12 Amazing Tech Businesses Founded In New York City

New York City is home to the most innovative people, so it’s no surprise that it’s also the birthplace of some incredibly successful companies. Check out which businesses started off small and have grown to be symbolic of the city’s entrepreneurial spirit, and if you’re interested in building something from the ground up, head over to WeAreMadeInNY.com. posted on

1. tumblr

Don Emmert / AFP via Getty Images

After selling his shares and leaving UrbanBaby in 2006, Karp (a native New Yorker) began working with Marco Arment on a developing a “tumblelogging” platform that would allow users to share smaller forms of content. They eventually launched tumblr in November of 2007 and within 2 weeks, had 75,000 users.

2. Seamless

In 1999, Seamless was created to make it easier for companies in the city to order food for their employees, and thankfully, the service was extended to individual customers in 2005 (which was the same year it had the fastest revenue growth of all tech-based companies in New York State).

3. Vimeo

In 2004, filmmakers Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein wanted a place for their personal videos to live so sharing them with friends and family would be easier. Vimeo (which comes from combining the words “me” and “video”) quickly took off and was purchased in August of 2006 by IAC/InterActiveCorp, and millions of people visit the site every day.

4. Meetup

Meetup allows users to organize gatherings in real life by introducing them to people who share common interests. Co-founder Scott Heiferman has stated that the idea for Meetup was partially inspired by the way New Yorkers were taking care of each other post-9/11, and that he wanted to build an effective and easy way for people in the city to connect and communicate.

5. Gilt Groupe

Gilt is a shopping website that was founded in 2007 by Kevin Ryan, Alexis Maybank, and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, who all wanted to bring the idea of flash sales online. It provides fashion enthusiasts with easy access to designer labels at 60% off. The company (which initially only dealt with women’s apparel and accessories) has since expanded to include deals on men’s fashion, home and decor, food and wine, and travel.

6. ZocDoc

Finding a new doctor in the city can be a bit tricky, and ZocDoc was invented to simplify the process of locating trustworthy health care professionals. The service was launched in 2007 and has already received upwards of $50 million in funding.

7. Behance

Since we all have so many social media profiles that require constant updates, it can be tough for creative people to find the time to add their latest designs and ideas to all their accounts. So Scott Belsky founded Behance in 2006 to let people neatly showcase all their work in one place, and attract more business for themselves. In December of 2012, Behance was acquired by Adobe.

8. Knewton

In 2008, Jose Ferreira (a former executive at Kaplan Inc.) raised $2.5 million to create Knewton, which enables educators to provide personalized lesson plans or test prep using computers. And seeing as children have individual ways of learning, Knewton’s mission is an important one.

9. Stamped

Stamped transforms Twitter and Facebook into spaces that house your friends’ recommendations of restaurants, stores, art galleries and other local spots. Founders Kevin Palm, Robby Stein and Bart Stein created the service to silence the “noise” of meaningless reviews on social media by only showing you the opinions of people you actually care about — and it was acquired by Yahoo last October.

10. Codecademy

The idea of coding a website from scratch can quickly discourage people from building their own platform. But the people behind Codecademy are invested in empowering everyone who’s interested in launching their own site with the tools and knowledge to get the job done.

11. Rent The Runway

Rent The Runway launched in 2009 after Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss were tired of feeling like they had “nothing to wear.” So while studying at Harvard Business School, they developed a business plan where members could rent designer dresses and accessories, wear them and then return them! Total brilliance.

12. Vine

The obsession with sharing 6 second video clips is just a few months old, but Vine as a company has actually been around since Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll founded it in June of 2012. Executives at Twitter took less than 5 months to recognize and appreciate its potential, and swiftly bought it in October.

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