0 Love It

Cool NYC companies: New York's best small companies and start-ups

If you’ve spent your career working for big NYC companies, now’s the time to break free. Find out how to launch your own start-up from these NYC entrepreneurs.

Photograph: John Loomis
Most NYC companies—even the start-ups—won’t let you smash office furniture with a mallet, but other perks abound

Some of the coolest, most gamechanging NYC companies are also the smallest. Whether they specialize in making obscure summer rosés as accessible as the city’s best pizza or giving consumers a legal way to buy their favorite DJ mixes, these local start-ups turn many traditional business models on their heads and give their employees the freedom to make an impact from Day One. If you’ve had an idea percolating for awhile—or just need to find a better job STAT—now’s the time to take that leap. But first, find out how successful entrepreneurs made it happen and which tools you need to follow in their footsteps.

Cool NYC companies and entrepreneurs to watch

Things to do

The coolest NYC companies: wine start-up Lot18

Lot18 carves out its niche among NYC companies by specializing in lesser-known wines. Find out how the team has weathered the ups and downs of start-up life. Cool NYC companies and start-ups Start your own business: play our start-up Chutes and Ladders game Before you start your own business, play our board game while getting advice from Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, co-founders of the SoulCycle fitness empire. Cool NYC companies and start-ups It’s not easy to start your own business. Between finessing an idea, finding the necessary resources (materials, space, staff) and drawing in customers, it’s no wonder most start-ups fail. If you want to make money and succeed in the long-run, you’d be smart to follow the advice of Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, who co-founded cult fitness brand SoulCycle. In seven years, they’ve taken their company from one studio to 19 and counting, and they’ve inspired countless devotees to get fit in NYC and across the country. Play our game to get their advice on how to find a better job and, ultimately, start your own business.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and Recreation star talks about the show’s new season and what she misses most about New York City. More on parks in New York Best New York City parks: Things to do in parks all over town There’s no end of things to do in New York City park

Read more
Things to do

The coolest NYC companies: art start-up Artsy

Few NYC companies blend tech and culture the way Artsy does. Like a Pandora for asthetes, it’s broadening the horizons of connoisseurs and novices alike. Cool NYC companies and start-ups Start your own business: play our start-up Chutes and Ladders game Before you start your own business, play our board game while getting advice from Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, co-founders of the SoulCycle fitness empire. Cool NYC companies and start-ups It’s not easy to start your own business. Between finessing an idea, finding the necessary resources (materials, space, staff) and drawing in customers, it’s no wonder most start-ups fail. If you want to make money and succeed in the long-run, you’d be smart to follow the advice of Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, who co-founded cult fitness brand SoulCycle. In seven years, they’ve taken their company from one studio to 19 and counting, and they’ve inspired countless devotees to get fit in NYC and across the country. Play our game to get their advice on how to find a better job and, ultimately, start your own business.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and Recreation star talks about the show’s new season and what she misses most about New York City. More on parks in New York Best New York City parks: Things to do in parks all over town There’s no end of things to do in New York City parks; h

Read more
Things to do

The coolest NYC companies: music and tech start-up Legitmix

Of all the music start-ups among NYC companies, Legitmix stands as one of the coolest. Find out how it’s making selling mashups legal. Cool NYC companies and start-ups Start your own business: play our start-up Chutes and Ladders game Before you start your own business, play our board game while getting advice from Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, co-founders of the SoulCycle fitness empire. Cool NYC companies and start-ups It’s not easy to start your own business. Between finessing an idea, finding the necessary resources (materials, space, staff) and drawing in customers, it’s no wonder most start-ups fail. If you want to make money and succeed in the long-run, you’d be smart to follow the advice of Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, who co-founded cult fitness brand SoulCycle. In seven years, they’ve taken their company from one studio to 19 and counting, and they’ve inspired countless devotees to get fit in NYC and across the country. Play our game to get their advice on how to find a better job and, ultimately, start your own business.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and Recreation star talks about the show’s new season and what she misses most about New York City. More on parks in New York Best New York City parks: Things to do in parks all over town There’s no end of things to do in New York City parks; here are the best pl

Read more
Things to do

The coolest NYC companies: content and media start-up Upworthy

While some NYC companies focus on turning cat videos and funny gifs into memes, Upworthy is pooling its resources to make serious content just as viral. Cool NYC companies and start-ups Start your own business: play our start-up Chutes and Ladders game Before you start your own business, play our board game while getting advice from Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, co-founders of the SoulCycle fitness empire. Cool NYC companies and start-ups It’s not easy to start your own business. Between finessing an idea, finding the necessary resources (materials, space, staff) and drawing in customers, it’s no wonder most start-ups fail. If you want to make money and succeed in the long-run, you’d be smart to follow the advice of Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, who co-founded cult fitness brand SoulCycle. In seven years, they’ve taken their company from one studio to 19 and counting, and they’ve inspired countless devotees to get fit in NYC and across the country. Play our game to get their advice on how to find a better job and, ultimately, start your own business.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and Recreation star talks about the show’s new season and what she misses most about New York City. More on parks in New York Best New York City parks: Things to do in parks all over town There’s no end of things to do in New York City parks; he

Read more
Things to do

The coolest NYC companies: fashion start-up Of A Kind

Among the myriad NYC companies in fashion, Of A Kind distinguishes itself by using storytelling to draw mass-market consumers to under-the-radar designers. Cool NYC companies and start-ups Start your own business: play our start-up Chutes and Ladders game Before you start your own business, play our board game while getting advice from Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, co-founders of the SoulCycle fitness empire. Cool NYC companies and start-ups It’s not easy to start your own business. Between finessing an idea, finding the necessary resources (materials, space, staff) and drawing in customers, it’s no wonder most start-ups fail. If you want to make money and succeed in the long-run, you’d be smart to follow the advice of Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, who co-founded cult fitness brand SoulCycle. In seven years, they’ve taken their company from one studio to 19 and counting, and they’ve inspired countless devotees to get fit in NYC and across the country. Play our game to get their advice on how to find a better job and, ultimately, start your own business.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and Recreation star talks about the show’s new season and what she misses most about New York City. More on parks in New York Best New York City parks: Things to do in parks all over town There’s no end of things to do in New York City parks;

Read more
Things to do

Small NYC companies and entreprenuers to watch

These small NYC companies are making a big impact, thanks to the innovative entrepreneurs behind them. Read on for their success stories and advice. Cool NYC companies and start-ups Start your own business: play our start-up Chutes and Ladders game Before you start your own business, play our board game while getting advice from Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, co-founders of the SoulCycle fitness empire. Cool NYC companies and start-ups It’s not easy to start your own business. Between finessing an idea, finding the necessary resources (materials, space, staff) and drawing in customers, it’s no wonder most start-ups fail. If you want to make money and succeed in the long-run, you’d be smart to follow the advice of Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, who co-founded cult fitness brand SoulCycle. In seven years, they’ve taken their company from one studio to 19 and counting, and they’ve inspired countless devotees to get fit in NYC and across the country. Play our game to get their advice on how to find a better job and, ultimately, start your own business.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and Recreation star talks about the show’s new season and what she misses most about New York City. More on parks in New York Best New York City parks: Things to do in parks all over town There’s no end of things to do in New York City parks; here a

Read more

Tools and tips to get entrepreneurs started

Things to do

Start your own business: play our start-up Chutes and Ladders game

Before you start your own business, play our board game while getting advice from Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, co-founders of the SoulCycle fitness empire. Cool NYC companies and start-ups It’s not easy to start your own business. Between finessing an idea, finding the necessary resources (materials, space, staff) and drawing in customers, it’s no wonder most start-ups fail. If you want to make money and succeed in the long-run, you’d be smart to follow the advice of Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, who co-founded cult fitness brand SoulCycle. In seven years, they’ve taken their company from one studio to 19 and counting, and they’ve inspired countless devotees to get fit in NYC and across the country. Play our game to get their advice on how to find a better job and, ultimately, start your own business.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and Recreation star talks about the show’s new season and what she misses most about New York City. More on parks in New York Best New York City parks: Things to do in parks all over town There’s no end of things to do in New York City parks; here are the best places to have a picnic, watch the sun set, grab a drink, fly a kite and much more. More on parks in New York There are hundreds of parks in New York City, and countless things to do in them. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve p

Read more
Things to do

NYC offices: coolest co-working spaces in New York City

Budding entrepreneurs seeking NYC offices, kindred spirits and cool amenities can investigate these new co-working spaces. Cool NYC companies and start-ups NYC offices may not be the happening places to be on a bright sunny day, but most of the time, it’s nice to have a go-to space where you can focus or meet with team members (hey—you might even make friends with other cool entrepreneurs). Take a peek at some of the coolest new co-working spaces, many of which serve as incubators for some pretty cool NYC companies.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and Recreation star talks about the show’s new season and what she misses most about New York City. More on parks in New York Best New York City parks: Things to do in parks all over town There’s no end of things to do in New York City parks; here are the best places to have a picnic, watch the sun set, grab a drink, fly a kite and much more. More on parks in New York There are hundreds of parks in New York City, and countless things to do in them. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve put together a rundown of the best parks to visit for a whole variety of activities, whether you want to see an outdoor movie, have a picnic, rent a boat, kick back with a glass of beer or even pretend that you’re in Parks and Recreation’s Pawnee, Indiana. Without further ado, here are the best pla

Read more
Things to do

NYC offices: next-level office perks at cool New York companies

Some NYC offices come with crazy-cool office perks, such as unlimited vacation, sleep pods and free catered lunches. How does your company stack up? Cool NYC companies and start-ups Here at Time Out’s NYC offices, we’ve got a pretty stellar view of the Hudson River and the High Line, plus a tradition of ice-cream Fridays in the summer. But evidently, other places have office perks like designated rooms for staffers’ puppies and futuristic sleep pods. If you’re looking to get fit, check out the companies with gym deals. Or if you’re a music buff, take a peek at which employees get treated to free concerts. Some places even have an unlimited vacation policy (weekend getaways galore!). Read on and be jealous.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Totally Baller Unlimited sick and vacation days (ModCloth, Foursquare, Tumblr, Gilt Groupe)Puppytorium—a quiet room where employees can house their dogs during the day and visit when they need a break (Chartbeat)Choice of four weeks’ paid vacation or two weeks plus two plane tickets to anywhere in the world (Lot18)Weekly $500 raffle (Fab) Frickin' Sweet Free concert tickets and in-office performances (Spotify)Free parking and transit reimbursements (Quirky)Free fitness classes (Rent the Runway, SoulCycle) Pretty Cool Free booze (Yelp, Thrillist)Free meals (Artsy, ZocDoc, Warby Parker, StumbleUpon) Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and

Read more
Things to do

New must-know tools for entrepreneurs and start-ups

Start-up life is tough, but certain tools will make it easier. We’ve found five apps, programs and gadgets that savvy entrepreneurs swear by. Cool NYC companies and start-ups Start your own business: play our start-up Chutes and Ladders game Before you start your own business, play our board game while getting advice from Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, co-founders of the SoulCycle fitness empire. Cool NYC companies and start-ups It’s not easy to start your own business. Between finessing an idea, finding the necessary resources (materials, space, staff) and drawing in customers, it’s no wonder most start-ups fail. If you want to make money and succeed in the long-run, you’d be smart to follow the advice of Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, who co-founded cult fitness brand SoulCycle. In seven years, they’ve taken their company from one studio to 19 and counting, and they’ve inspired countless devotees to get fit in NYC and across the country. Play our game to get their advice on how to find a better job and, ultimately, start your own business.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and Recreation star talks about the show’s new season and what she misses most about New York City. More on parks in New York Best New York City parks: Things to do in parks all over town There’s no end of things to do in New York City parks; here are the

Read more
Things to do

Career survey results: find out how New Yorkers feel about their jobs

One-hundred Gothamites told us what’s on their minds when it comes to career satisfaction and branching out on their own. Where do you stand? Cool NYC companies and start-ups Start your own business: play our start-up Chutes and Ladders game Before you start your own business, play our board game while getting advice from Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, co-founders of the SoulCycle fitness empire. Cool NYC companies and start-ups It’s not easy to start your own business. Between finessing an idea, finding the necessary resources (materials, space, staff) and drawing in customers, it’s no wonder most start-ups fail. If you want to make money and succeed in the long-run, you’d be smart to follow the advice of Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, who co-founded cult fitness brand SoulCycle. In seven years, they’ve taken their company from one studio to 19 and counting, and they’ve inspired countless devotees to get fit in NYC and across the country. Play our game to get their advice on how to find a better job and, ultimately, start your own business.RECOMMENDED: The coolest NYC companies to work for Most popular in Things to Do Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler on NYC, her costars and more The comedy icon and Parks and Recreation star talks about the show’s new season and what she misses most about New York City. More on parks in New York Best New York City parks: Things to do in parks all over town There’s no end of things to do in New York City parks; here are the

Read more
Things to do

Start your own business: Advice from experts and entrepreneurs

If you’re looking to start your own business, you’ll need a solid idea and plenty of savvy. Business experts and entrepreneurs reveal the secrets to success. So, you’ve decided to start your own business—congrats! You’re probably nervous about taking the leap, but if you want to find a better job, sometimes you have to break out on your own. We turned to local business experts and the founder of cool NYC companies to find out what makes a successful start-up. Find a void and fill it.The best business ideas present a specific, innovative solution to a missing service. While serving as her wedding-publicist sister’s maid of honor, Kellee Khalil started thinking about how useful it’d be to have a search engine dedicated to just weddings. She took it upon herself to create Loverly (lover.ly), a sort of Pinterest-Google hybrid that allows brides-to-be to comb through thousands of nuptial-related images of dresses, accessories, food and more, sorted by category or color. “Even with all of [my sister’s] connections in the wedding world, I was still 30 pages deep on Google, while also looking at ten different brand sites for just the right necklace, dress, decor, shoes, etc.,” says Khalil. “It seemed totally surreal that in 2010, there wasn’t an all-in-one resource to plan the several events leading up to the wedding.” Since launching in 2010, Loverly’s grown to 13 employees, plus a slew of interns, and 2.6 million users per month.Be creative with money.Entrepreneurs may be accustome

Read more

Related coverage of NYC companies and careers

Things to do

50 ways to make money (2011)

These side jobs will add fast cash to your bank account. 1. Land a job...for someone elseWith the local unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent, job seekers are in full supply—which means rsum writers are in high demand. But crafting a CV involves more than the ability to make a summer job at Subway sound like you were CEO. "Rsums need to show value," says Chandlee Bryan, a rsum writer and career coach at Best Fit Forward (bestfitforward.com) and coauthor of The Twitter Job Search Guide. "They need to stand out in ten seconds on a smartphone." For a rsum writer, becoming certified through an organization such as the Professional Association of Rsum Writers' (PARW) or National Resume Writers Association "is critical both as a way of learning the craft and demonstrating your expertise to colleagues and potential clients," says Kim Mohiuddin, chief career strategist at Movin' On Up Resumes (movinonupresumes.com). It's also a great way to find new clients, as all PARW members are listed on the association's website. The distinction allows for bigger paychecks, too. "Association members tend to charge by the hour, and a range of $75 to $250 or more per hour reflects a writer's level of experience and past success," says PARW executive director Frank Fox. Sign up for the $225 certification exam at parw.com.  2. Pour a drinkYou don't need to know how to mix the perfect martini to be a guest bartender, but you do need a lot of friends who will pay to watch you try. "We provide

Read more
Things to do

Change your career from: Finance (2009)

Your new gig: Accounting advisor for an eco-business WHY: You know how to make tough decisions, you can build solid business plans, and you already have all the basic accounting skills. HOW TO GET IT:1 Pinpoint your search. “If you look for green jobs in Google, there is no shortage of sites dedicated to the promotion of this rapidly growing industry,” says Stella Angelakos, a local career adviser. Her favorites: greengigs.blogspot.com, greendreamjobs.com and new-york.greenjobs.net. 2 Contact new businesses directly to see if they’re hiring. “Basically, every company needs an accounting department, and that is pretty similar from one industry to another,” says Judy Harper, director of Green Edge NYC, a social-media site that links people and organizations with an eco-friendly bent. “Most green businesses are still in the start-up stage, so there’s a need for someone who can make sure their spending makes sense.” 3 Look into green construction—it’s on the rise in NYC, specifically in retrofitting buildings to make them more eco-friendly. “For every building that needs to be retrofitted, they have to figure out how much it’s going to cost,” Harper says. “Engineers can figure out what they have to have done, but someone has to translate that into numbers and make sure they work for the building owner.”4 Take a class in sustainability, which you can do while looking for a gig. The New School (newschool.edu) offers a degree in environmental studies, and N

Read more
Things to do

Change your career from: Fashion or Art (2009)

Your new gig: Art therapist WHY: Since the health-care industry is one of the few that’s expanding, you may be able to land a gig in a hospital, private counseling center or school. HOW TO GET IT: 1 Before you begin, you’ll have to get some schooling (a master’s or Ph.D.) and a license, says Career Counselors Consortium president Judith Gerberg, who specializes in arts jobs. The New York Art Therapy Association (nyarttherapy.org) has plenty of info. There are at least six nearby programs, including those at NYU, Hofstra and the College of New Rochelle.2 Join the American Art Therapy Association (arttherapy.org) and other professional organizations to meet colleagues and future employers. 3 Look for part-time work to get started and try presenting research papers at art-therapy conferences to gain recognition. Your new gig: Carpenter WHY: You’re good with your hands, not just a computer. HOW TO GET IT:1 You may as well post on Craigslist or Brownstoner’s forum, where folks often search for laborers. Keep pictures of your work, and do not underestimate the power of a good website. The best way to get jobs is through referrals, so ask satisfied customers to write you a review. 2 Apprentice with an experienced carpenter. Find nonunion mentors the same way you’d advertise yourself—online or through networking or cold calls. For union apprenticeships, contact the New York City District Council of Carpenters (nycdistrictcouncil.com) to find out when

Read more
Things to do

Behind-the-scenes office tour of NY1

Read more
Things to do

Behind-the-scenes office tour of Fab

Read more
Things to do

Behind the scenes at Brooklyn restaurant Littleneck

Read more
Things to do

Behind-the-scenes office tour of BuzzFeed

Read more
Show more

Related careers coverage

Things to do

Find a better job (2011)

Read more

Comments

2 comments
no really
no really

lot18? the company that went from 100 to 36, raised at a ridiculous valuation and whose two co-founders scrambled out asap?

what
what

So my options for a career are waiter, ripoff content aggregator, or Pat Kiernan? Thanks for the help?