Best Tech Startups in NYC, Ranked

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 17, 2021

When you think of New York City, it's fair if bright lights, skyscrapers, expensive shopping and the stock market come to mind. And while New York City screams "money", you may not think of it as a hub for startups. But plenty of companies have found success in the Big Apple.

Benzinga looked at various NYC startups and ranked them based on funding, likelihood to succeed and online recommendations. Generally, we avoided companies that you likely already know, remaining niche in our choices for startup selections.

Use Benzinga's list of the Best Tech Startups in NYC to inform your investing-in-startups strategy.

#1. Best Alternative Investment Startup: StarStock, founded 2019

Capitalizing on the recent resurgence of sports card trading, StarStock is a card trading and selling platform.

StarStock is a fully insured platform, meaning you can trade, buy and sell cards safely.

StarStock provides 24/7 monitoring and security-locks each card into a vault, preserving the condition of each card.

#2. Best Novice FinTech Startup: Stash, founded 2015

When you think of beginner stocks and trades, Stash should immediately come to mind. Stash is great for novice traders, who can start trading with as little as $5.   

The founders at Stash realized that wealth creation systems -- particularly investing tools  -- left everyday Americans out.

They sought to promote financial literacy and change lives through their app. The Stash platform teaches users how stocks and ETFs work and the value of different types of investments.

Stash has grown with its investors, becoming one of the first retail exchanges to add benefits to their site. Users can plan early for retirement and open custodial accounts for their children. Stock lending programs arose, allowing users to collect interest from their borrowers. 

In early 2020, Stash introduced debit cards, allowing users to earn “stock back” rewards on everyday purchases. Options for direct deposit reduced wait times as money hit their portfolios. Tiered members earn extra rewards.

Stash Investing is also an active community built from the apps users. There are daily Stash parties and discussions on Social Media. Users join, interact and share advice on recent trades.

#3. Best Wearable Startup: Ringly, founded 2013

Ringly keeps you connected while allowing you to step away from your various screens without missing anything important through wearable, upscale smart jewelry. 

Working discreetly in the background, Ringly notifies wearers of important alerts through simple lights and vibration. You're only alerted when messages you've denoted as important come through, so you can take a break from your electronics without worry.

Seamlessly tracking movement, Ringly works with more than 200 apps on the market and pairs with devices up to 20 feet away.

#4. Best Crowdsourcing Startup: Teachers Pay Teachers, founded 2006

Teachers Pay Teachers is a marketplace, where teachers earn money creating educational materials for other teachers online.

A community of 7 million educators come together to "save time, support students and learn from each other.

Many teachers report investing their own resources to create better learning experiences for our children outside of the home.

Teachers Paying Teachers serves as a passive source of secondary income for some teachers while allowing for peer-to-peer resource sharing.

#5. Best Simulation Training Startup: Cognotion, founded 2013

With programs created to instill a sense of underlining pride, confidence, ability and dedication, Cognotion sets new standards for the training of nurses, caregivers and certified nursing assistants.

Cognotion optimizes the learning process to strengthen the emotional and cognitive psyche of the caregiver.

Using a combination of AI, cinematic video narratives, gamified learning modules, augmented reality simulations and social media for reinforcement, this vigorous programming prepares future caregivers for stressful situations and creates better decision-makers in the face of immense pressure. 

Cognotion assesses a user's action reactions through to a series of immersive storylines and interactive experiences.

All solutions are cloud-based. Congotion is shown to improve both the performance of caregivers and the retention of generally high-turnover, entry-level workers. 

Cognotion bases it's platform on behavioral, predictive and cognitive analysis. It paves the way for more reliable, empathetic caregivers, as they work with society’s most vulnerable members.

#6. Best MedTech Startup: HealthTap | Docphin, founded 2016

Docphin took medical informatics to new heights with its premium, mobile-first solutions. It was “a unique solution for physicians seeking a more efficient way to keep up with the news that mattered most.” Doctors accessed real-time, evidence-based materials and the medical research, backing most of today’s medical and healthcare practices.

HealthTap acquired Docphin in 2016 and now provides the public with “on-demand, 24/7 healthcare from doctors you can trust.”

With a few swipes and taps, users can connect with a qualified roster of teledocs. Private, secure and HIPPA-compliant, patients  have convenient, around-the-clock access to digital health records. 

PrimaryCare features encourage users to skip Googling unrelated symptoms. They can ask a doctor or compare information found on-site. HealthTap allows users to search their database for providers in the area and, accepting most insurance, can book appointments online.

#7. Best Workforce Startup: Spatial, founded 2016

Spatial is a remote work startup. This platform uses artificial intelligence and virtual reality to support our remote workspaces. Holographic experiences re-create the way we collaborate, organize and speed up productivity amongst our own teams.

Through virtual video conferencing and animation, we can futurize our environments, attending meetings via webcam and creating 3D avatars from selfies. Prototypes are scalable, as Spatial collects imagery from a combination of images, videos and PDF files. We can extract data from external sources -- and even share our screens! 

#8. Best FinTech Startup: Kasisto, founded 2013

Kasisto humanizes conversations between banks and their customers. 

Kasisto delivers financial literacy, historic customer analysis and 24-hour support through its Enlighten platform. By notating trends amongst customer demand, they tap into the meat and bones of conversation.

Using artificial intelligence (AI) to deep-dive into everyday customer engagement, financial institutions carry out many tasks from simple retail transactions to the more complex demands of corporate banks and wealth management first.

#9. Best Crypto Startup: BlockFi, founded 2017

As Bitcoin shoots for the moon and Dogecoin legitimizes more everyday, crypto is a hot topic. Once an out-of-reach investment for your everyday person, cryptocurrency is becoming more mainstream. And BlockFi is assisting here.

BlockFi is redefining cryptocurrency with traditional banking products. Their platform allows you to trade, earn and borrow your crypto, meaning you no longer need to convert crypto to USD to spend it.

BlockFi even allows its customers to earn up to 8.6% APY by storing stablecoins on their platform. This means you don't have to cash out on a promising coin too early to free up some capital since you're earning interest on your balance.

BlockFi also allows you to borrow against your crypto.

#10. Best Dating Startup: Cheekd, founded 2010

Reimagined for dating in the post-pandemic era, Checkd reminds us how important chemistry is.

Checkd uses Bluetooth and real-time hyperlocal technologies to notify you of a nearby match. Within 30 feet, you’ll be able to decide if this person is who you want to know and if they’re lying about who they are, keeping you safe -- and hooking you up with people already near you.

Formulated to work no matter the setting, Bluetooth features allow Checkd to work in places even where there isn’t WiFi.

Put Your Startups Knowledge to Work 

Most startups set out to change the world by filling a huge void in our world. But many start out with little to no capital, so in the beginning stages, startups depend on investments to keep themselves going. 

Startups are particularly appealing to investors because the ones that catch can mean big returns for early adopters.

These types of investments can be riskier than others, so be sure you know how to invest in startups before you add them to your portfolio.