Top 50 Startups To Work For After College

6 min read · 8 years ago


In 2011, The New York Times defined this generation of college graduates as an entrepreneurial generation, and according to Deloitte’s 2013 Millennial Innovation survey, 78 percent of Millennials continue to believe that innovation is essential for business success. Perhaps nowhere are these trends more apparent than in American startups. From tech and education to health care or food, these companies — which are generally small, new and experimental — can afford recent college graduates a lot more creative latitude than one might find in more established firms. Startups also often have a more laid-back work environment (think: sneakers and pool tables) and, according to Business Insider, can offer impressively unique benefits with which traditional companies simply cannot compete. Here are just 50 of our favorite startups to work for after college, including a few carry-overs from last year’s list.

New to the List!

  • Beyond Meat appeals to consumers who value nutrition, the environment and animal welfare with its goal to produce plant-based protein delicious enough to minimize meat consumption the world over
  • BitGym is a simple app that lets fitness buffs access interactive simulations of natural trails from around the world right from their indoor bikes, treadmills or elliptical trainers.
  • BrainBot brings cutting edge technology and neuroscience together to design products that track and promote mindfulness, which the company says offers very real, scientifically-proven physical and psychological benefits.
  • Cake Health is a free program that lets users aggregate and track their health care plans from one easy-to-use interface, making it easier for them to monitor and manage their medical spending.
  • Cloudera helps companies view and interpret their big data through Apache Hadoop-based platforms and services.
  • Codecademy helps people all over the world learn to code for free. Users can build interactive websites, games and apps, collaborating with others and earning virtual badges as they go.
  • Duolingo helps users master a foreign language (or many) for free and from anywhere in the world. This startup says its platform is scientifically proven to trump university-level language courses.
  • E la Carte helps diners and restaurants stay on good terms through its table-side smart tablet. Diners can view menus, order their food and pay without ever having to wait for a server.
  • Fitocracy lets users — or “fitocrats” — track workouts and nutrition goals and access the social motivation they need to keep going.
  • FitOrbit connects clients with certified fitness trainers online (or via a mobile app), allowing them to set and meet fitness goals for a fraction of the cost they might pay at their local gyms.
  • Food Genius brings big data to the restaurant business through its web-based menu and flavor research platform that monitors trends for millions of menu items and thousands of restaurants across the United States.
  • HealthyOut helps busy people eat better through a platform that lets them schedule healthy dishes from local restaurants to be delivered right to them. It also accommodates several dietary preferences, such as low-fat, paleo or vegan.
  • Leap Motion‘s Leap Motion Controller lets you interact with your computer using natural hand motions instead of keyboards or touchpads, and the company says it has many more innovative tech projects in the works.
  • LearnVest is an expert-designed seven-step program that helps you manage, protect and maximize your money for less than $20 each month (plus a one-time set-up fee).
  • LocoMotive Labs designs what it calls “exceptional” assistive, play-based learning applications for kids with special needs. Its goal: To inspire children and promote independent learning.
  • Love with Food is an automated food delivery service that helps busy, health-conscious people have delicious snacks on hand. As a bonus, Love with Food will donate a meal to a hungry child for every box purchased.
  • LUMO BodyTech uses technology to promote better posture (and eliminate your slouch). Customers strap on a back monitor that tracks their posture and vibrates when they need to shift their stance.
  • Nutanix understands that for many businesses, data is king. The company is working to develop a datacenter that consolidates servers and storage into a single infrastructure without the need for a storage area network, or SAN.
  • Omada Health‘s clinically proven online diabetes prevention program leverages technology, peer mentorship and social accountability to encourage life-changing (and life-saving) habits.
  • Porch lives up to its name by providing what it calls a place for friends and neighbors to “share home projects and professionals they love.”
  • Quirky helps ordinary people innovate. Users can submit their ideas for new products to Quirky, vote for the best ideas, and then play a role in products’ development.
  • SendGrid says its cloud-based email delivery system was designed by and for developers, but the simplicity and efficiency it promotes could probably benefit any professional or tech fanatic.
  • Shopulse gives budding fashionistas insider access to sale-priced, hand-selected designs from the world’s “best emerging designers.”
  • Sibme aims to improve educational quality by helping teachers and professors share and access best practices for the classroom.
  • SmarterCookie lets teachers video record lessons in the classroom and then share them with fellow educators who can critique, learn from and be inspired by them.
  • Socrative helps teachers and professors transform smartphones, tablets and laptops into engaging educational devices, thanks to its series of educational games and exercises.
  • Tradesy is an online marketplace that lets style lovers on a budget buy and sell new and gently-used items online, for a small fee.
  • Treehouse says it can help almost anyone learn how to build websites, create smartphone apps and launch a business through its extensive library of video courses and training exercises.
  • Watsi is an online platform that allows anyone, anywhere to directly fund “low-cost, high-impact” medical care for patients in need (knowing 100 percent of their donations will make it there).
  • ZocDoc makes health care more accessible by providing a platform for users to find providers and book appointments online.

Back Again

The following companies were featured on last year’s Top 50 Startups to Work for After College list but are still so snazzy that they deserve another mention.

  • Badgeville says it helps its clients boost customer loyalty and employee productivity through its game-like Behavior Platform, which measures, influences and rewards behavior through points and badges.
  • crowdSPRING calls itself the world’s number one marketplace for naming, logo and graphic design services.
  • CrowdStar is a global leader in mobile and social gaming, but with a twist: Each of its games and apps were designed explicitly for young girls.
  • Diaspora* is a social network in which users own all of their personal information and even choose where and how it is stored on the server — or pod — level.
  • Fashion Playtes helps young girls cultivate their inner fashion designers by giving them a platform to design and wear their own clothing.
  • Foursquare helps millions of people discover great local restaurants, access special deals and share their activities with friends.
  • Geeklist is an online social community where developers and other tech professionals can connect, collaborate and find jobs (or workers).
  • Gemvara lets anyone design and purchase their own jewelry and even allows returns for pieces that don’t impress.
  • Grubwithus is an online community that lets users find and enjoy group meals, typically with people they don’t already know, Mashable noted.
  • HealthWarehouse says it was founded as a reputable alternative to less affordable online pharmacies. It strives to make FDA-approved medications accessible and reasonably-priced.
  • HelloWallet says it aims to democratize workers’ access to honest financial guidance, which it believes will minimize wasted money and needless stress linked to financial missteps.
  • Koofers strives to help the next generation of college students succeed by giving them access to free test banks and practice exams, professor ratings, flashcards and more.
  • LightSail Energy says it aims to produce the world’s cleanest and most economical energy storage system. What makes its system so unique: It uses compressed air as its medium.
  • Parking Panda takes the hassle out of parking: Users can find and reserve parking for events and attractions in dozens of cities.
  • Scoutmob helps connect visitors with local, independent “makers” and craftsmen, creating unique and authentic goods and experiences.
  • Scoutzie helps visitors find the perfect mobile app, logo or website developer for their projects (and budgets) by searching its database and reviewing designer portfolios and reviews.
  • Simplee lets users review and track all their medical expenses on one convenient, web-based platform.
  • SimpleTix gives even the smallest businesses or venues access to professional quality e-ticketing software, making it easier to sell and track event tickets in their communities (and beyond).
  • Stitcher lets users download and listen to thousands of radio shows and podcasts anywhere, anytime, through their mobile devices or tablets.
  • Warby Parker sells affordable, stylish eyeglasses and, according to Business Insider, offers its employees some of the best workplace perks in the country.

Beyond the Startup

Startups have a lot to offer new college graduates, but that does not mean they suit everyone. Yes, startups are innovative, but that also means they have yet to prove themselves. Some will succeed, but others just won’t make it. Graduates who are looking for careers can often tap their colleges’ career services centers for help finding, landing and preparing for jobs of all types.

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