Silicon Valley has nothing on New York. In a city fueled by creativity and innovation, it comes as no surprise that most successful businesses get their start here. From Airbnb, Inc., the popular virtual marketplace for unique accommodations taking the hospitality industry by storm, to WeWork, which prides itself in its ability to construct cooperative working communities through collaborative workspaces, these and other companies have one thing in common: they started with only a vision, a handful of workers, and a tiny office in Manhattan.
Now, pay attention, because we have the inside scoop on the 10 hottest new startups of 2015.
Let’s face it: you rely on social media to tell you which products and services you should use. So does everyone else. That’s why Niche is important. It serves as the mediator between social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Vine and brands and marketers wanting to create an impactful social media presence. The startup has been continually backed by numerous venture capital firms, and its recent acquisition by Twitter will give it just the tools it needs to become its own imposing social media presence.
Fly is the only video editing app you will ever need, as evidence by the 1 million+ users they gained in just a few months last fall. It is perfect for producing Instagram videos or short family films “on the fly,” creating timeless moments in seconds. It was an Apple’s App Store Best of 2014, and Founder Tim Novikoff shows no signs of stopping to make Fly bigger and better than ever.
With the abundance of small businesses in New York City, from restaurants to boutique shops to all the startups on this list, it’s no wonder Fundera thought headquarters in TriBeCa would be the best fit. The service operates as an online marketplace for small business loans, taking away the anxiety and disappointment of going blindly through the loan application only to be rejected months later. It pre-approves your loan in seconds and matches you with likely potential lenders. Don’t think it’s credible? Just ask co-founder Jared Hecht, former founder of GroupMe. Fundera raised over $3 million in funding itself last year.
Katharine Zaleski and Milena Berry started PowerToFly with one goal in mind: to empower women in tech. They far exceeded their expectations. PowerToFly connects companies like BuzzFeed, Hearst, and RebelMouse with women all over the world who qualify for positions in tech. Thanks to help from PowerToFly, women are taking over the NYC tech scene and Silicon Valley, finally bridging the gap between the ratio of men to women in tech-related industries.
Speaking of the NYC tech scene, the Flatiron School in FiDi is turning into a hotbed for this generation’s best coders. Their rigorous 12-week program doesn’t just teach students computer programming; it also teaches them to love computer programming as a vital life skill and fulfilling career path. Their goal is similar to PowertoFly’s, encouraging women and students of diverse backgrounds to explore the world of coding. Alumi have gone on to work at companies like Etsy, Venmo, and Time Inc.
Whether you moved to New York or have lived here all your life, you know the struggle of getting a mattress up to your fifth-floor apartment. Here’s where Casper comes in. Take away the hassle of testing mattresses at Macy’s and the effort of pushing your purchase through the front door and just order online from Casper. The website offers a 100-night trial and delivers the mattress in a more compact, easy-to-carry box—the mattress returns to normal size within minutes of opening. Casper’s thousands of orders and recent $13.1 million Series A proves that the company won’t be in decline anytime soon.
Zola is another company who raised $5.9 million in Series A funding this fall. An ecommerce startup breaking into the wedding industry, Zola (which means love in Zulu), aims to modernize and simplify the wedding gift-giving process. It gives your registry a homepage and allows you to choose from over 100,000 items like outdoor activities, world travel, and tools for a modern life. More than 17,000 couples registered on the site last year, and their numbers haven’t stopped increasing.
No gym membership? No problem, now that there’s Classpass. The company sidesteps the costly fees and scary binding contract that come with joining a gym and allows its members to pay $99 on a month-to-month basis for unlimited access to classes at some of the best boutique fitness studios, making your workout a little bit easier and lot more affordable. Its funding from venture capital firms like SV Angel, BoxGroup, and TechStars and its growing number of dedicated users has made it a fierce competitor against traditional gym pricing structure.
The tragedy of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 did at least produce one good thing: an idea by Daniela and Jorge Perdomo to take the reliance of communication off WiFi and give it back to the people in the conversation. GoTenna, an unassuming pocket-sized device, lets you text and share your location with anyone who has the device, even if you don’t have signal. Separated from the group on your hike? Use your GoTenna to let them know where to find you. Abroad and exploring the shops while your husband takes a nap at the hotel? Tell him what restaurant to meet at for dinner in a quick text through GoTenna. With its growing popularity, you might one day be able to GoTenna anyone, anywhere.
10. Electric Objects
While there’s no knocking a beautifully-crafted painting, we are in a digital age—and that means digital art. Founder Jake Levine created Electric Objects to bring graphic design into the home, leveling digital art’s importance with traditional forms of art. Like a digital picture frame, each Electrical Object is easily mountable on your wall or placed proudly on your mantle. Levine’s company managed to raise an additional $800,000 on top of their original $25,000 Kickstarter goal, foreshadowing Electrical Objects’ success.
These are only a minute number of startups growing—and succeeding—in New York City. Have an idea? Manhattan is the place to be. Take your first step by contacting one of our friendly agents at Platinum Properties to get you into the heart of the most creative and innovative city in the world.