San Francisco and NYC get a lot of buzz for their vast startup communities, with good reason. But if you’re looking for a new startup hotspot to add to your list, look no further than Boston.
Already a natural hub for smart folks (think Harvard, MIT, Tufts to name a few), Boston, and nearby Cambridge, are booming with innovators—and therefore, startups. With ventures at all stages of the game, from seedlings to pretty dang mature (see DraftKings below) you have plenty to choose from if you’re looking to get involved.
And if you want to break onto the scene, you don’t have to be tech savvy to find an opportunity at a startup in Beantown. Many up-and-coming companies are looking for summer interns and support staff to fulfill general administrative, sales, and marketing roles, for example. If you’re willing to work hard to launch a new venture, you may have what it takes to join the startup ranks. Check out open jobs, apply and be persistent if you want to wedge your foot in the door.
Why they’re awesome: You want to get from this city to that city via ground transportation, but you don’t want the hassle of checking every bus and train company’s site for the cheapest or most convenient choice. Enter Wanderu. The site (or app) aggregates your search so all of your inter-city transportation options are easily laid out in front of you. This is groundbreaking because aggregator sites have existed for years in the air travel industry, but this is completely new to the ground transport game.
Who: The travel-obsessed co-founders are Polina Raygorodskaya, Igor Bratnikov and Eddy Wong.
Funding: $8.1M in total funding
How do you infiltrate? Want to be a Community Manager at this startup? Check out this job listing.
Size: ~24 employees
Why they’re awesome: What if you could leave your wallet at home and still frequent your favorite coffee shop to get your daily latte? LevelUp is creating a future where all you’ll need is your cell phone to make purchases at your favorite businesses. It’s a growing mobile-first payment platform used by 1.5M+ users and 14,000 businesses.
Who: “Proud Princeton dropout” Seth Priebatsch is the founder and “Chief Ninja” behind LevelUp.
Funding: $40M total funding
How do you infiltrate? Peruse open positions for sales, account management and support staff and submit your resume.
Size: ~104 employees
Why they’re awesome: Drizly is the direct result of two college buddies who dared to wonder why they couldn’t get a case of beer delivered just like a pizza. Thanks to their curiosity and drive, there’s an app designed to bring the liquor store to your doorstep. They don’t actually touch the booze—they orchestrate dealings with liquor stores around the city to make the magic happen. People are using Drizly to get their drank on in New York, Boston, Austin, Boulder, Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington D.C., and Vail. And this is a huge deal since it’s the only company of its kind that is approved by state alcohol regulators.
Who: The co-founders are Boston College grads Nick Rellas and Justin Robinson.
Funding: $17.8M total funding
How do you infiltrate? The company is looking for support in marketing and operations, among other areas. Apply today to join team.
Size: ~54 employees
Why they’re awesome: HapYak offers a super cool platform for helping users pull together resources to create video with personality. Universities and businesses can use HapYak to put together videos that make a measurable impact, and gives the behind-the-scenes data (beyond just click-through rates) to back it up. Instead of boring static content, HapYak provides a toolbox for users to create videos that are chock full of engaging interactive features including text, drawings, quizzes, images and audio. Join a team that creates sizzling sales and e-learning tools in an effective and popular medium.
Who: Founder Kyle Morton and CEO Rob Balazy run the show at HapYak.
Funding: $1.8M total funding
How to infiltrate: The company is poised for growth and looking for game changers. If you like the sound of that, throw your hat in the ring. Current openings include opportunities in marketing and sales. Be part of the HapYak happening.
Size: ~7 employees
Why they’re awesome: Cover is the genius behind a hot app designed to help you dine out and pay—tip included—without waiting for your waitron to take your card or make change. Cover takes the pain out of splitting the tab, too, and lets you pay automatically from the convenience of your cell phone. Right now Cover has restaurants on its list in New York, LA and the Bay Area, but they’re expanding by the minute. This is a big deal because the Uber payment experience (ie very smooth) is now expanding to dinnertime.
Who: Co-Founders Mark Egerman, Harvard Law grad, and Andrew Cove, Carnegie Mellon grad, lead the team.
Funding: $7M total funding
How to infiltrate? If you like collaboration with a large side of autonomy, Cover may be the ideal place to earn your stripes. Explore careers at Cover.
Size: ~27 employees
Why they’re awesome: Daily fantasy sports contests + real cash payouts = awesomeness. Founded in 2011, and with many rounds of funding, DraftKings has taken off and boasts 1 million+ registered users who play against each other for glory, not to mention cashmoney. With a cool $325M of total funding, DraftKings is no longer considered a “rookie” startup—they may be closer to full-on pro.
Who: Duke grad Jason Robbins is CEO, WPI grad Paul Liberman and BC MBA program alum Matt Kalish are behind this startup.
Funding: $325M total funding (!)
How do you infiltrate? DraftKings is on the hunt for a variety of amazing non-tech people for their lineup, from customer service to event planning. Here’s how you can play for their team.
Size: ~178 employees
Why they’re awesome: What’s not to love about an environmentally friendly company focused on reducing energy and water usage in communities and workplaces? WegoWise gathers energy and water utility information for users, then boils it down to the need-to-know facts, taking the guesswork out of finding energy-wasters for building managers and energy auditors. They’re looking to help make buildings more energy efficient and to simultaneously save customers money. WegoWise’s progressive mission is exceeded only by their passion to create a meaningful working environment.
Who: Founders Edward Connelly, DeWitt Jones and Barun Singh are joined by CEO Andrew Chen.
Funding: $4.9M total funding
How to infiltrate? Act fast to be considered for their summer marketing intern position.
Size: ~36 employees
Why they’re awesome: In a nutshell, Gecko came about when a doc and a techie had an idea to help asthma sufferers breathe easier. The founders used their previous startup know-how to create a seamless app designed to improve asthma and COPD medication management. Gecko’s CareTRx is bringing the patient care game to a whole new level.
Who: MIT grad Mark Maalouf and CEO Yechiel Engelhard are the brains behind the CareTRx (formerly GeckoCap) app.
Funding: $50K total funding
How to infiltrate? The company is seeking applications for a position in marketing and an Executive Administrative Assistant. See if you’re interested here.
Size: 12 employees
9. Social Fulcrum
Why they’re awesome: This is a startup aimed at other startups. This digital marketing agency knows that online advertising is more effective when there’s data to back it up. Using analytics, Social Fulcrum hones campaigns to reduce the cost of acquiring new customers. Basically, they’re all about slimming down on spending and beefing up on tactics. They employ a “one part art + one part science” marketing method to craft effective campaigns, and ultimately save their clients money. No wonder businesses are lining up to reap the benefits.
Who: Founder and President Andrew Krebs-Smith and VP of Acquisition & Analytics Noah Freeman are in charge of this outfit.
How to infiltrate? If you have a “get it done” attitude, know how to mind the details and want to work at a small company that’s growing fast, hop on over to Social Fulcrum. Right now they’re looking for a marketing maven who can help them land customers and promise to provide you with all the snacks you can eat. Take a look.
Size: ~14 employees
10. Amino Apps
Why they’re awesome: Thanks to Amino Apps, passionate fans can find one another on their phones and revel in their shared interests. Claiming not to be a social network, but an “interest-based” one, users can become part of one of 23 communities (so far!) from foodies to video gamers to Swifties (devoted to none-other than Taylor). If you like the idea of connecting like-minded folks through the power of mobile communities, this may be the startup for you.
Who: Founder and CEO Ben Anderson is also director of database operations for Vibrant Technology.
Funding: $1.7M total funding
How to infiltrate? The company is looking for a “Self Proclaimed Geek” who’s ready to become an uber-influencer in major fandom arenas. Apply for the gig.
Size: ~9 employees
This list is only a snapshot of the startup opportunities available in Boston. Right now, AngelList lists at least 3,000 different startups in and around Boston. You could head over to the Cambridge Innovation Center, boasting “more startups than anywhere on the planet” to get a feel for the community. Or, you can just rest assured knowing that you don’t have to hop on a plane to Cali or New York to be immersed in startups. From the Innovation District to Kendall Square, from Somerville to the North End—the Boston area is a seriously awesome place to be in the startup world.
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Can't get enough startups? Check out our Top 20 NYC Startups List.