already has around 30 therapists using the platform.
Exciting features in development include predictive analytics capabilities, and an artificial intelligence therapy tool allowing a user to have a “therapy session” with their mobile device that would match them to a human therapist most compatible for their needs.
Fitness offerings are a pain to navigate for consumers. The SportSetter app was created to make the process of finding and doing fitness easy and transparent.
SportSetter has 300+ activities curated and available locally from 250+ partners ranging from wall Pilates, to local gyms, to batting cages, and even activities like kite surfing. SportSetter allows users to try activities for free via exclusive offers with their partners, and allows them to buy and manage partner products easily and transparently.
For partners, SportSetter has seen 24% of app user visits convert to sales, and 35% of visits result in plans to return. With around $1M in funding to date, the app is currently available in the NYC metropolitan area and Europe, and is actively working to launch across the US
Incentfit is a fully automated system that administers fun employee fitness benefits for employers. The rewards program makes it easy and cost effective to financially incentivize fitness activities like going to the gym, running, and biking.
The challenge program adds a social spin by letting employees compete or work together to achieve fitness goals. Incentfit integrates with over 18 different fitness trackers (like FitBit and Runkeeper), uses smartphone geolocation capabilities to track attendance at fitness facilities, and integrates with payroll to automate rewards delivery, taxes, and accounting.
Incentfit is one of the first technology startups focusing on wellness in the small and medium sized business market, and consistently achieves employee participation rates over 60%, nearly three times the U.S. national average.
Have you ever wanted to hire a personal trainer, but then changed your mind after seeing the cost? This graduate of the 500 startups accelerator created a marketplace that brings personal training to your mobile device, bringing both the trainer more exposure and the consumer a lower cost.
The mobile app matches trainers with clients, handles payments, provides a personal fitness assessment, and a personalized nutrition plan for $1/day cost to the consumer.
The free version of the app gives you access to expert-created workouts, progress charts, and support from the motivated community of users.
If you are tired of online conversations never leading to an in-person connection, Cheekd is bringing online dating back into the real world.
Their app, featuring a cross-platform, low energy Bluetooth technology, works on a train, plane, or anywhere you go, notifying you when someone who meets your set criteria is within 30 feet of you.
In 2013, Cheekd went onto ABC’s Shark Tank and was eloquently told to “shoot their business behind a barn.” However, instead of quitting they rebuilt the app with technology previously unavailable. Cheekd understands that most online dating obscures the one element essential in meeting a potential partner: chemistry.
Their new app connects people in real time versus virtual, with connections first beginning in person, and afterwards continued online. If you are in NYC, Cheekd will be hosting launch events in each neighborhood this year.
25. Appy Couple
Need to bring some sanity to pre-wedding craziness? Appy is a stylish wedding website and app for weddings where engaged couples can keep all aspects of their wedding organized from RSVPs, photo sharing, chat and messaging, guest list, event information, travel details, song lists, champagne toasts, and more.
Appy is also a personal app, and once users enter their information, their app and website are created together. Users simply select their design (which they can change at any time), add their details, and then share their wedding with their guests. Appy has 3M+ users to date.
The startup is now working on launching Appy Life, which takes the platform beyond weddings to any celebratory event, which stemmed from users hacking the platform to use it for events outside of weddings.
The founders of this startup wanted to create a dating platform that was focused on one important thing: the actual date.
Singles on the subscription-based service (free to join with rates starting at $8/month) post date ideas by finishing the phrase “How about we…”, with a date idea they would like to do.
HowAboutWe successfully launched a media property in early 2014 along side of its highly successful dating app called “HowAboutWe Media Network”, which is an independently operated network of online publications about love and culture. The startup has raised over $23M in financing to date.
Things in A Box
This startup will make your dog really happy! BarkBox is a monthly subscription box that contains 4 to 6 full-size, all natural chews, toys, and treats for your dog. Each BarkBox is curated by dog lovers on the BarkBox team, and always contain unique items not found in stores.
BarkBox ships to 250k+ dog parents each month, with subscriptions starting at $19/month, free shipping, and options based on the size of the dog. This startup is truly passionate about dogs, donating 10% of their profits to rescues and shelters, and to date have donated more than $1M.
The BarkBox team excels at content engagement with 750K Facebook fans, 650K Instagram followers, and their content site, BarkPost at 12M+ unique views per month, and newsletter at 1M subscribers.
In late 2014, they also launched BarkShop.com, which allows dog parents to reorder the products that their dog loved most.
Birchbox delivers monthly curated boxes of personalized beauty, grooming, and lifestyle samples to women and men. The subscription based service is a monthly charge of $10.00 with options for consumers to earn back half the value of their box by reviewing all 5 products.
Birchbox launched as a women’s subscription box in 2010, and expanded to a men’s line in 2012. The company raised $60M in new funding last year, and used a portion of the funding to open a brick-and-mortar location in Manhattan where customers can purchase their favorite items.
Birchbox is based in NYC with operations expanded to UK, France, Spain, Canada, and Belgium.
29. Blue Apron
Blue Apron is the largest fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service in the U.S. that makes it fun and easy to cook healthy and delicious meals at home. They deliver step-by-step recipes, and seasonal, pre-portioned ingredients sourced directly from farms and suppliers.
Blue Apron works directly with hundreds of suppliers to source ingredients that are more fresh and less expensive than what is available at grocery stores. They are building a network of family farmers who champion sustainable farming practices which allow Blue Apron to give customers access to hard-to-find seasonal produce.
Blue Apron ships over 1 million meals each month throughout the U.S., and continues to add new fulfillment centers and hire more employees to keep up with their vast growth and expansion.
Artsy is an online platform that brings fine art to the masses by featuring high-quality images and information about art to one place via their website and mobile app.
Artsy partners with leading galleries who pay a monthly subscription fee to showcase and update listings, including a CMS, and personal help from staff including writers and historians to create their content.
The platform has a growing database of 250,000+ images of arts, architecture, and design, and recommends pieces to users based on information about what they have previously liked or purchased. Artsy raised $18.5M in Series B funding last year.
31. Bow & Drape
Born from a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised 30K+, Bow & Drape is the platform for chic, affordable, personalized women’s apparel.
The online commerce platform is a destination where girls can make products that look great and reflect their personality, and allows women to see photo-realistic versions of their creations on the site.
Bow & Drape has easy-to-use technology, and scalable manufacturing processes that address the “mass customization” market. The startup raised $1.2M in seed funding in 2014.
32. Warby Parker
Warby Parker will correct you if you box them in as an ecommerce startup. They are a lifestyle brand that offers designer, geek-chic eyewear at an affordable price of $95 dollars, and allows consumers to try on the frames both digitally and physically.
This startup is able to keep prices low by designing their own frames which cuts out licensing fees, works directly with suppliers, and eliminates markups by selling directly to consumers.
For each pair of frames sold, a pair is distributed to a person in need through their “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program.
Warby Parker’s triple threat of style, ability to try out the product, and their giving component highly differentiates them from any other company in their industry.
33. Chloe + Isabel
Chloe + Isabel is a lifestyle brand that sells high end jewelry at a fraction of the cost through their web and mobile e-commerce platform. They design and source their items directly from their NYC studio and distribute directly through their merchandisers, removing the middleman.
With 3.5M views per month, and nearly $32.4M in funding to date, the startup has built an incredibly user friendly platform for their merchandisers to allow them to customize their own online store, integrate marketing with their social networks, and optimize for mobile and process sales.
The startup is flourishing following the same business model as companies like Avon by turning their users into salespeople and brand advocates, while providing them an additional revenue stream.
Mouth is an online retailer for Indie food and spirits, and has been called the “hipster food version of Amazon”. Mouth curates the best and most interesting products in the Indie food and spirits market, with 1200+ products from small specialty vendors across the U.S.
Mouth helps Indie makers grow their business by giving them a way to offer their product online, and featuring the story and maker of each product on their website. They offer bundled gift bags and monthly clubs, along with their individual product options.
Since launching in 2012, Mouth has raised $2.9M in funding to date.
Not to be mistaken with the lovable, friendly ghost, Casper is a startup that eliminates the complexity of the mattress buying process, and simplifies the process to the web with a single, one-mattress-fits-all product in standard sizes, ranging from $500 to $950 depending on mattress size.
The high quality, super comfortable bed is stuffed into a tiny box, and shipped to your door within hours of purchasing if you live in NYC, or ships free via national UPS delivery in 1-5 days in the US and Canada.
To eliminate post purchase remorse, Casper offers a 100 day trial period for customers. In 2014, Casper raised $13.1M in a Series A round led by New Enterprise Associates, and also included Ashton Kutcher, Steven Alan, and hip-hop artist Nas’s investment vehicle.
Have you ever thought about where the clothes you wear each day come from? New York based startup Zady believes that many consumers care deeply about the origins of where and how their clothes are made, and has been referred to as “the Whole Foods of fashion.”
Zady is an online shopping platform for the consumer who cares about the origins of the items they buy, and provides stylish, sustainable clothing items from high-quality raw materials.
Zady tells the story of how each product is made, all the way down to how and where the materials were sourced, and includes details like whether it’s locally sourced, handmade, environmentally conscious, or made in the U.S.
Each brand must sign a contract verifying their company location, manufacturing city, and source of raw materials.
THINX is innovating a $15B+ industry that has had little change in over 50 years: feminine hygiene products.
THINX launched their first patented innovation at the beginning of this year, which is a beautifully designed undergarment that is absorbent, leak/stain-proof, anti-microbial, and moisture-wicking (all hidden discreetly in the undergarment).
Their product is an award-winning innovation, created over three years of intensive research. THINX upcoming products in development include replacing the existing wasteful tampon applicator, and innovating the uncomfortable pads.
THINX is also working to solve the feminine hygiene issue in the developing world that currently causes millions of girls to drop out of school.
Ringly is the first stylish wearable tech ring that you can customize via a mobile app to alert you about important notifications such as phone calls, texts, social media updates, and more.
Ringly allows users to leave their mobile device stowed away when they are out at a social event or work meeting, and notifies them about important updates utilizing 4 vibration patterns.
In January 2015, Ringly raised $5.1 million in a Series A investment round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
MakeSpace is an on-demand storage solution that takes the “self” out of self storage for New York, Chicago and D.C. residents. MakeSpace delivers bins to users’ doors, users pack their belongings, and MakeSpace picks them up and creates a photo catalog of each bin making stored items viewable and retrievable at any time.
Through a partnership with UPS, MakeSpace can reach users residing outside of the local service areas in the U.S. with its MakeSpace Air service. Makespace also loves and is known for surprising customers, and has done this by delivering Lucky Charms on St. Patrick’s Day to delivering baby gifts for new moms.
MakeSpace has received total funding of $10.1M from investors including Upfront Ventures, Founders Fund, Ashton Kutcher, Carmelo Anthony, and more.
For Your Business:
Slidebean is a presentation tool for startups that takes care of the design for you. A recent graduate from the 500 Startups accelerator, Slidebean offers content templates for investor meetings, Demo Day pitches, and sales presentations.
All users need to do is fill in their company information and content, and a design is applied automatically that can be easily changed in one click.
Other convenient features include built-in stock photo, cloud storage, collaboration features, and remote presenting, along with their blog which has advice for users to help enhance their presentation skills.
41. Silverback Social
Silverback Social is a full service social media company with a focus on growth strategy. They offer services from content creation, audience research, engagement management, viral content planning, reporting and more.
They are widely known for growth hacking social media for brands by making introductions between the brand and internet celebrities to create unique, viral, and revenue generating content.
Silverback Social also launched and hosts the Westchester Digital Summit which Forbes recently named as one of the “Conferences That Will Keep You Ahead of Marketing Trends This Year”, and in 2 years the conference has hosted over 1000 executives including speakers from Facebook, Linkedin, GE, and Mastercard to name a few.
The entire operation has been bootstrapped by the companies CEO, with growth over 2000% last year, and plans to add a new software service this coming summer that will connect social media influencers with brands.
Smartling is a translation management software platform that enables companies to unlock global growth opportunities while removing complexity, cost, and time from the translation process.
With Smartling, translating websites, Web apps, mobile apps, and other digital content in various languages across multiple channels is simple, cost-effective, and efficient.
Smartling has a continuous agile development model that facilitates daily product fixes, features, and functionality, allowing companies to focus on growth with the assurance that content is accurately localized for customers around the world. Smartling has raised nearly $60 million in funding to date.
It launched a new feature, giving enterprises the flexibility to easily create and execute multifaceted translation projects without the need for expensive third-party consulting.