6 Best Startups To Work For In NYC

They say, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Though, landing your dream job in the Big Apple has its challenges. However, knowing the best startups to work for in NYC, gives you an edge.

According to the Robert Half Agency, tech is booming in NYC. This fact is surprising since we link the tech industry with the West Coast. However, in New York, between 2010 and 2016, the tech sector created nearly 50,000 jobs. And, tech companies grew by 57 percent during the same period.

Further, some of the best startups to work for in NYC are adopting a Silicon Valley startup culture. That translates to more casual attire, a focus on work-life balance, and flexible workspaces. And, because wooing today's top talent is challenging, companies are expanding their perks. All this is great news for NYC job seekers.

What Is A Startup?

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The official definition of "startup" is, according to Merriam-Webster, a fledgling business enterprise. That doesn't sound very hopeful. Neil Blumenthal, the CEO of startup Warby Parker, which we profile later in this piece, further clarifies. “A startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious, and success is not guaranteed." Thank you, Neil. That certainly puts things into perspective.

The Best Startups To Work For In NYC

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In a 2015 TED Talk, founder of IdeaLab, Bill Gross offered his findings on the topic of "what makes startups succeed." And, he should know, IdeaLab is essentially a startup factory. When Gross looked at what factors contributed most to a startup's success. He found there were three: market timing, funding, and culture.

To learn about the culture and employee experience, we checked out the companies' websites and gathered other data. Glassdoor reviews provide a useful tool to assess employee happiness. Finally, the term "start-up" gets bandied around a lot. There is no set time frame in which a company transitions from "startup to "enterprise." However, knowing that most startups fail within a few years of their launch, for this list, we chose start-ups that are at least three years old. In no special order, here are the best startups to work for in NYC.

1. Glossier

The CEO and founder of Glossier, Emily Weiss, said she launched her business because she felt "a deep yearning to connect with other women." However, before there was the brand, there was the blog: Gloss. It featured interviews with celebrities like the Kardashians, moguls like makeup maven, Bobbi Brown and trendsetting models like Karlie Kloss. The blog quickly grew a following. Weiss capitalized on her editorial success and poured her efforts into the Glossier brand. While Glossier incorporated in 2010, it didn't officially launch until 2014.

Funding and market

In 2014, Glossier received seed funding from the female-led venture capital firm Forerunner. Later, they got $8.4 million of Series A funding from Thrive Capital. Earlier this year, they got $52 million in Series C funding, according to TechCrunch. The beauty market is worth $250 billion globally. Also, it's expected to grow into a $750 billion by 2024. Glossier does not share revenue numbers. However, Weiss recently said they have three times the revenue of 2016.

What it's like working for Glossier

Glossier has offices in NYC including a showroom in SOHO. The company also opened offices in Montreal and London. According to the same TechCrunch article, the company employs around 150 people. According to their careers page, Glossier is hiring. Various departments include:

  • Creative
  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Product Operations
  • Tech & Digital Product
  • Customer
  • International
  • People
  • Logistics
  • Retail

Glassdoor reviews are mainly positive. The company rates 3.9 out of 5 stars, and 75 percent would recommend working there to a friend. Finally, 100 percent of respondents think favorably of the company's CEO.

One reviewer's pros and cons give insight about what it's like to work for this startup. Pros include an incredible company culture. Thus, frequent happy hours, lunch roulettes, and great snacks are no surprise. New hires get access to extra training and exposure to different teams. Managers practice transparency. Also, they gather feedback, while offering support, and guidance. Therefore, workers feel their opinions and views matter. Finally, if hired, you'll have access to new products, discounts, and special events. Complaints include needing to be flexible. Because startups mean constant change. Workers warn that Glossier isn't for those looking for a structured nine to five. Also, employees must maintain self-direction.

2. InVision

InVision is a software as a service (SaaS) company that provides a high-tech cloud-based platform for digital product development. It allows teams to connect remotely and get more done.

Funding and market

According to CrunchBase, the company has $350 million in total funding. InVision recently got an infusion from $115 million of Series F funding. Because of the diverse uses of InVision's SaaS, it's difficult to put a number on the market. Though, according to Business Insider, InVision counts 80 percent of Fortune's 500 firms as clients.

What it's like to work for InVision

The company's office is in NYC. However, remote employees span across 24 different countries. InVision's team grew from 50 people in 2015 to 450 in 2017. And, that number will continue to grow with the company. According to their careers page, InVision is hiring. Various departments include:

  • Business Dev
  • Business Ops
  • Customer Success
  • Design
  • Design Partnerships and Community
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Product Management
  • Sales
  • Sales and Customer Success
  • User Enablement

To clarify, InVision and InVision App are the same company. There are Glassdoor reviews under both names. In 2017, InVision made Glassdoor's Best Places to Work list. This company scores high in the area of employee satisfaction. It receives 4.3 out of 5 stars with nearly 150 written employee reviews. Of those, 84 percent would recommend InVision to a friend and 86 percent of employees approve of the company's CEO, Clark Valberg.

Full benefits including medical and dental with zero out-of-pocket costs is a major draw. Also, all new parents are given three months maternity or paternity leave. Most jobs are remote with flexible hours. For this reason, workers get free Starbucks credit. Additionally, an $800 stipend offsets other expenses. If that isn't enough, enjoy half-day Fridays. Of course, standard retirement 401k options and stock options exist. Because of the remote workplace, cons include lack of communication. This company is probably not for you can't adapt to change.

3. Beeswax

If you are a business owner, chances are you're familiar with native advertising. If not, this is how it works. A business performs research to choose a group of keywords to target. Keywords help the industry reach their customers.

When a prospect searches for the keyword, they may or may not see the company's ad. See, the ads are shown based on complex behind the scene bidding at native advertising giants, like Google Ads. Beeswax aims to take the mystique out of native ad bidding. Because it is more affordable than other solutions on the market, Beeswax may help level the playing field between small business, mid-caps, and enterprise.

Funding and market

The native advertising market is vast and growing. Native ad spends reached $32.9 billion in 2018. According to CrunchBase, since emerging from Beta testing in 2016, it has received $13.3 million in early-stage venture capital. Of that, $2.2 million was seed funding, and $11.1 million was Series A.

What it's like to work for Beeswax

Beeswax headquarters is in Lower Manhattan on Grand Street. Currently, there are around 50 full-time employees at Beeswax. According to their careers page, Beeswax is hiring for positions in the following departments.

  • Client Services
  • Engineering
  • Marketing and Operations
  • Product
  • Sales and Account Management

On Glassdoor, Beeswax scores 4.9 out of 5 stars. And, 100 percent of reviewers would recommend the company to their friends. Also, 100 percent approve of their CEO. Cons include a lack of diversity in the workforce and cramped quarters. All of this indicates to us that Beeswax is one of the best startups to work for in NYC.

The company has many contract workers. However, the startup is growing their full-time talent pool; wooing prospects with a range of perks. Employees love the startup's culture and the opportunity to become an owner in the company. Other benefits include paid insurance with zero deductible and with low out-of-pocket expenses, competitive pay, generous vacation, and remote work from home options.

4. Away

Away is a modern travel and lifestyle brand based in NYC. They are a vertically-integrated e-commerce company. That means they align well with their supply chain. The company offers beautiful, high-quality luggage at the most affordable price point. The luggage features perks like charging ports and free monogramming.

Funding and market

In Forbes' recent article "The Next Billion Dollar Startups" Away, it said was worth $750 million. Repeatedly, we hear the name Warby Parker mentioned; both of the founders are alumni. The U.S. luggage market's estimated worth is $3 billion and as much as $35 billion worldwide. But, does this make it one of the best startups to work for in NYC?

What it's like working at Away

The corporate office, flagship store, and other storefronts are in NYC. Also, they have new locations opening in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Boston, and London. According to the company's job board, Away is hiring for several departments.

  • Accounting
  • Brand Marketing
  • Creative
  • Customer Experience
  • Data Analytics
  • Engineering
  • Growth Marketing
  • International
  • IT
  • Legal
  • People and Culture
  • Retail

On Glassdoor, the company rates 4.0 out of 5 stars. Out of 14 reviews, 76 percent recommend working at Away. Though the company is new, their workforce is quickly multiplying.

Workers love the affordable healthcare, 401k, and generous vacation policy. Also, they cite ample maternity and paternity leave. Plus, in case you're wondering, there are plenty of snacks available. Lunch meetups, free happy hours, expensed coffee, and team trips are other perks. However, the company is no longer paying for employee cell phone plans. Also, there are complaints about office politics and various other middle management issues.

5. Ellevest

Ellevest provides automated investment advice to women. When you think back to the definition of a startup as a problem-solving business, you begin to see how Ellevest fits in. It serves the underserved. In fact, women do need personal financial advice. For one thing, women live longer than men. Also, often women have different goals and objectives than men.

Funding and market

The finance technology or fintech market is really diverse and broad. Segments cover everything from cryptocurrency and blockchain to AI and data analytics. So, it is difficult to see where Ellevest fits into this $36 billion market. But, we do know that the market is forecast to grow to over $150 billion by 2025. To date, Ellevest raised $44.6 million in total funding, according to CrunchBase.

What its like to work at Ellevest

Ellevest is still a small company. Currently, there are fewer than 100 employees. You'll find the firm's impressive office in the historic Flatiron district. According to their website, Ellevest is hiring.

  • Financial advisor NYC
  • Financial advisor (remote)
  • Other roles

There are only a few Glassdoor reviews. However, they are largely positive. The company scores 4.4 out of 5 stars. Also, 100 percent would recommend to a friend, and 79 percent approve of  CEO, Sallie Krawcheck.

Are you interested in flexible scheduling, generous vacation time, and regular team outings? If so, this may be one of the best startups to work for in NYC for you. Do you get the munchies at work? You'll love the fully stocked snack room, chocolate drawer, and Friday bagels. If that doesn't excite you, maybe the beer and wine fridge will. More importantly, there is a stipend for professional dev. Don't like the culture? Join the Culture Committee. Most workers praise the company's mission-driven approach. However, a few reviews cite negative office politics, a tense work environment, and ultra-high expectations.

6. Warby Parker

Warby Parker spawned one of the companies already on our list of the best startups to work for in NYC. Hence, it's no surprise to find it here, too. The company is a tech-forward lifestyle brand that offers designer eyeglasses at affordable prices.

Funding and market

Founded by Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal in 2010, the company has $290.5 million in Series E funding, according to CrunchBase. The brand bridges a few markets including fashion and eyewear. Therefore, it's difficult to assess their market share. However, Warby Parker reports $117.6M in revenue.

What it's like to work at Warby Parker

Their main office is in New York City, but they also have locations in Nashville, TN. The company currently employs over 500 people. According to their website, Warby Parker is hiring for the following departments.

  • Customer Experience
  • Accounting, Legal, and HR
  • Engineering and Tech
  • Experience Design and e-Commerce
  • Financial Planning
  • Internships
  • Marketing Brand Management and Brand Design
  • Operations and Supply Chain
  • Product Strategy
  • Retail
  • Social Innovation

The company scores 3.6 out of 5.0 stars on Glassdoor. That is a bit lower than other companies on our list. However, there are well over 200 written employ reviews, and the majority say they would recommend the company to their friends. Also, 92 percent approve of the CEOs.

Some workers like that the CEOs are approachable. They value affordable healthcare and a casual work environment. Also, the casual dress code matches the laid-back culture. Free product each year is a favorite perk. And, the snacks are fantastic. Managers plan regular team outings. However, complaints include low pay, unpaid parking, and high-stress jobs.

How To Spot A Failing Startup

According to the previously cited article, Neil Patel -- writing for Forbes, suggests that as much as 90 percent of startups will fail. For job seekers looking for permanent employment that statistic is horrifying. However, by knowing a few of the red flags, you'll be better able to sort the winners from the losers.

High employee turnover

Customer satisfaction

Financing woes

Wrapping Up The Best Startups To Work for In NYC

When looking at the best startups to work for in NYC, go for a cultural fit. If you value work-life balance, make sure that your company checks that box. However, understand, startups demand high energy and a robust work ethic. Work hard, play hard is more than a bumper sticker in the startup world.

For the most part, the best startups to work for in NYC are offering perks that helped their Silicon Valley counterparts lure the best talent. These benefits go beyond paid time off and affordable healthcare. Surprisingly, high on the list of perks were snack food, paid for happy hours, and fitness stipends.

Finally, because you are talking about the best startups to work for in NYC, you have to factor in the cost of living in the Big Apple. The cost of parking alone could add up to $1200 a month for a typical 40-hour week. Of course, there are discounted parking rates available via private lots.



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