Built In NYC’s Featured Companies of the Month

From healthtech to media, alternative investing to healthy pet foods, these NYC companies are enlivening the tech ecosystem by staying true to their mission.
Written by Dana Cassell
March 29, 2024Updated: March 29, 2024

New York’s tech sector is growing in leaps and bounds. Last year, Tech:NYC reported that the city hosted 25,000 tech-enabled start-ups and employed 369,000 tech workers, making it second-only to Silicon Valley as a vibrant tech ecosystem. NYC’s tech-friendly atmosphere has earned it the nickname “Silicon Alley.”

In such a dynamic sector, organizations are compelled to find ways to set themselves apart. Having a crystal clear mission can be one way to stand out amongst the crowd, and Built In is highlighting eight local firms doing just that.

At The Farmer's Dog, creating healthy food for pets is personal. Co-founder Brett Podolsky learned the benefits of a good diet first-hand, when homemade food changed the course of his own dog’s life. Chapter is streamlining the often-confusing processes of Medicare enrollment and renewal processes with their healthtech offerings. EliseAI, a conversational AI startup is dedicated to modernizing the apartment leasing experience through artificial intelligence and automation. 

These companies, from healthtech to alternative investment, are part of what’s making the NYC tech scene so vibrant. Staying true to their mission is what sets them apart.
 

 

What They Do: Zeta leverages advanced artificial intelligence and trillions of consumer signals to make it easier for marketers to acquire, grow, and retain customers more efficiently. Founded in 2007 by David A. Steinberg and John Sculley, the company is headquartered in New York City with offices around the world.

 

The Perks

  • Employee-led culture committees
  • Unlimited vacation policy
  • 401(k)
  • Remote work program

 

Cultural Data Leaders: Last year, Zeta leaders were quoted across the media landscape, sharing data on topics from Super Bowl viewership to Gen Z shopping trends (over half want to shop in person!). The company had a 67% YoY growth in the use of its platform during last fall’s Black Friday shopping holiday, indicating its huge usefulness to marketers of all kinds.

 

 

What They Do: Chapter is a health tech company that optimizes health insurance for older Americans through greater choice and clarity while minimizing cost and complexity. The company, based in New York, helps seniors align incentives in Medicare plan selection and guides beneficiaries through the Medicare enrollment and renewal process. 

 

The Perks

  • Company equity program
  • Partners with nonprofits
  • Dental insurance
  • Fitness stipends

 

Good Data For Great Retention: Last year, Chapter’s Chief People Officer, Alexis McEvoy, shared with Built In her strategies for retaining top talent. “The first thing I did within my first month of joining the company was a complete restructure and expansion of our people data to ensure we understood each person, the roles they play and the journey they’ve taken at Chapter (or, the story of that journey as told through data),” she said.

 

 

What They Do: EliseAI is a conversational AI startup dedicated to modernizing the apartment leasing experience through artificial intelligence and automation. The company's human-like AI leasing agent, Elise, helps property management teams of all sizes deliver exceptional customer service, maximize leasing revenue and streamline communications for prospective renters and leasing staff across the country.

 

The Perks

  • Generous parental leave
  • Company equity program
  • Mental health benefits
  • Flexible time off

 

Cutting Edge Technologies: EliseAI is creating something entirely new, and that draws people passionate about innovation. Product Manager Cadee Qiu didn’t come to her role with a background in technology, but has learned to love the sense of discovery in her work. “What really drew me to technology was the speed of iteration and scale of impact. To quickly see what works and what doesn’t is exhilarating,” she told Built In last year.

 

 

What They Do: CAIS provides financial advisors with access to and education about alternative investment funds, including hedge funds, private equity, real estate and more. Established in 2009, the company has facilitated over $25 billion in transaction volume and supports over 32,000 financial advisors overseeing more than $4 trillion in network assets.

 

The Perks

  • Mandated unconscious bias training
  • Pet insurance
  • Generous PTO
  • Fitness stipend

 

Meeting a Growing Demand: In December, CAIS published results of an industry survey that noted that over 85% of advisors planned to increase alternative investment allocations in client portfolios in 2024. “The transition to a three-dimensional portfolio including alternative investments is accelerating rapidly. Our latest data suggests that alts are also helping independent advisors differentiate from competitors and build their practices,” said Matt Brown, Founder and CEO.

 

 

What They Do: Personio offers an all-in-one HR software for small and medium-sized companies. Based in Munich, Madrid, London and Dublin, Personio's mission is to make HR processes as transparent and efficient as possible. The Personio solution includes human resources, recruiting and payroll, and supports all core HR processes every business needs to do.

 

The Perks

  • Summer hours
  • Employee stock purchase plan
  • Commuter benefits
  • Mentorship programs

 

Led By Industry Experts: In February, Personio announced the hiring of its new Chief People Officer, Lenke Taylor. Taylor brings over 25 years of experience in human resources, including senior leadership positions at Google, BuzzFeed and Twitch. “It’s an incredible gift to work for an organization where the product is designed to help people like me, HR professionals, be even better at our jobs,” Taylor said.

 

 

What They Do: The Farmer's Dog is a direct-to-consumer pet food company that offers personalized, human-grade food for dogs. Founded in 2014, its subscription service offers balanced dog food mixtures featuring fresh meat and vegetables.  

 

The Perks

  • Return-to-work program post parental leave
  • Diversity ERGs
  • Wellness programs
  • FSA

 

Built With a Mission in Mind: Co-founder Brett Podolsky’s dog Jada had severe digestive issues that cleared up almost immediately when he began preparing her home-cooked meals. The Farmer’s Dog grew from one dog and two founders to hundreds of employees delivering millions of meals each month.

 

 

What They Do: MadHive’s self-service platform allows advertisers to customize and automate the buying process in one operating system. Advertisers can plan, target, activate, and measure their campaigns with greater simplicity, accountability, reach, and control. 

 

The Perks

  • Performance bonuses
  • Fertility benefits
  • Free daily meals
  • Paid industry certifications

 

Empathetic Leadership: Madhive’s leaders lean on empathy as a core tenet of their company culture. “As a leader, I’ve learned that embracing challenging conversations is paramount to an organization's success,” Chief People Officer Stephanie Gossage told Built In last year.

 

 

What They Do: DICE aims to transform the live entertainment experience, enabling fans to discover and attend memorable gigs, with a diverse team spread across London, Milan, Barcelona, Paris, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York. The company’s app offers a ticketing platform for artists, venues and promoters and connects fans to live events through tailored recommendations.

 

The Perks

  • 401(k) program
  • Mental health benefits
  • On-site gym
  • Dental insurance

 

Focused on DEI: At DICE, diversity, equity and inclusion are “baked-in” to company culture. “Our DEI team collaborates cross-functionally with all departments and conducts annual listening tours to engage and connect directly with employees. The qualitative data gathered during these tours informs our roadmaps and strategy and shapes our company culture,” DEI Program Manager Nzingha Crusoe told Built In last month.

 

 

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