Columbia-founded Codecademy, Compass, EpiBone, Fundera, and Upworthy make list of 100 Most Exciting Startups in NYC

Columbia’s Contribution to the 100 of the most exciting startups in New York City

Codecademy: Teaching 25 million people the skills they need to find jobs

Zach Sims ’12CC (cofounder, CEO), Photo: Saskia Uppenkamp

Founded in 2011
35 employees
Funding $42.5M / 3 rounds

Codecademy, founded in 2011 by Zach Sims ’12CC and Ryan Bubinski ’11CC, teaches more than 25 million people around the world an invaluable skill: coding.
As an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in different programming and markup languages, the company’s focus is on creating an interactive, engaging learning experience paired with practical courses that have helped students in nearly every country in the world become more employable.
Codecademy works with governments around the world, including The White House, as well as companies like Bloomberg. They have also raised more than $40m from top tier investors, including Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and Naspers.

Compass: Guiding you home

Robert Reffkin ’00CC, ’03BUS (founder, CEO), Photo: Saskia Uppenkamp

Real Estate
Founded in 2013
309 employees
Funding $210M / 4 rounds

Compass is a technology-driven real estate platform dedicated to creating a seamless and intelligent home buying, selling, and renting experience.

Combining the country’s top agents, proprietary market insights, and integrated mobile and web technologies, the company is developing the future of real estate decision-making. With real estate being one of the last sectors of the American economy that hasn’t been transformed by data and technology yet, founders Ori Allon and Robert Reffkin ’00CC, ’03BUS aim to change this with their platform, as well as through locations in New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, the Hamptons, and Aspen.

EpiBone: Growing bones from your own cells

Sarindr Bhumiratana ’09SEAS, 12’SEAS(cofounder, CSO) and Nina Tandon ’08SEAS, ’09SEAS, ’12BUS (cofounder, CEO), Photo: Saskia Uppenkamp

Founded in 2013
10 employees
Funding undisclosed

EpiBone is a company engineering living, anatomically precise, functional skeletal grafts from patients’ own cells. EpiBone was founded by MIT and Columbia-trained bioengineers, and their patented methods combine the most advanced techniques in digital fabrication with the cutting-edge stem cell science, generating grafts with a perfect fit, and no risk of rejection.

At this point, EpiBone has been successfully tested in animal models, and hopes to begin clinical trials in with patients soon. EpiBone has received many technical awards, including the designation as World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers in 2015.

Fundera: The easiest way to shop and save on a small business loan

Rohan Deshpande (cofounder, CTO) and Jared Hecht ’09CC (cofounder, CEO), Photo: Saskia Uppenkamp

Fundera is the most trusted online marketplace for small business loans. With one simple application, small business owners can apply to all of the industry’s top lenders, find out what they qualify for, and compare rates to find the right deal.

The platform aims to make finding a loan as simple as possible by providing the resources borrowers need to make real comparisons between loan offers. Fundera’s Customer Success team educates business owners about their options and helps them navigate the process, with the goal of making lenders compete for their business instead of the other way around.

Founded in 2014 by former GroupMe cofounder Jared Hecht ’09CC and former Gilt software engineer Rohan Deshpande, Fundera has helped over 4,000 small businesses secure over $250 million in financing to date. The marketplace also provides free tools like credit monitoring for small business owners, and has built most-trafficked blog on small business finance in the country.

Upworthy: A mission-driven, video-first media company

Eli Pariser (cofounder, co-CEO) and Peter Koechley ’03CC (cofounder, co-CEO), Photo: Saskia Uppenkamp

Founded in 2012
100 employees
Funding undisclosed

Lots of media companies have a mission. But Upworthy is on a mission to change what the world pays attention to.

They believe that stories about important issues can and should be great stories — stories for everyone, stories that connect us and sometimes even change the world. Founded in 2012 by Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley ’03CC, Upworthy has since become the fastest-growing media company in the United States.

This year it has pivoted toward creating purposeful video stories that create empathy, change the way people see the world, and inspire them to share meaningful content. According to NewsWhip, people share Upworthy stories more often than those from the top 25 publishers. Upworthy works with brand partners to create and distribute content, and in July 2016 these videos received more than 330 million monthly views.

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