9 Companies Carrying NYC’s Tech Torch
Paul Manship’s Prometheus has an iconic presence in midtown Manhattan.
The 18-foot tall gilded cast bronze statue, created in 1934, depicts Prometheus, a titan who stole fire from the Greek gods and gifted it to humanity. In doing so, the story goes, Prometheus sparked the beginnings of all art and science, technology and culture.
For championing humankind’s access to technology, the Greek gods damned Prometheus for all eternity. He was bound to a rock where he would have his forever-regenerating liver eaten by an eagle each day until the end of time.
Thankfully, midtown’s modern-day tech innovators have been spared the eagle treatment. These innovators nonetheless share that Promethean project — the desire to solve problems and improve lives — albeit in generally less mythical terms.
From companies helping get fresh food to cities’ growing urban populations to those improving their users’ access to healthcare after retirement, Built In NYC spoke with team members from nine companies carrying the proverbial torch. Learn more about their teams, cultures and what it takes to become part of a tech company with a transformative mission below.
Cutover’s work orchestration and observability platform allows users to plan, orchestrate and audit technology releases, resilience testing, operational readiness, major incident recovery and other important tasks. The company’s more than 10,000 users include teams at Barclays, Deloitte and Google.
What was the deciding factor for you when you accepted your position at Cutover?
When I initially saw the product, my first thought was “where was this 10 years ago?” It was easy to see the value straight away and how I would have benefitted from it in my previous roles. Secondly, there was the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something great and to help it reach its obvious potential.
These factors and the culture are why I have stayed with Cutover. The product continues to evolve, and nothing else in the market comes close to what we do. I was the second employee in the U.S. and the 25th globally. We now have more than 80 employees in the U.S. and almost 200 worldwide. To be a part of that growth is exciting, and I truly believe I am part of something special. This has not only kept me here, but I have also introduced several individuals to the organization.
When I initially saw the product, my first thought was ‘where was this 10 years ago?’”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where Cutover is headed?
What excites me the most is the integrations we are building and delivering for our existing and potential new clients. One of our tag lines is “bringing teams and technology together,” and I’m very much involved at the heart of this, along with some very clever and talented individuals. Providing our customers with the ability to easily integrate and automate creates an even greater level of orchestration and efficiency than the core Cutover platform already provides, so seeing that grow will be really exciting.
I love what I do and feel supported by a team of passionate people who have the same vision and believe in what we are doing for the company and the opportunities ahead.
HireArt is an all-in-one hiring and management platform for the contract workforce. HireArt gives employers the tools to recruit talent, ensure compliance, automate payroll, manage benefits and more.
As a tenured employee, what has been the biggest reason you’ve stayed at HireArt so long?
I’ve been with HireArt since 2015. We believe that if you put people first, success will follow. We know trust gives rise to empowerment. And we operate with the humility to constantly improve, listen to each other’s ideas and recognize one another’s achievements.
Throughout my tenure at HireArt, I’ve been given the latitude to experiment and grow from successes and failures, to learn on my own and from others — whether it’s from my higher-ups, cross-functional colleagues, or from direct reports — and to help others learn and grow. I think the sharing of ideas, advice and support is something that makes HireArt a great place to work; it makes our product better and engenders a sense of impact and ownership for our employees.
We know trust gives rise to empowerment.”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where HireArt is headed?
Finding the right people is the first step in making our product the best it can be and helping us grow the company.
As we grow, it’s imperative that we maintain the spirit of the team. It’s exciting to be one of the longest-tenured employees at HireArt and to have a direct role in bringing on new employees. I know the qualities that make people successful at HireArt — humility, a desire to constantly improve and being people-oriented to name a few. I’m also looking for people who can bring fresh perspectives and are eager to contribute to our team in new ways, especially as we add people in positions that are new to HireArt.
With a plan to grow exponentially and because we have become a recently-distributed team, we’ve had to further formalize our approach to hiring and fostering a workplace community. We’ve made great strides in instilling our ethos — as well as policies that reinforce our commitment to a healthy, collaborative, fulfilling and supportive work environment.
To me this marks an exciting shift in the way that we relate to our employees and our workplace. It makes us more conscientious and deliberate about shaping the place we work and accommodating the individuals who make HireArt great.
FINN provides a monthly car subscription service. With FINN, customers can peruse a range of models, book a car in less than five minutes, and have that car delivered to their door for free — for a monthly fee that includes insurance and requires no down payment. And the company is committed to offsetting CO2 emissions by planting trees for every journey its customers take.
As a tenured employee, what has been the biggest reason you've stayed at Finn so long?
The people. I’ve been with FINN for nearly a year now, and it’s abundantly clear that the people of FINN are our greatest asset. We’ve found a group of incredible individuals who just want to solve problems. This comes in all situations — whether it’s a business need for one of our customers, finding last-minute models for one of our media photo shoots or simply figuring out where to hang out after work — this team loves to problem-solve. It’s a culture that stems from our German team, but it holds true here from each entry-level team member to our C-suite.
That type of energy keeps me at the company. It makes me want to continue to build and lead here as long as possible.
We’ve found a group of incredible individuals who just want to solve problems.”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where FINN is headed?
I’ve always been the type of person who likes puzzles — ways to get my brain working that creates a certain level of order. That’s essentially what my team is doing here at FINN, and that’s what excites me most about where the company is headed.
FINN is determined to be available across the United States so we can continue to give more flexibility to customers in the way they step into their next vehicle. What that means is that we need to find a way to get a car in the hands of every person in the U.S. — in every sleepy shore town, rural farm and bustling city.
Figuring out how to do that in a way that’s sustainable and fun is definitely a puzzle — one that I’m looking forward to solving with the team here at FINN.
Serving major e-commerce platforms and more than 1,100 stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, Bowery Farming is a vertical farming company working to democratize the fresh food industry through innovative indoor farming practices.
What was the deciding factor for you when you accepted your position at Bowery Farming?
We’re trying to refresh an age-old industry. Doing something like this requires having leaders from across a variety of fields — pun not intended. At Bowery, I have the opportunity to work with the brightest in agricultural science, robotics, machine learning and other fields. Working next to extremely talented people pushes me to be better and fosters an environment where I can rapidly learn and grow. There are few other companies that provide the same variety of high-quality experiences.
Our product at Bowery is meaningful. We’re not another app or another layer in a company’s tech stack. We’re growing accessible fresh food. When I’m working, I know that I’m spending my time on something that is impactful. Plus, being able to see, smell and eat the product I help deliver is a delicious bonus!
Because we’re doing something novel, no one has the answer or the silver bullet. This means each employee is empowered to help shape the direction of the company. The combination of an excellent team, a meaningful product and the ability to make an impact keeps me at Bowery.
I know that I’m spending my time on something that is impactful.”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where Bowery is headed?
At Bowery, we’ve only scratched the surface. Our Nottingham, Maryland, farm proved that vertical farming is feasible, and our recently launched farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, proved that the success is repeatable.
Now, especially for someone on the technology side of the company, is when the fun begins. Going from “one to many” is when the true benefit of tech is realized. We can now ask ourselves: How can we leverage data from a network of farms to work more efficiently and smarter via technology?
These are the kinds of questions that excite me when talking about the future of Bowery. We’re taking the fundamental insights we gained from launching and operating a couple of farms and expanding on that knowledge with our combined experience in machine learning, automation and controls, custom hardware design and more. A few years from now, Bowery Farming will look very different from the Bowery of today.
Dandy combines in-person dental treatment with advanced virtual care to deliver optimal patient outcomes and improve the dental experience for patients and doctors.
What was the deciding factor for you when you accepted your position at Dandy?
First, I love helping small business owners. When I was growing up, my father owned a construction company, so I got to see the challenges of running a small business first hand. So many things are stacked against folks who are taking the leap into entrepreneurship. And dentists are no different. They take out significant loans so they can start a practice to serve patients in their community. I get excited every day to wake up and try to help them improve their odds of success.
Second, the team at Dandy is customer obsessed and focused on creating a generational company. As a product person, this allows me and the team to think big and deliver experiences that wow customers.
Third, the dental space is ripe for innovation. Many dental practices are still doing things via pencil and paper. I believe that Dandy is going to be the company that helps move this industry forward over the next five to 10 years.
We have our sights set on expanding beyond the dental lab.”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where Dandy is headed?
The dental space is very early in its adoption of technology. There are so many opportunities to help a doctor and their staff eliminate unnecessary manual work so they can focus entirely on providing a great patient experience. We have our sights set on expanding beyond the dental lab to help dentists with all aspects of their business.
MadHive’s enterprise software platform provides brands, advertising agencies, publishers and technology companies with tools for audience forecasting, precision targeting and activation and more.
As a tenured employee, what has been the biggest reason you’ve stayed at MadHive so long?
When I started at MadHive four and a half years ago, all I knew was that I had some sort of core skill set that I could apply here. There was so much that I didn’t know. The greatest thing about being at MadHive is that everyone here has been very supportive of my education and my personal growth. Everyone has always been willing to sit down and teach me certain things, give me advice, or at least point me to helpful documentation. I’ve always felt like I had a lot of opportunity here to challenge myself and apply my skills. It’s allowed me to continue experimenting, trying things, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes and getting better every day.
We’re pushing our technology forward, continuing to grow and mature so that we can provide the best platform possible.”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where MadHive is headed?
Madhive was created to fix the television advertising industry’s biggest problems. We wanted to create a simple and clear way for advertisers to make the move from linear TV to streaming. A lot of very advanced and interesting technology goes into that. We have to understand both worlds, the linear industry and the ad tech ecosystem. All of this requires an ability to adapt as we continue to grow.
Personally, I’m looking forward to layering in much more advanced and strategic data science. As we continue to improve the insights on our datasets, I’m excited to work on building out the teams and initiatives needed to reach our growing client base. We also place a high emphasis on user experience, which typically isn’t done in programmatic. We’re making our platform more modernized and faster to improve our overall performance. We’re pushing our technology forward, continuing to grow and mature so that we can provide the best platform possible for our advertising customers.
Chapter helps retirees entering the field of Medicare navigate more than 24,000 options through the company’s proprietary search platform. Chapter’s licensed advisors provide personalized end-to-end guidance for those entering the Medicare marketplace.
What was the deciding factor for you when you accepted your job at Chapter?
I joined Chapter because I love the company’s mission of helping older Americans save money and have access to the right healthcare options. As I learned more about the industry, I was frankly stunned at how a lot of legacy brokers do not put the consumers they serve first. In fact, many of these companies systematically rip people off because they essentially promote sub-optimal healthcare plans that do not offer the right coverage for a person’s needs. I feel proud to be part of a team that is building a more ethical solution to a problem that impacts millions of Americans who are approaching retirement.
During the interview process, everyone I spoke with seemed intelligent, kind and genuinely committed to the company’s mission. As a recruiter, it makes my job immeasurably easier when there’s an impressive team already in place, and it also signaled that I’d be well aligned with the team on hiring.
I feel proud to be part of a team that is building a more ethical solution to a problem that impacts millions of Americans.”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where Chapter is headed?
I’m excited about our expansion beyond Medicare. Medicare is enormous (about 20 percent of U.S. healthcare spending), but many other aspects of the retirement experience could be dramatically improved. Historically, people approaching retirement age are a demographic that the tech industry has largely ignored. It is exciting to build for this demographic because there are many areas with the potential for tenfold improvement, which is uncommon in markets this size.
The independent online financial advisors at Betterment operate an app-based investment platform that services more than 730,000 customers. The company’s Betterment at Work builds off of the company’s retail investment platform and offers its customers a full-service partner handling setup, administration and benefits management of 401(k) funds.
What was the deciding factor for you when you accepted your position at Betterment?
I was perfectly happy in my last role. So if I was going to leave, the stars would have had to align. Betterment at Work is in hyper-growth mode, with seasoned leadership in place, and that’s what drew me in. I wanted to be somewhere where I could tangibly help build and scale a sales team, all while learning from incredible leadership. And that’s exactly what I got here!
I can’t wait to see what it looks like when this new sales team is firing on all cylinders.”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where Betterment is headed?
The room for growth within the Betterment at Work segment excites me the most. We have just barely scratched the surface when it comes to connecting with our addressable market, and I am thrilled to be on the ride to do just that. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when this new sales team is firing on all cylinders. I’m continuously motivated to be a part of that.
Reachdesk allows companies to deliver gifts and direct mail and help deepen connections with customers, prospects and employees. With Reachdesk’s integrations to a company’s tech stack, users can manage complex manual workflows and have access to quantifiable ROI.
What was the deciding factor for you when you accepted your position at Reachdesk?
The interview process gave me an incredible dose of what it would be like to join the company. I got a sense of honesty, transparency and innovation just from the interview process. I knew exactly what to expect and when. To me, that was extremely important when considering joining a company. Walking the walk.
Why did I stay? The people-first approach continued to be a priority for the company. As we evolve, resources are being poured into our people, whether it’s through development or in perks, which makes working here enjoyable and rewarding! Everyone is working for the common good for Reachdesk, and we show up for each other.
Lastly, I was inspired by our incredible product. Our team constantly pushes the envelope and challenges the status quo, and it’s an exciting and inspiring environment to be a part of.
Our team constantly pushes the envelope and challenges the status quo.”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where Reachdesk is headed?
I cannot wait to see where our product takes corporate gifting. We’ve already evolved so much in the last year and a half. We’re only getting smarter and more efficient. I cannot wait to see the company challenge our clients to think a few steps ahead in terms of account-based marketing strategy and gifting. The features that are left to be thought of and executed on excites me.