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New York is heating up as a startup destination. Over the last few years startups have increasingly chosen to base themselves in the city, citing a number of factors including a growing pool of talent and an environment that attracts young developers. The Big Apple has become the leading centre for startups on the East Coast and competes only with Silicon Valley in terms of size within the US. New York is not only a good place to start your business, but also to fund your business. Last year saw $5.95 billion in VC funding, an impressive 62% increase from 2014. Here are some early stage NYC startups worth putting on your radar.
Odyssey is a social content platform for millennials. A bit like Medium, the startup allows users to create, share and search for written content. Odyssey gathers communities of local writers who create content about endless subjects. Users can follow their favorite creators and share content to Facebook and Twitter at the touch of a button. With over 10,000 writers in more than 900 local communities, the site receives more than 30 million unique visitors a month.
Aiming to be the Rotten Tomatoes of theater, Show-Score covers all aspects of NYC theater – from listings, pricing and reviews to details about the actors performing. The platform has gained over 51,000 members in only 7 months and has produced an impressive 80,000 reviews of New York theater productions. The company wants first to become the go-to online site for New York theater before expanding to other cities worldwide.
Funding: $1.5M in 1 Round
Andela gives companies access to leading technology talent in Africa. The startup finds developers with potential, develops them and then hires them out to companies as full time employees working remotely from Africa. It’s an innovative and unique idea that widens access to talented developers while simultaneously speeding up development of the African tech world. Andela’s clients range from startups to Fortune 500 companies.
LOLA offers a modern approach to feminine care. The company produces 100 percent hypoallergenic cotton tampons wrapped in a BPA-free compact plastic applicator. The FDA does not require full disclosure of ingredients for feminine products, so LOLA aims to be a 100% transparent, health focused alternative. The tampons are available on subscription in a custom assortment.
Eight is a smart mattress cover that tracks your sleep. The cover tracks over 15 factors from your sleep patterns and bedroom environment. A dedicated app shows you how well you’re sleeping and the device can also integrate automatically with other trackers like Apple Healthkit. Eight not only tracks your sleep, but can take action to ensure REM sleep isn’t interrupted by adjusting the room temperature via a connected thermostat or altering a smart alarm wake up time.
PolicyGenius is a platform that makes it easy to find and manage all types of insurance online. The NYC-based company offers a highly tailored insurance checkup which shows users their coverage gaps and offers exact solutions to their needs. The company covers everything from life insurance to long-term disability and pet insurance while offering side-by-side comparisons of suggested tailored policies.
PaintZen allows you to “rent” insured painters for offices and apartments on any day of the week. The platform makes it very simple to book, schedule and pay for painting all online. They provide instant quotes for jobs and give each customer a dedicated account handler for all communications and job coordination. The company can also deliver Benjamin Moore paint for those who are DIY painting.
Switch is a job hunting app that recommends the best roles for users’ specific profiles and interests. Job suggestions can be swiped right to apply immediately and there’s an option for in-app chat. The app allows users to easily and discretely connect with hiring managers, and it has been used to find employees for the likes of Accenture, Nationwide, Facebook, Dropbox, eBay and Amazon.
Stash is an app aimed at millennials that makes it easy to decide where to invest based upon interests, beliefs and goals starting with as little as $5 cash. Investors pick from a short list of curated investments and make small initial investments. A virtual investor helps guide users with advice, support and recommendations. The aim is to empower people to make good investments and be mindful about saving money in the long term, while also developing their own personalized investment strategy.
Paige is an app that makes it easier for families to manage their time, chores and household. By collaborating with their network of friends, family, babysitters and other parents, users can share tasks, communicate simply and coordinate getting things done. The platform also has an AI aspect that knows what tasks need to be done first, and makes recommendations for how to best check them off the list.
Authorea is a collaborative platform for writing, sharing and discussing scientific research. Founded by a Harvard astrophysicist and a Berkeley physicist who met at CERN, the startup is a hybrid between Google Docs and Github. Research findings are published and reviewed with access to read them openly. The system facilitates collaboration, accessibility and data-sharing.
Screen is a device and app combo that sets limits on screen time. The app controls the amount of time children (or adults) can spend on screens, from PCs to games consoles and mobile phones. The service works even without internet connection and can also be accessed and controlled remotely. Screen is certainly an interesting way to fight the growing problem of technology addiction.
Reserve is a restaurant reservation and payment app. It allows users to not only find and make reservations at a restaurant, but also pay for their bill when they’re done. Reserve aims to be a restaurant concierge service that makes all aspects of eating at a restaurant simple and easy, improving customer experience. The company also offers a suite of tools that enable restaurants to manage their guest experience from beginning-to-end.
Pager offers on-demand house calls from doctors. With the tap of a button certified doctors can be requested to treat users wherever they are. The service allows users to chat for free with nurses while also handling other aspects of care such as ordering lab reports and delivery subscriptions. Pager has arranged doctors for over 3,000 patients in the 5 boroughs of New York City in their short time operating.