Courtney Boyd Myers and Erica Berger are the founders of 3460 Miles, a bi-weekly newsletter that connects the New York and London tech, design, and social good communities. Sign up for their newsletter and find them on Twitter and Facebook.
New York City is chock full of startups shaking up industries, creating new businesses and models, and helping to reinvigorate the economy. Major players like Gilt, Meetup, Tumblr, Foursquare, Fab, Shutterstock and Etsy have made the news headlines over the last few years but what about the startups gaining traction and worth your keen eye now and in the next year?
Here’s our list of companies to watch (in no particular order), ranging in industry from news and content, to education, analytics, e-commerce, design, to food, hardware, and even to health. We’re excited about these companies unique products, fervor for building, awesome teams, and their visions for a different world.
Hyperbolic? Maybe. But we love NYC tech and startups, and these are some of the companies and innovative ideas that keep us excited about the industry.
If you’re a startup on this list, why not come to The Next Web Conference USA, on October 1-2, in New York City?
1) Grand St.
Grand St. is a curated marketplace of creative and innovative technologies founded by Aaron Henshaw, Joe Lallouz, and Amanda Peyton. Grand St. stands out for hand picking, testing, and highlighting well-designed hardware from independent producers. Additionally, the Android app features one new selection every other day and provides a “Why We Love It” section for each item.
Built by and for the digital age, Refinery29 is an editorial platform covering fashion trends and lifestyle like city guides to date night outfits and current events and music suggestions.
With an enviable roster of advertisers, over 10 million visitors per month and over 1.25 million subscribers, it’s only a matter of time before Refinery29 supersedes the well-known media publications of midtown Manhattan.
Started a little over a year ago by two smart gents from MoveOn.org and The Onion, Upworthy is a mission-driven media organization making content that matters go viral. They deem their content “…sensational and substantial. Entertaining and enlightening. Shocking and significant.”
Focused on empowering the social share to spread content that should impact the way we live our lives, it’s no wonder they’ve got grown a massive audience on Facebook and boast better metrics than most traditional media companies. Onward and upworthy!
This Betaworks-backed blog aggregator recently launched a Tumblr-meets-Pinterest style redesign for its 5 million active users, 90% of which are female. The site is “like Digg for chicks” in the post-Google Reader era. CEO Mattias Swenson started the company in his garage in Sweden before moving to New York City for investment and engineering talent.
Need a little help with menial tasks on the Internet? Look no further than FancyHands, a company that offers a large roster of virtual assistants who can handle tasks that take 15 minutes or less. The service costs $25 per month at the minimum end, edging closer to the $100 mark for unlimited task requests. Once you live life with a virtual assistant, you’ll never go back.
6) The Muse
Founded in 2011 by three women who were frustrated with Monster.com and looking for a way to take the agony out of career development, the Muse is a career discovery platform that has helped 2 million plus people answer the question, “What do I want to do with my life?”
The Muse works with companies ranging from Dell and Sephora to Airbnb, Warby Parker and Foursquare to help connect them with amazing candidates, via interactive photo and video hiring profiles. This year, The Muse launched its first online education program.
➤ The Muse
Helping you discover beauty products you’ll love, Birchbox is a subscription service for women and men that delivers beauty, lifestyle, home and food products to your mailbox monthly. With a handful of delightful samples wrapped up in shiny boxes, Birchbox is a particularly great present to buy your frequent traveler friend.
The company, founded by two Harvard Business School grads acquired the UK and Paris-based Joliebox this year as part of its expansion plan across the pond.
With proprietary technology powering its real-time information discovery engine, Dataminr’s easy to read analytics make sense of the noise of social media for clients in government and financial services. As one of Twitter’s few preferred partners, with access to their firehose and more, Dataminr is enabling enterprise clients to make data-driven decisions quickly and effectively.
Started by two friends, a Republican and a Democrat, PolicyMic is “the first democratic online news platform to engage millennials in debates around real issues.” User-generated content and thought-leaders fill the site each day, organized by upvotes by the PolicyMic community, debating news and politics issues that matter most to millennials.
PolicyMic’s traffic has grown impressively in the last few years, maybe because it believes in “amplifying unknown voices,” and it is an inspiration to new media and old alike.
Often referred to as “the media company for the social age,” BuzzFeed has been at the forefront of online engagement and branded content under the leadership of CEO Jonah Peretti. This August, Peretti announced that the company posted record profits, while a NewsWhip study reported that the publisher had racked up 15.9 million Facebook likes, comments and shares across its content in the same month.
One of our favorite BuzzFeed posts this year? 25 Dead Giveaways That You’re an American Tourist in London.